Black beans and Cajuan Cod



Comfort food. Creamy, hearty, deeply flavoured and undeniably satisfying. I really love Mexican inspired food such as this. It also seems to be on trend on the foodie scene at the moment with variations on the ‘Pulled Pork’ brioche bun carving their across gastro chalks boards from Chiswick to Stratford with varying degrees of authenticity and quality.

You can actually add anything to these beans. Keep simple as in my below recipe with plenty of seasoning or go wild with the spices adding cumin, coriander or dried soaked chipotle or habaneros. Make this to suit your tastes but the black garlic will give it real depth and a sweetness that will add another dimension. The longer and slower you cook and simmer the beans to infuse the flavours the more depth you’ll get as a result but these are equally as delicious boshed out in 10 minutes.

Serve the black beans on their own with lashings of grated cheese, spoonful of soured cream and homemade guacamole, sliced jalapenos or crunchy salty nachos for dunking.


Serves 2

Black beans

  • 1 tin black beans, juices retained
  • 1 large clove black garlic/normal garlic, chopped
  • ½ red onion or shallot very finely chopped
  • ½ lime
  • Pinch ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper
  • Bunch coriander, chopped


  • 2 cod fillets
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp chilli powder
  • OR 1 tsp Cajuan spice mix
  1. Marinade the cod in the spices with a few tbsp of olive oil for as long as you like.
  2. Heat a little oil in a pan a very slowly and gently fry the chopped onion for about 5 minutes until soft.
  3. Once softened, add the normal garlic if using and fry for a few minutes before adding the spices and stirring to combine.
  4. Transfer to a saucepan with the beans and some generous seasoning. If using black garlic mash to a soft paste before whisking into the beans.
  5. Add as much of the beans drained juices to allow the beans to simmer away gently. Simmer for about 5-10 minutes, topping up with the retained juices if it starts to dry out or turning up the heat to bubble more intensely for a thicker consistency.
  6. Before serving taste and add more seasoning if needed. Stir in the chopped coriander and the juice of ½ lime.
  7. Cook the cod in a hot frying pan skin side down until cooked/ grilled/baked in the oven for around 8 minutes or so depending on the thickness of your fillets.

I served mine with a green beans salad garnish with slow oven roasted cherry tomatoes, chopped red onion and coriander.