Black Beans & Rice

big flavor on a small budget

Hello from New York! The city has, for the most part, shut down for the day. The subways stopped running last night at 7 PM and we’ve been hunkered down ever since. There hasn’t been much of an update as far as the weather goes since yesterday. It’s mostly just been cold and cloudy with some wind and rain here and there, although we’re supposed to get the real brunt of the storm later today. It’s weird to have the windows open and not hear people walking to the train or driving around or doing much of anything. The quiet is not something we’re used too – it’s definitely eerie. We were able to go to our friend Tom and Valerie’s apartment for a Halloween party on Saturday before the weather turned, and we had a fantastic time. They really went all out decorating and making spooky snacks; they even dyed their ice cubes black! I loved seeing everyone’s creative costumes, and I especially loved putting on my Han Solo costume again. Do you blame me? I’d have to say that their dog Mia had the best costume of the night, though.

Black Beans & RiceMia really wearing that costume.

The upside to being stuck inside all day, however, is that I get to do plenty of cooking. We had our friend Joel over for dinner last night, and these black beans and rice were a part of our meal. I couldn’t resist adding bacon to my version of this classic dish, but you can make it vegan easily by substituting a bit of oil for the butter and just removing the bacon element entirely. It’s inexpensive, but hearty and full of flavor, from the ancho chile powder to the generous amount of garlic (because who doesn’t love garlic?). These were inspired by Cafe de la Esquina in Brooklyn, and I’m excited to be able to bring a little something fun to the people in the New York area during this scary storm! In partnership with CityEats by Food Network, I’m able to offer one lucky person a $100 gift certificate to Cafe de la Esquina. CityEats is a great new resource for researching restaurants – you can read about the highlights of the restaurant, the best dishes, the atmosphere, and see photos of the actual location. If you live in the New York area, check out Cafe de la Esquina’s menu and comment here to tell me what on that menu would be a part of your dream dinner! I will pick a winner on November 12th and hopefully bring a little something fun to this dreary week.

Black Beans & Rice
The star of the show – Mia.

Black Beans & Rice
Our hosts, Valerie and Tom, dressed as Wednesday and Pugsley Addams.

Black Beans & Rice
“Deviled” eggs.

Black Beans & Rice
Valerie really went all out for the decorations at this party.

Black Beans & RiceBlack Beans & Rice
Kramer and Mia spending some quality time together.

Black Beans & Rice
Han Solo.

Black Beans & RiceBlack Beans & RiceBlack Beans & RiceBlack Beans & Rice
Dice your bacon and cook until crisp, then remove from the pan and cook the shallot and jalapeño, then add in the garlic, until just fragrant.

Black Beans & Rice
Add in the soaked beans, stock, and spices, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, over medium, and cover. Stir occasionally every so often and allow to cook for another 45-60 minutes, until the beans are tender.

Black Beans & Rice
Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.

Black Beans & Rice
Using the back of your wooden spoon, or an immersion blender, mash up about 1/4 of the beans to create a thicker texture. This is completely optional, but I think it works well with the rice.

Black Beans & Rice
Serve over your rice, sprinkle with some cilantro, and eat!

5.0 from 4 reviews
Black Beans & Rice
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 servings
Hearty and spicy black beans over simple white rice.
  • 1 lb. black beans, soaked overnight (or 2 cans black beans, rinsed)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 6 slices bacon, sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 shallot, finely minced
  • 1 large jalapeño pepper, finely minced
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 4½-5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ancho chile powder
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • fresh cilantro, for garnish
  • 3-4 cups cooked rice
  1. Firstly, if you are using dried beans, soak 1 pound of black beans in 8 cups of water overnight, then rinse and set aside.
  2. In a large, heavy bottomed pan, add your 1 tablespoon of butter and melt over medium-high heat, then add in the sliced bacon. Cook, stirring frequently, until crisp, about 5-7 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spatula and place on a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of bacon fat from the pan, then add in the minced shallot and jalapeño and cook over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes, then add in the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Add in the chicken stock, salt, cumin, ancho chile powder, red pepper flakes, and black pepper, stir to combine, and add in the soaked beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover, stirring every so often, for 1 hour, until the beans are tender.
  4. Once the beans are tender, mash about a quarter of them with the back of a wooden spoon or puree a quarter of them with your immersion blender to thicken the mixture a bit. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary, then serve over cooked white rice and serve.


52 Responses

  1. Lindsey says:

    There is nothing better than perfectly done beans and rice – and your pictures have left me drooling!

  2. Jasi says:

    Really great pictures and party fare. Cute costume, Hannah Solo.

  3. Christine says:

    Mia’s costume is adorable! Do you know if Cafe de la Esquina offers Gluten Free options (like corn tortillas for the tacos)? If so, I’ll be all over the Tinga Taco like black beans on rice :)


  4. Skye says:

    You make an adorable Han Solo! :)

  5. Ellen says:

    I always make rice & beans the same way – maybe I’ll try this and switch things up a bit! The Pescado tacos at Cafe de la Esquina sound gooood. :)

  6. Stacey Evans says:

    I’m glad you guys are hunkered down in your apartment safely tucked away, have fun cooking can’t wait to see what else you come up with. I love rice and beans, when I lived in Florida, I had a lot of Cuban food and Black beans and rice was one of my favorites. Thanks for sharing! Stacey

  7. Stacy says:

    Stay safe and dry!

  8. Amber says:

    I just moved and now live a 15-minute walk from Café de La Esquina!

    Dream meal:

    Ceviche Acapulco
    Flautas (can never, ever get enough flautas)
    An order of Conchinita Pibil tacos to share
    Chille Relleno for my main (the almond addition sounds amazing)

    with lots & lots of Watermelon Margaritas on the side!

  9. Molly says:

    It’s really funny that you posted this today. When my husband and I were doing our long-winded “what do you want to cook this week” planning session/debate yesterday, I was lobbying heavily for BB&R. Sadly, I lost out to some sort of brussels sprouts salad. Which I’m sure will be delicious, but I’m craving black beans and rice. It’s the Florida girl in me trying to get out.

  10. Love the costumes! Stay safe during the hurricane – I’m in Boston, and it’s also a ghost town here today. Very weird!

  11. Sylvie says:

    Sydney, I’ve been thinking of you with this storm approaching. I hope you make it through without too much drama and enjoy the black beans – they are my favorite legume so I will be giving this one a go.

  12. TJ says:

    I love La Esquina! I live in D.C. but have been there a few times while visiting my sister. The pepito torta is the best.

  13. Oh, looks so creamy and wonderful. This inspired me to make black beans today for lunch, although I had to use whatever was in the apartment because of this hurricane. Wish I had all the ingredients above, especially the bacon! I love Cafe de la Esquina; the Conchinita Pibil is my pick for sure.

  14. Dana says:

    Mia’s costume is pretty awesome. Happy Halloween!

  15. Ellie V says:

    The recipe looks simple and delicious. I hope you’ve been safe, by the way.

    I’m actually going to be going to Manhatten with my boyfriend to see his parents a little before Thanksgiving :). I’d love to give this gift card to them, or perhaps go out on a date with my loved one once we catch the train to NYC. Actually, heck, maybe all of us can eat there!

    The menu looks amazing; Conchinita Pibil, Quesadilla de Pollo, and Pescado a la Brasas…

    If I had to choose one, I’d go with Conchinita Pibil. Pulled pork anything is amazing.

  16. Anthony says:

    Okay, Mia is my new heroine. :)

    Black beans and rice is among my favorite dishes. Serve it with some carnitas tacos and cold beer — yum! This is getting made, soon.

  17. Candice says:

    I’m making these right now, and they smell amazing, but the liquid is not cooking off. It’s been about 1.5 hours, and they have a while to go. I used canned beans (2 cans, drained) so maybe it’s different? Maybe 4.5-5 cups was too much broth? Not sure what I did wrong.

  18. Erin says:

    After looking at this menu (and being a fairly new resident to Brooklyn), I’m going to have to go check out Café de La Esquina. I definitely want to try the mango salad (peppery arugula with fresh, sweet mango and a jalapeno vinaigrette…yes, please) and a Quesadilla de Chorizo. Even without the gift certificate, I plan on going! The menu looks delicious AND super affordable!

  19. […] I made these whoopie pies for my friend Val and Tom’s Halloween party that I posted about on Monday. I really liked them, especially the custard filling. They were just a bit different – I […]

  20. ooh i want to win this for my friend who recently moved to NY! She’d love the carnitas!

  21. Meg says:

    I would definitely get the DE LA CASA with fish, CEVICHE ACAPULCO, ELOTES CALLEJEROS, and a magerita (or 3)!

  22. Awwww, Mia is too cute with that costume! And I love that you dressed as Han Solo. I might just steal that idea from you for next year! And I absolutely love this dish! I could seriously have this for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

  23. Allison says:

    Mmmm, thanks for the simple and delicious looking recipe. I would definitely try the chicken enchiladas with pumpkin mole at Café de la Esquina, yum!

  24. Tiffany says:

    I’ve read the recipe about 3 times and I’m at a loss as to why bacon was involved since the meat isn’t added back into the recipe. Is the bacon cooked solely so that the bacon fat can be utilized?

  25. Lynna says:

    Mia is so adorable in her costume. The party looks so fun~

  26. Jessie says:

    Alex and I are still without water (finally got power this past weekend, woo internets!) but hopefully in a couple days we can try this recipe out since rice and beans are about the only thing left in our pantry after the storm!

    The boyfriend and I have a ceviche obsession so the Ceviche Acapulco would definitely make an appearance in our dream dinner. Chili relleno is one of Alex’s favorites and I’m sure he would love the addition of almonds and squash! As for me I can never say no to carnitas (especially in taco form) and we both definitely have a love affair with mango and chili palentas so the Fruta con Limon y Chile dessert would be the perfect ending to a delicious meal.

    Glad you two weathered the storm ok and are getting back into the swing of things, hopefully the subway is back to normal soon!

  27. Mary Jordan says:

    Glad to hear that things are getting back to normal!

    Naturally, I would start out with the Elotes Callejeros before digging into the Tinga Tacos and concluding with the Tres Leches which I would obviously save room for (or not, but still consume).

    Stay safe during Winter Storm Athena!

  28. Jake Mohin says:

    I’m still reading, and still drooling. Keep up the amazing work, I make your recipes some times.


  29. I have to say that the Pastel de Cafe de Olla would be ideal, because i’m a kind of dessert for dinner kind of girl :)

  30. Taylor says:

    I’m happy y’all were okay during the storm!!
    I would kill to go to that restaurant and it would give me a reason to go visit my sister and take her to a bomb place to eat since I’m usually pretty broke haha
    I know I would get 20 aguacate con queso tacos!

  31. Suzanna says:

    i would tear up some of those pulled pork and chicken tacos and of course, some chips and guacamole.

    mia is amazing.

  32. Lindsay T says:

    Pescado tacos and watermelon basil margaritas!

  33. Monica says:

    Menu looks delicious. I would have the Ceviche Acapulco and Pescado Guisado followed by Pastel de Cafe de Olla for dinner.

  34. […] the way. You, too, can dine in style at this very restaurant by checking out and commenting on my black beans and rice post. I’m sure my fellow New Yorkers could use a good meal (and a margarita) to get back into […]

  35. Jess says:

    I would eat carnitas tacos until I exploded, I’m fairly certain.

  36. Jewell says:

    My daughter (15) and I just back (the day before Sandy) from our first trip ever to New York and fell in love. We can hardly wait to go back. We walked and rode the subway trains everywhere. However, we are devastated for all the New Yorkers and others affected by the storm(s). I was looking for a crepe recipe on the internet and saw your site and was intrigued so here I am. I definitely want to visit Cafe de la Esquina next time. We live in a very small town and we crave good food when we can escape. My dream meal would be simple but delicious. I would have to try the Gazpacho Amarillo (it sounds so unique), the mixta for a salad because I love the variety of veggies listed, and grilled fish tacos would complete my meal. If we win or not, we will be visiting this Cafe de la Esquina hopefully sometime soon. I enjoyed your blog!

  37. […] a sweet & smokey sauce As you know, I am giving away a $100 dinner at Cafe de la Esquina in Brooklyn thanks to CityEats. The winner will be chosen tomorrow, so go […]

  38. Danielle says:

    Rice and beans is my FAVORITE go to quick cheap meal. I always add some cumin in to the beans to give it a good kick.

    I would definitely eat a bowl of the Tortilla soup (since the weather is getting colder) and since my friends have coined me as the Taco Queen I would have to go with the Pescado a la Brasas and of course a classic Carnita taco.

  39. Rosie wilt says:

    I would have to have the queso fundido, elotes, and carne asada. Do drinks count? Because the Hemingway en Mexico one sounds amazing!

  40. Rosie wilt says:

    I’d get the queso fundido, elotes, carne asada, and top it all off with one of those Hemingway en Mexico cocktails! I’m creying just thinking about it.

  41. Christine says:

    I’m a long time lurker of your blog, and just had to comment because of my love for Cafe De La Esquina! I live a couple blocks from there, but have only been there once for brunch which was so dang delicious. Dream menu from them would be Chips, La Esquina Salsa Roja & Guacamole and Tinga Tacos.

    Side note, your Mongolian Beef was the only dish I ever cooked for my picky eater of a little brother that he completely devoured and loved.

  42. nina says:

    mmm tinga de pollo & brisket tacos! those are the things that dreams are definitely made of! yum yum! I think I would die happy if I could eat those topped off by a no-salt margarita 😉 fingers crossed!!!

  43. Pulled pork tacos and a margarita sounds like the perfect dinner!

  44. Cassandra Soler says:

    Everyone’s costumes look great and the recipe looks and sounds delicious. I will definitely have to make this at home sometime!

  45. RACHEL says:


  46. Kathryn says:

    I love pulled pork so my dream dinner would definitely be the conchinita pibil with a yummy side salad and possibly a pineapple cocktail.

  47. Kian says:

    i’d get the queso fundido and pescado guisado. and 5 micheladas of course

  48. aloucia a says:

    I would love to try the Tortas Pepito, all of the tacos and anything that has pork in it. Can’t go wrong with pork

  49. Timothy says:

    Dream meal: Tortilla Soup and three tacos: Conchinita Pibil, Aguacate Con Queso and Tinga de Pollo! Sounds amazing!

  50. Katie says:

    Going to make this tonight. As my dad would say, looks delish!

  51. […] receita original Partilhar isto:Gostar disto:GostoBe the first to like this. […]

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