Oh, wait, sorry — that’s the tango, isn’t it? 😉
I found myself thinking — and using! — salsa a lot yesterday, when I made up a big ol’ pan of green chili enchiladas. You see, I’d asked my beloved to please pick up a can of refried beans when he was in town, but he forgot.
So I was in need of an easy to fix TexMex-style bean side dish.
And I was wanting to keep things quick and simple.
That’s when I decided it would be salsa to the rescue all the way ’round! I had already developed a quick and easy Spanish rice recipe using salsa as the key seasoning, so why not do the same thing to make up some tasty TexMex beans?
Good salsa packs a lot of flavor with minimal effort on your part. No slicing, no dicing, no gathering up of a myriad of seasonings. You just open up a jar, stir some in to taste, and there you go — the fresh taste of onion, tomato, peppers, cilantro, and other spices and seasonings without your having to even look at your cutting board. 🙂
And most all salsas are naturally fat-free or very low in fat, low in calories, and chock full of veggie vitamins.
I have an excellent recipe for Spanish rice, but it makes quite a bit, even when I halve it, and now that it’s usually just hubby and me for supper, I hate making up a big ol’ pot of Spanish rice just for the two of us. So, for convenience’s sake, I’d taken to using a packaged Mexican rice mix. The stores were out of it one day, though, and we were craving TexMex, and so I was inspired to try making us some Spanish rice a different way.
The handy thing about the quick and easy Spanish rice is that you can easily adjust it to make as much or as little as you want, which is especially handy for singles and couples. With both recipes, you can have a bit of fun dressing it up with whatever else you might have on hand. For example, last night, I divided the remaining black olives I had leftover from the enchiladas in with the beans and with the rice. You can also vary the flavors a bit with the kind of salsa you use. For example, last night, I used a salsa with lime and cilantro in it.
TexMex Style Beans (Makes about 3 servings)
- 1 can (15 – 16 ounces) black beans or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- Your favorite salsa
- Optional add ins: black olives, green chilies, grated cheese, etc.
- Drain and rinse beans.
- Pour into a skillet or saucepan. Add in some salsa to taste. Add a bit of water or splash of beer, if need be.
- If desired, add in a few black olives, green chilies, etc.
- Heat/simmer until heated through and beans are thickened to desired consistency.
- If desired, sprinkle with a bit of grated cheese before serving.
Easy Spanish Rice (Adjust to make as much or as little as you want based on the amount of rice you use)
- Desired amount of rice (suggest white rice, ‘though you can make it with brown rice, of course)
- Double the amount of liquid (combination of water and salsa) as you have rice
- Canola oil (about a tablespoon for up to 1 cup of rice)
- Splash of vinegar
- Splash of Worcestershire (vegetarians, you can leave this out or use a vegetarian substitute)
- Seasonings to taste: cumin and garlic powder; if you really like it spicy, add in some chili powder, Tobasco, and/or paprika
- Saute desired amount of UNCOOKED rice in a small amount of oil (about a tablespoon for up to 1 cup of rice).
- Add in a splash of vinegar, dash of Worcestershire sauce, and some cumin powder and bit of garlic powder.
- Measure out twice as much water as dry rice, BUT include salsa as part of the liquid measure (I’d say have about 1/3 or so of the liquid be salsa — just do it to taste).
- Pour in with rice, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer ’til rice is done, about 20 to 25 minutes for white rice (40 to 45 minutes for brown rice).
- Before serving, sprinkle with some grated cheese, if desired.
- Have some fun!:You could also add in some frozen diced carrots/corn with the water if you would like, and/or some green chilies or black olives — whatever you might have that sounds appealing. If you have some enchilada sauce leftover, use it as part of the liquid, too, for some added flavor.
It smells — and tastes! — so yummy that you’ll be salsa-ing around your kitchen…’though probably not quite as well as these two can 😉 (Go ahead, take a look — it’s worth it! These kids are pretty good.)