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Friday, June 5, 2009

Summer Staple Black Bean and Corn Salad, Chilean and Argentinean Wine, Adventura, Latin Flavor

Black Bean and Corn Salad with lime vinaigrette

photo: wbj

Black Bean and Corn Salad with lime vinaigrette adds colorful, Latin zest to meals. This is an easy dish to have on hand all summer. Versatile enough to work as a side dish, ingredient for tossed salads, filler for quesadillas, or a spicy relish to top fish, chicken or beef.

You can tailor Black Bean and Corn Salad to what's on hand or in season, your taste preference and time available. Cooking Lounge wants you to develop your instincts for what goes well together and what works; so, you can improvise and not feel hampered by a recipe. Most recipes are simply guides for preparation.

What you need:
Black Beans (canned, or prepared dry beans)
1 can (15.5 oz), drained and rinsed in cold water. 2 cups of prepared dry beans, drained and rinsed. I like to rinse the beans because I like them to stand out in the mix and not have that bean liquid coating everything.

I tend to purchase Goya brand products the most because they are readily available. Buy a few things and experiment. Liven up simple meals.

Corn (canned, frozen or fresh)
1 can, 1/2 bag frozen, 3 ears fresh
Fresh corn in season is the ultimate choice but better quality canned or frozen corn is pretty good. With fresh corn to add an smoky flavor twist, you can grill it with the husk, roast it in the oven with the husk or remove the leaves and silk and broil it. Let the fresh corn cool to handle. Cut off the tip and base. Stand upright on base. Starting at the tip with a sharp knife against the cob, shave off the corn kernels.

Jalapeno or your favorite chile pepper
1 chile pepper. More or less as you prefer.

Onion or Scallion
1/4 cup minced.
1 teaspoon minced.
Parsley, Cilantro or Basil, fresh
1/4 cup chopped. If using dry herbs, 1 tablespoon or to taste.
1 Ripe medium or the equivalent in cherry or grape tomatoes.
1 lime juiced
Olive Oil
1/4 cup
2 tablespoons
to taste
to taste

In large bowl, add black beans, corn, tomato, chile pepper, and onion. Toss until well mixed. Toss in the fresh herbs. In a small bowl, mix lime juice, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper; pour over salad. Toss until well coated; refrigerate and let it chill so all that goodness soaks in.

This is a vibrant, healthy addition to any meal that's high in fiber as an added bonus.

Aventura can ease you into a warm and sultry summer mood with its modern take on Latin music.

What is the definitive 21st-century New York musical act? A pop critic would probably point to one of the city’s arty indie-rock standard bearers, like TV On the Radio or Animal Collective, or to a rapper like Jay-Z. But pose the question to Latin music fans — or to hit radio listeners in Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe — and the answer will likely be Aventura, whose blend of bachata with R&B, hip-hop and big-city attitude has created a swaggering, distinctly New York style.

excerpt from article By JODY ROSEN "Crossover Dreams of a Bronx Bachatero" Published: June 3, 2009 New York Times

There is an audio link to a song 'Su Veneno' when you go to the article.

Tony Cenicola/The New York Times
Clockwise from back row left, Anthony Santos, Henry Santos Jeter, 

Lenny Santos and Max Santos of the bachata band Aventura


With a couple of additions, you can sat the mood for a fiesta for a date, family or a few friends.

Have some guacamole and chips as a starter. Buy some interesting hot sauces. Here's a site to check out to give you an idea of all the variety out there.

Grill some fish, chicken or beef. Buy some hard or soft taco shells. Have a couple choices for fillings for a buffet style, causal meal. Lots of grocery stores have well stocked shelves of International/Ethnic products like Goya.

Buy Latin beers like Corona, Sol, or Presidente.

For wine do something different, try some of the great selections from the Chilean vineyard Casa LaPostolle.  Argentinean wines have become very popular especially those from the Mendoza Region; and lately, I've seen Rose making an appearance among the selections from Argentina.

Some suggestions to point you in the right direction. Thanks for reading the latest post on Cooking Lounge.  Enjoy.                photo:wbj

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