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Complex dishes are great and all, but master this simple staple first.

While we love a good elaborate enchilada preparation, sometimes you just feel like Mexican food without the hassle (or delivery guy). That’s what we reach for triple-tested Mexican: Authentic Recipes From South of the Border, by test kitchen guru Pamela Clark. Ready to master a staple? Here’s red beans and rice.

Red beans and rice is a filling and budget-friendly dish. If you like, serve with grilled chicken for a meatier meal or it can be served as a side dish to accompany many of the main meals in this book. You need one trimmed ear of corn to get the amount of corn kernels required for this recipe; you can use the same amount of drained canned corn or frozen corn, if you prefer.

Reprinted with permission from Mexican