Author Topic: spices for basic rice and bean dish  (Read 3333 times)

Wombat

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spices for basic rice and bean dish
« on: February 20, 2011, 02:35:32 PM »
I can get the basic proportions for rice and beans right, add some butter and chopped onions, but after that I'm at sort of a loss to make the rice and beans anything but bland. I don't like "hot spicy"/hot pepper-type dishes, but I do appreciate flavor. Any suggestions? Thanks!
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Chesire

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Re: spices for basic rice and bean dish
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2011, 02:56:08 PM »
Blood and treasure for the cause , donate generously too hubbert's arms . The sidhe will bestow bright blessings on your house all of your days.

Pamplemousse

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Re: spices for basic rice and bean dish
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2011, 05:03:20 PM »
Maybe a mild salsa?

Allrecipes.com also has a lime cilantro rice mix that is supposed to be like Chipotle's.  I think it is OK.
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Lime-Cilantro-Rice/Detail.aspx

Or something with some flavor, but lentils instead of beans:
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Favorite-Lentil-Soup/Detail.aspx

rbrgs

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Re: spices for basic rice and bean dish
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2011, 09:37:57 PM »
I start with what I've got...but I grow ginger and turmeric, so maybe that's cheating.

Try carrot family spices like cumin and coriander (cilantro is grown from coriander seeds; go figure), and summer savory.  And black pepper; everything needs black pepper.
I've given up on waiting for other people to get it.  Now, I'm waiting for it to get them.

Calocedrus

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Re: spices for basic rice and bean dish
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2011, 12:23:18 AM »
What rbrgs said, plus a bay leaf and some garlic (some paprika, too if you have it).
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Max und Moritz

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Re: spices for basic rice and bean dish
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2011, 01:27:14 PM »
I like to toss in roasted nuts (any sort will do - my faves are hazels and chestnuts) and any fruit in season, or else add a pinch of tea leaves to the cooking water (gunpowder for a smoky tang, for instance). Once I tossed in a handful of ground poppy seeds - yummy! I like to try out at least once everything that lands in the pantry. Once I lost patience with the snail invasion in the garden while I had a bean-n-rice stew cooking and - you get the idea.

Needen´t be much of either spice or garnish, as long as it´s felt ;D
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Abha

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Re: spices for basic rice and bean dish
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2011, 08:46:49 PM »
GARLIC!! CUMIN!! and sometimes Paprika. A drop of liquid smoke.

Here is a nice recipe we make often. I warn you it will make you fart a lot, but it is deeelicious!! Don't make this if you are going to a party afterwards. Great on a cold winter night!! You also do not have to presoak the lentils.


Lemony Lentils



Lentils are just about the only bean-type thing that I use dried, since they're actually very fast-cooking, even without pre-soaking.  Use red lentils, which have a pretty orange color and are available at Indian markets or health food stores, as they break down nicely and get good and smushy.

ingredients
1 cup red lentils
2 cups stock, homemade or canned
½ large onion
2 cloves garlic
1-2 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded + diced (you can use CANNED tomatoes--much easier)
1-2 tbsp. olive oil
½ lemon
salt and pepper          

time
40 minutes
serves 3-4

Serving size for us--we double the recipe and make about 6-8 cups of it. We eat 2 cups each for a meal sized portion.



1. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan on medium. Add the minced garlic and onions; saute until the onions are translucent and soft (5 minutes or so).
2. Add the lentils, tomato (reserve a tbsp. or so for garnish) and stock. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Lower heat, partially cover, and simmer at a low bubble for 30 minutes or so.
3. When the lentils are good and soft (about 30 minutes), mash them up with a fork or spoon – you don't have to get too thorough with this, as you want it a bit chunky.
4. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Serve with rice or bread.

(We also add CUMIN--it really sparks it up).

Location: PNW--Seattle

Grower

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Re: spices for basic rice and bean dish
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2011, 12:12:53 AM »
I like sautéing celery with the onions and garlic, which adds a nice flavor. A pinch of dried thyme is nice, too. You can go Indian and add garam masala or curry.


Broil

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Re: spices for basic rice and bean dish
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2011, 03:00:59 AM »
The traditional survivalists's additions to bland dried starchy foods is anything with MSG in it.  This could be powdered bouillon of any flavor:  chicken, beef, shrimp, pork, vegetable, or whatever.  If those are not available, you can add the flavor packets of oriental noodles, which you should have by the hundreds because they're already cooked and can be eaten like crackers if necessary.

Soy sauce stays good forever at room temp, and like parmesan cheese is a natural source of MSG.

You can also buy straight MSG and then mix any other kind of flavoring.

Canned butter or olive oil improve the taste of starchy foods, as does vinegar - especially balsamic vinegar.  A common mistake among the "grains and legumes" crowd is to not have enough fats and oils, which is unhealthy and causes a powerful increase in appetite among many people.

Simply salting rice and beans more than you ordinarily would can make them more palatable - that takes a lot of salt since they soak the stuff right up, but hey salt is cheap.

As I always say, I don't recommend making starchy grains and legumes the biggest part of your diet, it's very unhealthy because starches are just long chains of sugars, and get digested down into sugars.  A cup of rice is almost equal to a cup of table sugar.  But if you're younger and that's all you have to eat, well, what are ya gonna do.

madison

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Re: spices for basic rice and bean dish
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2011, 04:03:01 AM »
I've recently discovered cumin and love it!  I add it to beans, along with some garlic and onions... and use it in tortillas with cheese, salsa, sour cream etc.  My son will eat them just like this in a bowl  Nice!

With rice, my favorite way to eat rice is this: grill chicken breasts.  Then spoon onto the chicken fried up halved green olives, chopped onions, minced garlic, capers and a lot of chopped sundried tomatoes in oil.  I also add toasted pine nuts if I have them.  Yummy!

Broil

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Re: spices for basic rice and bean dish
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2011, 08:30:04 AM »
Wombat, are you talking about what to do with rice and beans right now, or are you concerned mainly with how to make them palatable when you might have to live off them, using only prep foods and flavoring?  Because my answer was definitely not for the present, it's more for a time when you'd have to live on rice and beans without much of anything from a store.

weaver

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Re: spices for basic rice and bean dish
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2011, 11:55:21 PM »
Flavored with hunger - beans and rice in any form or fashion, perhaps with a little salt and a piece of bread, are satisfying and sustaining.  Otherwise, onion, garlic, cumin, parsley, lemon pepper, black pepper, etc. will get you through most any bean/rice dish.  When I was in Germany, they often put cooked white beans into a salad of butter crunch lettuce, pickled carrots, and whatever other fresh salad veg they could rummage up, top off with a nice vinaigrette and it's very good.

EyesWideOpen

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Re: spices for basic rice and bean dish
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2011, 07:52:52 PM »
Sprinkle in a bit of Zatarains or Tony Cachere. Both are creole/cajun spice mixtures that will liven up your red beans and rice wonderfully. WARNING: over time you will learn to add more and more of these wonderful spices to any dish involving beans. The flavour is unbeatable. The canisters store nicely long term.

Might I suggest the addition of sliced sausage to the beans? Oh wow, it's like Heaven! Then make up some sweet yellow corn bread to eat with your Cajun Red Beans and Rice:)

Crikes. I'm starving now.

Grower

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Re: spices for basic rice and bean dish
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2011, 09:35:25 PM »
I like to toss an handful or two of dried sweet corn into my beans when they're cooking. Sweetens them up a bit and adds nice texture.


Broil

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Re: spices for basic rice and bean dish
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2011, 09:46:07 PM »
Sprinkle in a bit of Zatarains or Tony Cachere. Both are creole/cajun spice mixtures that will liven up your red beans and rice wonderfully. WARNING: over time you will learn to add more and more of these wonderful spices to any dish involving beans. The flavour is unbeatable. The canisters store nicely long term.
....

The reason the flavor is unbeatable and addictive is because of a heavy component of MSG, which most flavoring mixes have - also including Greek seasoning, Spike, steak seasoning, Accent, and chili powder mix.  I think the only ethnic seasoning that doesn't have MSG or a related compound are curry powders.  That's what I was speaking of when I said that various sources of MSG are needed to make starchy foods palatable (and most meats too, but canned meats are invariably full of added MSG).