Ever have one of those nights, where you don’t plan ahead, and you have no idea what you are going to have for dinner, and you walk in the door and start shoving any and all food in your face? No? That’s never happened to you? Then please stop reading this right now.
The other night, I was driving my friend Craig home from yoga, and I asked him what he was having for dinner. As usual (Craig is a hugely talented cook, and somehow manages to make everything look easy…and he’s ALWAYS prepared) he had a beautiful meal waiting at home ready to be warmed up. Aargh.* As I drove home, I mentally ransacked my fridge and cupboards. I had just bought a lovely piece of meat from the organic farm stand around the corner, so I knew I had that at least. But, one hunking piece of red meat does not a dinner make.
I found some brown rice, a can of coconut milk, a can of black beans, some shallots, and some garlic lying around the kitchen. BOOM. Coconut rice + black beans with sautéed shallots and garlic + side of beef. Oh yeah, this meal was destined to be easy and amazing…
Let’s just say, things did not go as planned. The rice should have taken 30 minutes at the most to make. So, I combined my rice, coconut milk and salt in a small pot, covered it and set my cute little kitchen timer to 30 minutes. While that simmered away, no, I take that back, while that bubbled over the sides of the pot, making an absolute mess of my stovetop, I chopped the shallots and garlic. Seasoned the meat. Washed some dishes that were lying about the kitchen. Opened the can of black beans, drained, and rinsed them. About 15 minutes in, I check on the rice…hmmm, things don’t seem to be going as planned. Add more coconut milk, throw in some water.
My timer goes off, my rice is not cooked, in fact, it was nowhere near being cooked. Add another 15 minutes to the timer. Sauté the shallots and garlic, add in the black beans. Check the rice. W. T. F. Add more coconut milk, throw in more water. Add another 10 minutes to the timer. Melt butter in a saucepan. Add meat. Check rice.
Direct quote “this fucking rice is the bane of my existence!!!”. I know, that’s perhaps a bit dramatic. But, my easy meal was quickly turning into an absolute disaster, and I was getting to the hunger point of eating my dog’s food (granted, I buy Cuca only the best, human grade quality dog food, but it’s dog food nonetheless). As I stomped around the kitchen, Cuca watched from her spot in the hallway where she can see all the comings and goings in the kitchen. I swear, if that dog could talk…
The timer goes off. THE RICE IS STILL NOT COOKED. I am to the point where “honey badger don’t give a fuck”, and am ready to eat my half cooked rice, with my beautifully prepared hanger steak and black beans. “Calm yourself woman” I say to myself. Add 10 more minutes to the timer. Wrap meat in foil. Turn heat under beans to low.
When that timer went off (for maybe the 5th time that night?!), I told myself I didn’t care if the rice was ready, I was eating my damn meal. Exactly 1 hour on the stove and that rice was finally ready.
When all was said and done, this meal was amazing. At least, I think it was. I was so delirious with hunger than I don’t really remember eating it. I did, however, obviously have time to stop and take some photos of the final product.
PIA Coconut Rice bowl with Black Beans & Hanger Steak
¾ cup brown rice
1 can coconut milk (I would say, oh sure, you’ll have leftover milk to make some splendid 1 person chia pudding, but you won’t)
Have water on hand
3-4oz meat (chicken would have been great too)
1 can black beans
1 garlic clove
Word of advice, cook your rice first, maybe even a day in advance. Everything else is so easy!
Sauté your shallots and garlic in olive oil, add the black beans and bring to a simmer.
Melt butter in a saucepan, add your meat, and cook (I am not going to tell you how long to cook it for, since you probably don’t like your meat cooked the same way I do). Use some common sense, and cut into the meat if you need to. Or, educate yourself about how to cook red meat.
P.S. To add insult to injury, I also at some point in this debacle burned the pad of my left thumb. Good thing I’m right-handed.
*BTW, thanks for the dinner invite Craig. Ha!