Frijoles is the generic Spanish term for beans, but caraotas refers specifically to black beans, the most common variety on South American and Caribbean tables. These beans cook down to create a thick and rich sauce—good to serve over Venezuelan White Rice or arepas. Make the beans up to a day ahead; you may need to add a little water when reheating, as the mixture thickens with time.
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup water
2 (15-ounce) cans 50%-less-sodium black beans, undrained
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
How to Make It
Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper to pan; cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in sugar, garlic, black pepper, and cumin; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in 1 cup water and beans; bring to a boil. Partially cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, and stir in vinegar.
These were so simple and incredibly delicious! They reminded me of the beans I'd eat in South Florida. Even my 8-year-old son, who "hates" black beans, asked for seconds! To me that means this is a winner! I did use 3 cans of beans undrained so omitted the water and added some vegetable bouillon to the sautéed veggies. I also used a hand immersion blender to thicken up the beans into a super saucy pot. Other than that made as directed. A Keeper!
Really good, simple recipe that takes only a few minutes to prepare. I only used the liquid from one can of beans and did not need to add any extra water. I also used a lot more cumin than called for, used lime juice instead of the vinegar, and yes, added salt. I don't think I've ever made any kind of beans without adding salt, and find it strange how many people have bemoaned the fact, on this particular recipe, that salt-less beans might be bland. Adding a little salt and a little extra spice makes them definitively not bland.
Bland! I really wanted to like this recipe and thought with the onion, garlic and spices it would be a hit. Followed the recipe exactly, however it was tasteless. Ended up having to add more vinegar, cumin, garlic and SALT (which I don't like to add)! The texture was nice though, and as the beans sat on the stove waiting for me to prepare the fish tacos, I ended up having to add more water as the recipe suggested.
I didn't have any green pepper, or fresh garlic (fresh back from vacation) used about a 1/2 tsp of garlic powder for 1 can of beans, added an extra 1/2 cup water to the half recipe, and then added dry rice to the mix before I covered it. I added about a 1/4 tsp Kosher salt, too and a bay leaf, omitted the vinegar, and topped with red hot sauce. Yum! ( I served it with green beans and a lightly fried piece of tilapia dipped in an egg bath a rice flour, It was a lovely meal)
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