What’s Mikey Making?
I don’t have many rules about what I eat, but every day, I try to have some protein, some fiber, and something green. The ‘something green’ is usually a vegetable, since I have recently learned that sour green apple Starbursts, while green, are not technically food. For today’s protein, I chose something with a high risk factor, that’s challenging to prepare, and something that, under normal circumstances, I would avoid.
I’m talking about canned black beans. Everyone has a can of something, bought with the idea of making a specific recipe that you saw online and absolutely had to try. Maybe it’s a can of water chestnuts you got for the next time you stir-fry, except you realized that you only really had stir-fry that one time, and you were drunk, so it might not have even been stir-fry, and besides, you don’t own a wok.
Though it’s been so long it’s hard to recall, I think I bought this particular can of black beans to combine with rice (yeah, I’m pretty ambitious when it comes to my kitchening). I’m guessing it was one of the six or seven times every year that I decide to go vegetarian. Probably been sitting in my pantry for a year or so, but in my defense, it was hidden behind the pound of dried lentils I bought nine months ago.
I did a quick search online (“canned black beans”) and saw something called “upgraded canned black beans.” Now, full disclosure, I only looked at the first couple results, so if I’d scrolled down a bit farther, I might have come across recipes for “life-changing canned black beans” or “super magical canned black beans,” but but I was good with just the upgrade.
More full disclosure–I didn’t actually follow the recipe for ‘upgraded canned black beans,’ because I’m a rebel like that. I did take two quick tips away from the recipe…to make beans less ‘blah,’ you need to 1) add some sort of fat, and 2) it helps to mash up the beans.
Equipped with this knowledge, and a chunk of butter from a neighbor, because I was out of butter, I got started. What follows is a detailed record of my latest culinary adventure (as with my other recipes, pay close attention to precise amounts and timing):
BETTER BLACK BEANS
1 can black beans
A little bit of your neighbor’s butter
A few dribbles of vegetable oil
Too much ground sage
Maybe not enough chili powder (see ground sage, above)
Some onion, chopped until you’re bored
1 metric forkful minced garlic
3 decent-sized squirts of lime juice
More salt than you would think
Turn on front right burner to ‘high.’ Remember that you have not cleaned the burners, and immediately turn on vent fan.
In a bowl, probably the one you never use because it’s not microwave-safe, put the beans, the butter, and the lime juice. Mash the beans together with the other stuff until you realize that you don’t need to work all that hard, because you’re the only one who’s going to be eating it.
Put the vegetable oil in a large skillet, then add the onions until you get scared that the onions are going to burn. Scoop the beans / butter / juice mix into the skillet.
Add the sage, but because you bought cheap spices last time I’m out, the sage comes out of really big holes, and so you add too much. Remember this when you add the chili powder.
Try to spread the sage and chili powder evenly. My God, there is so much sage. Use some sort of spatula thingy to mix everything together in the skillet. Reduce heat to simmer, and cover. Turn off burner at a certain point, whenever you feel like it.
Serving suggestion: spread on crackers, or toast up some of that sourdough bread that’s going to go bad if you don’t use it.