Monday, April 6, 2009

How can you mend a broken heart?

This past week a very near and even dearer relative suffered a serious trauma. Or, rather, she inflicted a serious trauma, when she broke off her engagement and ejected her fiance. It was a source of much commiseration, alcohol, and a cry in the family went out for Mexican food.

Now, gentle reader, you may console yourself differently. You may reach for the bottle or the ice cream scoop. Each of us has our own idiosyncratic traditions. You, however, may have never tasted the perfect restorative: Mexican white rice, which is what I brought to the family potluck, along with a bottle of bubbly. (I will never reveal my feelings towards said fiance here. You will have to exercise your inference skills.)

Perfect Mexican white rice:

Soak a cup and a half of long grain rice in hot water for ten minutes. Drain.

Heat 3 tblsp of corn oil, (I use chicken fat) in your pot. When hot add drained rice and stir until the rice loses its raw color and becomes more golden. Add a couple of slices of onion, and a sliced clove of garlic. Saute until the vegetables are tender. Add 3 and 1/2 cups water, and a tablespoon instant chicken bouillion. I prefer Knorr. Bring to a boil, cover and lower heat, cooking for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir up the rice. (Think of yourself as a union agitator). Will keep hot and tender covered for an hour.

But what is rice without beans? It's Mexico without Spain, hot dogs without mustard, x without y. Here are a couple of versions for you to try:

Rinse a pound of pinto beans, add them to your soup pot, cover with water. Add half a sliced onion and three or four peeled cloves of garlic. Bring to a boil, reduce heat. Continue to add water as the level sinks. Beans will take 2-4 hours to cook until tender. Remember, nobody likes beans al dente. Al fresco, sure--

You can add: a large jalapeno to cook with the beans, or
slices of Litsa larded bacon (or your favorite brand).

When the beans are tender add one tablespoon of salt.

For one pound of black beans add a whole sliced onion and a whole head of garlic, trimmed at the bottom for maximum flavor. In other words, trim a quarter to half an inch off of the head of garlic to expose all it is cloves. Don't worry about peeling it. Add a few sprigs of epazote, if you have that weed wildly sprouting around your back yard. If not, don't worry about it. Again, when the beans are tender add a tablespoon of salt. Be fearless!

Should you try these recipes, let me know whether or not they work out for you, or need some trouble shooting. I'm only a click away.

Saturday this goddess made the most melting yet crisp biscuits. She clearly started a trend. They were so wonderful I awoke Sunday morning with a craving and made myself a batch. Proving the point of a previous post, my biscuits would have been a complete disappointment, except that it was too beautiful a day to have room for regrets.


  1. Allow me to ask a dumb question. What does "trimmed at the bottom for maximum flavor" mean?

    You sure know how to elevate a pot of white rice.

  2. Ok. I am starting the black beans right now. Except I don't have epazote. Is that ok? I will tell you how they turn out. Wait. Do I peel the garlic?

  3. Ladies--I've revised the muddy wording--hope this helps!

  4. Lordy! That white rice certainly did much to mend my taste buds. Feel sure my little heart will be next. Maga

  5. Gentle reader??
    I think we who come to visit your Restlez Dez Cafe are more likely, Starving readers.

  6. CP--
    A MUCH better appellation--I'll keep it in mind.

  7. PS Sending my condolences to your close relative dealing with a broken heart. The heart is slow to heal, but comfort foods and the love of friends and family are powerful medicine.