Jose Garces’s Black Bean Recipe, Five Ways

Use them in chili, in a quesadilla, on nachos, and more.

Photo by Maddy Sweitzer-Lamme

As coronavirus spreads, restaurants are pivoting to takeout and delivery, relying on gift cards to serve essentially as micro-loans, and shutting down completely. In lieu of our typical restaurant coverage, we’re going to be bringing you some simple, pantry staple recipes from chefs around the city. For Angela Cicala’s incredibly comforting pasta ceci recipe, click here. For River Twice’s chili con queso, click here. For Stock’s cold peanut noodles, click here.

Today, Jose Garces is sharing a simple recipe to help you make all those cans of black beans in your pantry far more useful and delicious. Here’s what he has to say about it.

“I really like this dish since it’s nourishing, filling and packed with protein. Most of the ingredients are ones that you likely have in your house. The best part of the recipe is its versatility. Once I cook this batch of beans, I can use it for several different meal applications. Perhaps a grain bowl, or filling for a quesadilla. You can use it as an accompaniment for a lean protein and vegetable entrée. You can add browned ground turkey or other ground meat to make it more chili-like. An alternate idea is to mix it with quinoa to create a vegetarian black bean burger.”

Home-Cooked Black Beans
Makes 1 quart

2 Tbsp. olive oil
½ yellow onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 Tbsp. gochujang chili paste (optional)
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed (preferably Goya brand)
1 cup vegetable broth, chicken stock or lightly salted water
1 tsp toasted ground cumin

Olive oil in pan on medium heat. Sweat out onions, garlic, pepper for about 5 minutes in the olive oil. Add chili paste and tomato paste, stir to combine. Add beans and stock and cumin. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then lower heat to medium-low to maintain a low simmer and cook until beans are very tender, about 8 to 10 minute. Taste and add salt as needed. For a thicker, creamier texture, use an immersion blender, food processor or regular blender to blend some of the beans. For a soup, add more stock or water.