recipe by Lori Ross
The sofrito gives fabulous flavor to the beans.
1-1⁄2 lb. dried black beans
Water (for cooking beans)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 scallions, trimmed and finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 small sweet bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
3 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp each dried oregano and cumin
2 t.sp each salt and pepper
1 cup chopped cilantro
Place beans into a large pot, cover them with 2-3 inches cold water, and bring to a boil. Turn off burner and let beans sit on the warm burner, covered, for 1 hour. Drain and thoroughly rinse the beans and the pot. (This de-gasses the beans.) Place beans back in the pot and cover with water again. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low, and simmer until beans are tender, about 1-1/2 hours.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add onions, scallions, garlic, and peppers. Sauté on medium high 10 minutes. Add tomato paste, vinegar, salt, pepper, oregano, and cumin; cook on low 10 minutes more. When beans have cooked, drain them and add to the skillet, heating and blending gently. Add more salt and pepper to taste; add more hot peppers if you wish. When ready to serve, top with chopped cilantro.