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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Black Beans and Coconut Lime Rice

We have some dear family friends that used to live across the country in California, but have since relocated to St. Louis. It's been SO fun getting reacquainted with them and reminiscing over our past adventures (a trip to Disney World, a bloody incident on an Alpine Slide, the time we arrived in California but our luggage didn't for another 24 hours...). When my family comes to visit, we make it a point to get the two families together and the last few times my mom came sans the rest of the family, we've planned "Girl's Night" (plus any available boys) and joined forces to cook a fabulous meal.

 My mom and I selected a Mexican themed dinner for our group and decided to be brave and try three new recipes. We originally wanted to make some cilantro lime rice, reminiscent of our favorite Chipotle rice, but couldn't resist the sound of this Black Bean and Coconut Lime Rice. I am SO glad we opted to try this! It's one of the best things to come from my kitchen lately! Though it's a little putsy, especially if you're trying to make several other things at once, it is absolutely worth it (thank you Renita for your patience working through each of the steps!!).

I will warn you that this recipe makes a TON of rice--it will easily feed a crowd, especially as a side dish. However, it's filling enough that you could serve this as your main meal. Add chicken for extra protein if you'd like. You could eat it with chips or use it to fill a burrito. The different facets of the dish--black beans, coconut, cilantro, mango, all marry nicely and are so much more exciting than a standard Mexican rice dish!

Come back the next two days...I'll be sharing the rest of our Mexican feast...two more recipe winners!

One Year Ago: Poppyseed Bread (one of my all-time favorite sweet breakfast treats!)

Black Beans and Coconut Lime Rice
from Southern Living May 2010

-1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
-1 1/2 cups chicken broth
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp pepper
-3 tbsp butter, divided
-1 1/4 cups uncooked basmati rice
-1 small onion, chopped
-1 poblano pepper, diced
-2 (15 oz.) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
-2 tsp chili powder
-1 tsp ground cumin
-1 lime
-2 green onions, thinly sliced
-1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
-1 mango, diced

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Place coconut in a single layer on a baking sheet and cook for 8-10 minutes, until toasted.
2. In a 2-quart saucepan, bring broth, salt, pepper, 2 tbsp butter, and 1 cup water to a boil. Add rice, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook 15-20 minutes, until water is absorbed and rice is tender.
3. While rice is cooking, melt remaining 1 tbsp butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and poblano pepper, sauteing for 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in black beans, chili powder, cumin, and 3/4 cup water. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.
4. Grate zest from lime and add to a bowl. Squeeze lime juice into bowl. Fluff rice with a fork and add to lime zest and juice. Stir in coconut, green onions, and cilantro. Top with bean mixture and chopped mango.