Fourth Week of Lent

March 10, 2010 by

Basic South American-style White Rice – Arroz Blanco

Prep Time: 25 minutes           Serves 4
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

2 to 3 cloves garlic
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup rice

Preparation:

1. Peel the garlic cloves, and mash them with a mortal and pestle until it’s well crushed.
2. Run water over the rice, and stir briefly, then drain water off. Repeat several times  until the water runs clear.
3. Heat the oil in a 2 quart saucepan on medium heat. Add the garlic and stir for 2 or 3  minutes, until the garlic turns clear and barely golden in color.
4. Add the water and the salt, and bring the water to a boil.
5. Add the rice to the boiling water and stir briefly. Cover, lower heat to medium-low,  and let cook for 15 minutes.
6. The rice should be fluffy and still appear slightly shiny and wet. If it appears too wet,  cook a few minutes more. If it appears dry, sprinkle couple of tablespoons more water over the rice. Turn off the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes more.
7. Fluff rice with a fork and serve. Enjoy! Also keeps very well for the next day.

Black Beans (from Cuban cookbook – Cocina Criolla)

1 pound black beans
10 cups water
2 green peppers, de-seeded
2/3 cup olive oil (two-thirds cup)
1 large onion
6-8 cloves of garlic
4 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons dry wine

Soak the beans in water overnight with one of the green peppers.  The following morning, cook the mixture in a large pot at medium-high heat for 45 minutes.  In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and add and sauté the onion, the second green pepper and the garlic, all finely chopped.  Add the contents of skillet to pot of beans.  Add the salt, black pepper, oregano, bay leaves and sugar and cook for another hour at a gentle boil.  Then add the vinegar and wine and simmer for another hour until done. Best served over white rice.

P.S. If you wish for the beans to be less juicy, simmer for a longer period – very tasty. (from a Kansas cook)

Three practices for the fourth week of Lent

  • When we work together, we are stronger than when we work alone.  Find a way that you can cooperate and work more effectively with the people in your workplace, family, school or community and do it.
  • Dale Carnegie said that the greatest need people have is for love and approval.  Praise, compliment and honor the uniqueness of at least five people today.
  • Slow down and notice what is going on in the moment.  Become more conscious of nature, those around you and your own thoughts and feelings.

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