Saffron Rice, Spicy Black Beans, Chunky Salsa

Course : Beans
Serves: 4
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-----spicy black beans-----
1 cup dried black beans -- soaked overnight and drained
4 cups water
1 small onion
1 small carrot -- chopped
1/2 cup green peppers -- chopped
1 medium chili -- jalapeno or serrano seeded and coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic -- chopped
1 piece bay leaf
1 teaspoon soy sauce -- low-sodium
1/2 teaspoon cumin -- ground
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes -- crushed
-----saffron rice-----
2 1/4 cups vegetable stock
1 dash saffron threads
1/3 cup onions -- chopped finely
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 clove garlic -- minced
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 1/2 cups rice -- long-grain, white
-----chunky tomato salsa-----
2 cups tomatoes -- diced
1/2 medium avocado -- large, diced
1/2 cup red onions
1/2 cup cucumbers -- diced
2 tablespoons coriander -- fresh, minced
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon chili peppers -- minced
1 Cup soy yogurt -- optional
1 bunch coriander leaves -- garnish

Preparation / Directions:

1. To make the beans: In a 3 quart saucepan, combine the beans, water, onion, carrot, green peppers, chili pepper, garlic, bay leaf, soy sauce, cumin and pepper flakes. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for about 2-1/2 hours, or until the beans are tender and almost all the liquid has been absorbed. Discard the bay leaf and set aside the bean mixture. (May be made up to 2 days ahead; reheat before serving). 2. To make the rice: In a 1 quart saucepan, bring 1/4 of the stock to a boil. Add the saffron. Cover, remove from the heat and let stand for 5 min. 3. In a 2 quart saucepan over low heat, sauté the onions in the oil until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Stir in the turmeric, then the rice. Add the remaining 2 C stock and the saffron mixture. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the rice is tender and all the liquid has been absorbed. 4. Lightly coat 4 (8 ounce) custard cups with no-stick spray or olive oil. Spoon about 3/4 C of the warm rice into each cup, pressing it into the bottom and up the sides. Add about 1/2 C of the beans to each cup. Top with more rice to cover the beans; lightly pack it around the edges. 5. If not serving the timbales immediately, cover each cup tightly with a piece of foil. Set the cups on a baking sheet and keep warm at 300F (for up to 30 minutes). 6. To make the salsa: In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, avocado, onions, cucumbers, coriander, lime juice, oil and peppers. If not serving immediately, cover and refrigerate. 7. To serve: Makes 4 servings. Remove the foil from the timbale. Invert each cup onto a dinner plate. Top with the salsa and soy yogurt. Garnish with the coriander. Serves 4.

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