Black Beans with Cotija Cheese
Cotija is a very dry and crumbly Mexican cheese. It is the perfect topping in
this recipe for Black Beans with Cotija Cheese. It's a salty cheese, so don't
use too much salt when you make the beans.
Serve these beans with a salad, or maybe alongside some spicy rice. They are
also a good choice with quesadillas or other Mexican foods.
- 2 cups dried black beans (or two 16 ounce cans black beans with their liquid)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 white onions, chopped
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- About 4 cups unsalted chicken stock or water (or use some of each)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 ounces cotija cheese, crumbled (or use feta)
- 2 medium tomatoes, chopped, for garnish
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
- The day before serving, place the beans in a large pot and add water to extend
3 inches above the beans. Soak overnight. (Or if you forget to soak the beans the
night before, place them in a large pot and cover with water 3 inches above the
beans. Bring to a boil and immediately turn off the heat. Cover and let sit for
about 1 1/2 hours.)
- Pour the beans into a colander and drain off the soaking liquid.
- In the same pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 10 minutes.
- Add the cumin and stir to coat the onions. Let cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly
so the cumin will not burn.
- Add the beans and cover with the stock. Bring to a boil and skim off the foam
from the beans.
- Partially cover and reduce the heat to a simmer.
- Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer gently until the beans are cooked through
but not mushy, about 1 hour. For a thicker consistency, remove the cover and boil
some of the liquid away.
- Using a slotted spoon, scoop up the beans and place them in a shallow bowl.
- Sprinkle with the cheese, and then garnish with the tomato and cilantro.
- Serve immediately.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings