Cuban black beans are a delicious and satisfying dish that brings a rich flavor and heartiness to any meal. They can hold their own as a side or can be added to bulk up existing meals like Cuban mojo-roasted chicken and braised ropa vieja. While these beans are perfect as is, you may be tempted to put your own spin on them when you need to impress guests or mix up your own dinner menu.
In those cases, we recommend adding pickled jalapeños to the recipe for an extra zing. Adding jalapeños to black beans is nothing new — in fact, we include them in our own recipe for Cuban black beans, but pickling the jalapeños takes this inclusion to the next level. The acidic tang that joins the party when you add the peppers to the pickling liquid is just what is needed to brighten up the earthy flavor of the black beans.
Meanwhile, the heat of the peppers themselves complements the smokiness of the beans. An extra benefit for some will be that the pickling process reduces the heat of the jalapeños, making the spice level milder and more tolerable if you or your guests have sensitive palates.
How To Incorporate Pickled Jalapeños Into Black Beans
If trying this trick appeals to you, you can make pickled jalapeños all on your own in just a few minutes. All you need to do is thinly slice a fresh jalapeño pepper into rounds, remove the seeds if desired, and place the slices into a sanitized jar or other heat-resistant container. Then, make a pickling liquid by heating up equal parts vinegar and water with a few tablespoons of sugar and any additional seasoning you would like.
When the sugar is fully dissolved, pour the mixture into the jar with the jalapeños. Wait at least 15 minutes, and then the peppers will be ready to use. Once prepared, you can add the jalapeños to your Cuban black beans in a few ways. For big pops of flavor and a lovely aesthetic appeal, you can place whole rounds of pepper on top of the beans as a garnish.
For a deeper and more even flavor and texture throughout, chop the peppers roughly and stir them directly into the beans as you cook them. Finally, if you want extra tanginess and spice, you can add a splash of the jalapeño pickling liquid into the solution you are using to prepare the beans themselves. This way, the beans will soak up the spicy pickle juice and become flavored from the inside out.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.