Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Gourmet Cowboy Cooking: Rice and Beans

We're off to the canyons of Utah for a much needed vacation!  Our first few days will involve tent camping in Zion National Park where the only amenity is running water (for us a great luxury, as we often are camping in much more primitive spots in national forests, though we rarely do true backcountry camping).  Since we are often camping and hiking in desert areas with fire restrictions, I always plan to I cook with a two burner propane stove, good ole' Coleman.  It turns out there are actually cafes/restaurants/shops nearby, but we've gotten in the habit of bringing everything and enjoying our evenings outdoors.  We continue the tradition!

This recipe is so easy that I find myself with plenty of time to snap photos while the rice is cooking.

serves four

1 cup brown rice or jasmine brown rice
veggie bouillon cube
small onion
Cuban pepper
1 Tbsp canola oil
medium can diced tomatoes - hint, try adobo seasoned fire roasted tomatoes (don't drain)
can black beans , drained
1-2 tsp curry powder
salt and pepper to taste

Optional: 2 cups baby spinach (I always bring along a bag and use it up in the first two days with whatever I cook)
Optional: shredded cheese

Cook rice according to package directions, adding the bouillon cube. Optional step: In the meantime, chop and saute pepper and onion; if you aren't in the mood to saute, just set aside and add them raw - this is cowboy cooking! When rice is almost finished, stir in can tomatoes (don't drain). Cook for last five minutes. Stir in spinach if using. Stir in peppers, onions, beans, curry powder, and salt and pepper to taste.

If your cooler is so equipped and you are a dairy eater, garnish with a tablespoon or two of shredded cheese.

Voila! If you are cooking for two, and car camping where it will be cool at night, park the pan in the car and use the leftovers for a fabulous breakfast burrito filling!

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