By Mary C. Tillotson
I met someone who frequently scores big when she makes one of those dump-the-refrigerator-into-a-bowl-and-spice-it-up dinners. Here's her latest.
Ingredients: rice (cooked), salsa, black beans, chicken (cooked - baked or grilled is best), sausage (Mexican chorizo or kielbasa)
This is really a matter of throwing everything in a bowl and mixing it together. Read through the recipe and see if you have any leftovers you can pull out of your fridge. I wrote the recipe assuming you were making it from scratch, but if you've already got leftovers, warm 'em up and throw 'em in the bowl.
1. Start cooking the rice (1/4 to 1/2 cup of dry rice per adult). It usually takes a while to cook, so do steps 2 and 3 while you wait.
2. Cut the sausage into bite-sized pieces and brown in a skillet. Sausage usually comes in precooked links, so brown it just enough to make it a little crispier and not taste microwaved. My friend used chorizo, which tastes (to me) exactly like super spicy kielbasa. I thought it was too spicy, so I used kielbasa.
3. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and throw it on the skillet. (One chicken breast was enough for my husband and me, and leftovers.) I had baked a chicken breast the night before, so it just needed to warm up. You could sautee the chicken while you're browning the sausage.
4. By now, you should have finished cooking the rice, so put it in a serving bowl. Add salsa and mix it in. The salsa should coat the rice like a sauce. This is where much of the flavor comes in, so use tasty salsa! If you want to spice it up, chili powder and cilantro are good choices.
5. Add black beans. If you use canned beans, it's easy; if you use dry beans and do the whole soak+boil thing, it's extremely inexpensive. Do what works for you.
6. Add the sausage and chicken.
7. Mix it all together and serve.