The Case of the Overambitious Cook

Sunday evening rolls around and I decide I should cook something for tonight and tomorrow.  After some surfing around, and considering what (I thought) was in the house, I decided on a dangerously multi-stepped plan:

– cornbread
– black bean and ham mixture, to be combined with…
– brown basmati rice

Seems simple, right?  Heh.

Even knowing how tragic my skills are when it comes to cooking brown basmati rice, I bravely forged ahead with yet another technique to attempt.  Let’s just say that, although the methods change, the outcome is horribly consistent.  Maybe I need to try white rice and build my confidence?  I don’t know.  Nonetheless, I’m getting better at recovering from these rice disasters.  One day, I’ll figure this out…

The cornbread was a fun one.  I used a gluten-free recipe concocted by a talented friend of mine, on which I’ve sat on for far too long.  Even though I nearly scorched the whole thing at the end (while I was fighting with my gloppy rice, of course) I’d say this turned out fairly well.  I even successfully “made” my very own buttermilk by adding apple cider vinegar to regular milk.  (1 Tbsp. vinegar per cup of milk – let stand for at least 5 minutes.)

And the plan for the black bean and ham mix up (where I was going to use the rice…), this was the inspiration:

Cuban Ham, Rice and Black Bean Casserole

I had planned to follow it a bit more closely than I ended up doing.  But since there was an unprecedented onion shortage in the house I tweaked.  A lot.  I used what little onion we had, chopped up some celery, carrot, and red pepper to go with it, then used some leftover bacon instead of ham.  I drained an entire can of black beans to add in, and all of this looked and tasted good.  But when the dreaded rice needed help, I tried adding some of it directly to the fried up mix.  Of course _after_ doing so, I found a recommendation to rinse and drain the unfortunate rice to help recover, so I’m hopeful that will help what sits leftover in the fridge now.

Anyway, after the ups and downs and trying to build up this underdeveloped skill set, I had something that was relatively enjoyable and leftovers that will see me into another day with more lessons learned.

But, wow, I gotta get past this rice thing… I love rice too much to be inept at preparing it myself!