I have to give credit to A to turning me on to Cuban food, and black beans and rice are now a staple at my house. The best part? Yes, yes, you know: quick and simple. That is, when you make them my way (A’s mom actually soaks her own black beans with spices overnight, which makes them even better. I take the easy way out and just buy cans of black beans). Put some white rice on to cook, and while you wait:
Chop up a white onion and some red and green pepper and saute them with olive oil in a large pan. While waiting for the onions to become translucent, mince 2-3 cloves of garlic. When the onions and peppers are cooked, add the garlic, and add several tablespoons of cumin, a teaspoon of cinnamon, salt, and pepper (and some crushed red pepper flakes if you like a little heat–I don’t). When the garlic has been allowed to cook for a minute or two (no more), add two cans of black beans, with their liquid. Cover and simmer, for about 10 minutes. Taste the beans and add more spice if you find necessary. Then using the back of a spoon, crush about 1/8 of the beans, to create a nice sauce for them to sit in and pull the dish together. Ladle over the rice and enjoy!
This is something that I cook in vast quantities, so right now there are 3 tupperware containers in my fridge with individual servings of rice and beans, all set to take for lunch this week. So be wary! This makes tons of food.