This black bean dish will make you forget how cold it is outside
There are black beans, and then there are black beans cooked with orange juice. If you haven't tried squeezing some in, trust me, it's a revelation -- a Caribbean take that is especially appealing now that we're deep in winter's chill.
The first time I tried the technique at home was when following a recipe from the great J. Kenji López-Alt, the food-science guru at Serious Eats and author of "The Food Lab." Ever since I first threw two orange halves into the pressure cooker when I made black beans from dried, and loved the touch of sweet-tartness from the citrus, I've made them that way every few weeks since.
Jack Bishop from America's Test Kitchen used an even quicker version of the same technique in his 2004 book, "A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen" (Houghton Mifflin). He published the book many years before I became vegetarian, but I've come to consider it a classic for its smart, easy and satisfying recipes, and this dish is no different. You enliven canned black beans with chopped jalapeño, garlic and 2/3 cup of fresh orange juice (plus a touch of lime juice). The beans absorb much of the juices within five or so minutes.
His crowning touch is ripe plantains, sauteed until deeply browned. They're another point of sweetness, and along with the orange they put me in a tropical state of mind.