A few weeks ago, my friend Mel, aka the Dancin’ Queen, had to make Cafe Rio beans for 250 guests. Yes, two hundred and fifty.
We talked about how this was going to happen.
She gathered ingredients.
I showed up with my apron and big bowls.
We went to work.
About an hour and a half later, we had made four batches of beans (she made a test batch the night before). Each batch contained enough to serve fifty. Seriously, it was really simple.
The hardest, or I should say the most tedious part was opening all of the cans. Why use canned beans- when between the two of us I bet we have 400 lbs of dried beans in our food storage? Don’t ask me these questions. I have no idea. Remember, I’m the woman who recently figured out I needed a wheat grinder to grind the wheat in my storage into flour. Ahhhem.
The finished product? Yum. I’m posting the recipe for 8 and for 50. Depending on how many you are serving, or how much you love beans, or how much you love your hubs after he eats beans- you choose the quantity.
- for 8 servings:
- 2-15 oz cans black beans, (drain one can, don't drain the other)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1-11.5 oz can tomato juice
- salt ( kosher or sea salt) and pepper to taste
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- for 50:
- ½ cup olive oil
- 12 cloves garlic, about ⅓ cup chopped garlic
- ½ cup ground cumin
- 12-15 oz cans of black beans ( drain 6 cans, do not drain 6 cans)
- 60-70 oz tomato juice (about 1½ 46 oz. cans)
- for 8:
- In a non stick pan, cook garlic, cumin and olive oil over medium heat until fragrance is released, about one minute. Be careful not to burn garlic.
- Add beans, cook down for about 5 minutes until some of the liquid from the beans is absorbed and evaporated.
- Add can of tomato juice and seasoning to taste.
- Stir in chopped cilantro when ready to serve.
- instructions for 50:
- Place oil in large pot.
- Add garlic and cumin, cook over medium heat until fragrance is released, about one to two minutes.
- Add black beans and tomato juice and salt to taste. Cook until mixture is heated through on medium heat.
- When mixture has cooked 20- 30 minutes, turn off heat and add chopped cilantro.
- Cool and store in refrigerator until ready to serve.
- When ready to serve, heat slowly on medium heat, stirring gently to avoid burning beans at bottom of pan. Add more tomato juice if needed.
- This may be made and stored up to five days before serving.