This recipe from the New York Times popped up in my Facebook feed a couple of weeks ago. It was 1) easy, 2) meatless, 3) inexpensive, and 4) had flavors I knew Brett and I would like to I had to give it a try!
The bean baked turned out to be just as advertised: easy, meatless, inexpensive, and had flavors Brett and I loved. Served with some Fritos (and corn chips would be fine) and a cool cucumber salad, it made a very tasty meal. The recipe in fact made enough for several meals – we ate it for dinner with chips the first night, and used the leftovers for lunches and in burritos later in the week. These beans would also be great on nachos or tostadas, in tacos or over rice, or just as a side dish.
While I liked the original recipe just fine, next time I plan to adjust the spices in the beans (less red pepper flakes) and instead use grated pepper jack cheese instead of the Mexican blend I used the first time. In my opinion the spicier cheese will improve the flavors overall. Also, the pan doesn’t have to be baked in the oven – the cheese can be melted by covering the pan for a few minutes at the end. The pan then can be run under the broiler for a few minutes to brown the cheese, if desired.
SPICY BLACK BEAN BAKE
- 3 TBSP olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic minced or thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 2 14-oz cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- Salt & pepper
- 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar, Mexican blend, or pepper jack cheese
If you plan to bake the beans, heat the oven to 475 degrees. In a 10- or 12-inch ovenproof skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat, then lightly fry the garlic until just golden, about one minute. Carefully add the tomato paste, paprika, red-pepper flakes and cumin and continue cooking for another 30 seconds. Lower the heat as needed to prevent the garlic from burning.
Add the drained beans, boiling water, and generous pinches of salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top of the beans and then bake until the cheese is melted, around 5 to 10 minutes. Or, cover the pan with a lid and allow the cheese to melt. If you prefer your cheese browned, put the skillet under the broiler for 1 or 2 minutes. Serve immediately.