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Brown and white rice with black beans

Makes about 9 cups or enough to serve 9

To achieve white rice and brown rice with perfect textures, cook them separately. If you prefer to serve them separately, you'll have about 6 cups of white (to serve 6) and 3 cups of brown (to serve 3).

WHITE RICE

2 cups short-grain white rice
2 cups water

1. Put the rice into a large mixing bowl and set it in a clean sink. Run cold water into the bowl, and with your hand, swish the rice around, then carefully drain the water into the sink. Repeat this about 5 times until the water runs clear. Fill the bowl of rice with water to cover - about 3 cups. Set aside for 20 minutes; the rice will become white and plump. Pour the rice through a strainer and set it aside again for 10 minutes.

2. In a medium saucepan combine the rice and the 2 cups of water. Cover with a lid. Cook the rice on medium-high heat for 10 minutes. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 10 minutes or until the rice is tender (total cooking time is 20 minutes).

3. Turn the heat off and let the rice sit for 10 minutes more.

BROWN RICE

1 cup short-grain brown rice
2 cups water

1. Put the rice into a large mixing bowl and set it in a clean sink. Run cold water into the bowl, and with your hand, swish the rice around, then carefully drain the water into the sink. Repeat this about 3 times until the water runs clear. Fill the bowl of rice with water to cover - about 2 cups. Let soak for 20 minutes. Pour the rice through a strainer and set it aside for 10 minutes.

2. In a medium saucepan combine the rice and the 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Cook for 50 minutes or until the rice is tender.

3. Turn the heat off and let the rice sit for 10 minutes more.

BEANS

1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon kosher salt

1. In a large bowl, combine the brown and white rice. With a spatula or wooden spoon, fold them together, taking care not to mash them. Add the black beans and mix well to distribute the beans evenly throughout the rice.

2. Tear off an 8-inch square of plastic wrap. Set it on the counter. Sprinkle the surface with salt. Lightly wet a 1-cup measure. Fill the cup with rice and set it on the wrap. Bring one end of the wrap over the rice, pressing lightly, to form a thick pancake. Continue wrapping until the rice is enclosed. Repeat with the remaining rice (each packet yields 1 serving). Freeze them in a large zipper bag.

3. To reheat: Without defrosting the packets, unwrap as many servings as you need and place in a large microwave-safe bowl. Cover with parchment paper. Microwave on high for about 4 minutes or until rice is heated through. Break into the center with a fork to make sure it is hot. If necessary, cover and microwave for an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Debra Samuels

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