So let me tell you a little somethin’ about these black beans: they are damn good. It might just be me, because neither my mom nor Nathan seemed to appreciate them the way I did. Then again, I don’t know if they appreciate beans in general like I do. Anyways, I wasn’t expecting them to turn out to be anything special. I just made them to accompany a failed dish (which is why there are barely any photos of them) and they ended up stealing the spotlight! Hearty, full of protein, fiber, and some spiciness thrown in there to make them super-great. They’re so good that I’ve been eating them cold, which I never do because I’m one of those people who feels that heating up food tends to make it taste better. Which isn’t true in all cases. Some people would argue that pizza is better the next day, cold for breakfast. I do disagree with that, though. I’m a fan of my pizza hot, covered in melty cheese and hot toppings.

So I would suggest that you give these a try if you’re looking for a side dish to accompany some meat with rice, or something to snack on. Ah, I forgot: they aren’t like the black beans that you might find in a taco or burrito, although the book that the recipe is from suggests you use them as a tortilla filling. Those tend to be firmer and less saucey (at least in my experience). These ones have started to break apart a little, as if you took some out and mashed them before adding them back in. They’re like the ones you’d mix into some white rice or clean from the bowl with a piece of bread. In fact, you could probably make a small dinner of them that way. Some beans, rice or bread, and roasted corn. Yum.

Tasty Black Beans*

 Adapted from The Well-Filled Tortilla

1 &1/2 lbs Black Beans (about 3 &1/2 Cups)

1 &1/2 Medium Onions, finely chopped

6 Garlic Cloves, minced

3 Serrano Peppers, stemmed and finely chopped

1/2 Cup Canned Crushed Tomatoes in Purée (I used Tomato Paste)

1/8 Teaspoon Pure Chili Powder

12 Cups Water

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

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Place the Black Beans, Onions, Garlic, Peppers, Tomato Paste, Chili Powder, and Water in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle boil and cook for 1 & 1/2 hours. Stir in Salt and cook a little longer if the beans are not tender; remove from heat if they are, and serve.

*I did not make as many beans as this called for, so I estimated the quantity of ingredients: 1 bowl of Dried Black Beans, roughly 3 to 4 bowls of Water, 1/2 Large Yellow Onion, 2 to 3 Cloves of Garlic, 1 to 2 Serrano Peppers, a large spoonful of Tomato Paste, a bit of Chili Powder, and Salt to taste.

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