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Treasure in the Pantry

Winter: Who needs to go to the market? Just take stock of what's on hand for a warming meal.

February 01, 1996|BETTY ROSBOTTOM

This dinner is the result of a recent cold winter night's exploration of the pantry. Everything in it can be found in the cupboard or the refrigerator. If you don't have Havarti cheese, substitute any melting cheese, including Jack or mozzarella.

The beans and rice, plus a salad of winter greens with sliced oranges and sweet red peppers, would make a good winter supper. A basket of corn bread and a plate of brownies or chocolate chip cookies could complete the meal.

BLACK BEANS WITH HAVARTI RICE

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 cups chopped onions

1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic

3 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained

Salt

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 1/2 cups chicken stock

1/4 cup dry Sherry

2 quarts water

2 1/2 cups rice

1/4 pound plain Havarti cheese (about 1/2 cup packed or more)

4 to 6 tablespoons chopped parsley, preferably Italian

6 strips turkey bacon, cooked until crisp, crumbled

3 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced

Heat olive oil in large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add onions and cook and stir until softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook and stir 1 minute more.

Add beans, 1/2 teaspoon salt, cayenne and stock and cook until liquid is reduced by half, several minutes. Remove from heat. Taste and add more salt and cayenne if desired. (Beans can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Reheat before serving.) Stir in Sherry.

When ready to serve, bring 2 quarts water to boil in large saucepan. Add rice and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and cook until rice is tender, about 20 minutes, then drain well. Stir 3/4 of Havarti cheese into rice and mix well. Taste and season with more salt if needed.

To serve, divide rice evenly on 4 dinner plates. Mound each serving of rice with some beans. Combine parsley, turkey bacon and tomatoes and garnish each portion with mixture. Sprinkle some remaining cheese over each serving.

Makes 4 servings.

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