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Have I told you I’m leaving for San Diego next week?  I haven’t.  Hmmm…that’s very unlike me.  As some of my regular readers know, I lived for almost 25 years in San Diego {Go Aztecs!} and next week I’m taking the boys home to see family and friends {many of whom are just like family}.  We’ll be doing all manner of touristy things, but that’s fine with me.

Speaking of touring, it’s been raining a lot there, which is going to make for some potentially soggy outings to Disneyland, Sea World, Legoland and the San Diego Zoo.  Something tells me that my two side kicks won’t really care.

Oh by the way, my plan is to enjoy lots of Mexican food. Unless you’ve lived in SoCal you probably don’t know about my ultimate favorite:  3 rolled tacos with gaucamole.  Do you know about those?  How about a carne asada burrito?  I’ll be taking pics of my favorite menu items for you.

Today though,  I want to share these delicious citrusy black beans.  I made them last week to serve at a school luncheon.  I tripled the recipe and kept half of what I made at home for our family.  My goodness, that was a lot of black beans.

One small problem:  because I tripled the recipe I realized (at an inconvenient moment) that I did not have a pot sufficient enough to hold all of them throughout the cooking process.  I was working between two stock pots, which limited my photo-taking.

If you love citrus, than this is the black bean recipe for you.  I soaked my beans overnight, which turned out to be no big deal (I really don’t know why I’ve fretted about this in the past).  It was super easy.

4 cups of dried black beans is what you’ll need to get started.  I rinsed mine and picked through them looking for a stray stone, but found none.  Then I soaked them in enough water to cover by a couple of inches, overnight on my kitchen island.  Easy, right?

Here is a look at some of the fresh ingredients the recipe calls for: 2 chopped peppers (I used a red bell pepper and a jalapeno), the juice of 1 lime and fresh cilantro to garnish the finished beans.  You may want an extra lime or two to garnish each serving.

You’ll also need 3 sprigs of fresh oregano which I found had already sprouted up in my herb garden.  It comes back year after year and really takes over about mid-summer.  I just love fresh herbs and love them even more when I can snip just what I need from our backyard garden.

Add the soaked (and drained) beans to a large stock pot.  To the pot add 3 bay leaves, 3 large fresh sage leaves and the 3 sprigs of fresh oregano.  Pour 10 cups of water into the pot and bring it to boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until beans are tender, anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes depending on the beans and if you have pre-soaked them.  As I mentioned, I soaked mine overnight so this step took about 40 minutes.

While the beans are simmering, sauté 2 chopped yellow onions and the chopped peppers in about 4 tbsp of olive oil.  Add 2 tbsp of chili powder, 2 tsp of pureed chipotle in adobo, 1 tbsp of cumin, and  6 crushed garlic cloves until the vegetables are tender and the spices are fragrant.  The vegetable-spice mixture will eventually be added to the simmering black beans.

I have to be totally honest with you.  I’ve never made my own black beans.  I  typically open a can of beans when the recipe calls for them.  And, I’m so glad I took the time to make this recipe.  They were absolutely delicious.

Because I have so many of these beautiful, citrusy black beans (don’t you wish we were neighbors so you could stop by?), I’ll be sharing a couple of recipes this week using them.  So I’ll hope you’ll stop back by Main St.

Right now I’m going to send you over to Simply Recipes to view and print the recipe.  Just click here.