Ceiling Cat Special: Version 4.0

Not too long ago, I posted what I thought was a recipe I invented: the “Ceiling Cat Special™,” which consists of black beans and rice with ample lashings of yogurt and topped with lots of caramelized onions. Although a reader told me that a similar dish is commonplace in Central America, I have still given the dish a trademark as the Official Website Recipe, abbreviated CCS™.

Two other versions by readers almost immediately ensued: CCS 2.0 and CCS 3.0. Now, reader “P” has concocted the most elaborate version yet. Her description:

I’ve finally got around to making a DIY or Build Your Own version of your Ceiling Cat Special. It’s great!

Mind you, my offerings are so varied that this could be a “Where’re the black beans?” trick question. There are dietary restrictions as well as finicky palates in the family, so I leave it up to everyone, and I sneak in as many vegetables as I can.

I used the obligatory black beans (organic unsalted) with caramelized onions (two kinds – red and yellow onions) and Greek yogurt and sour cream. I plated the beans on a bed of fresh baby spinach.

The other offerings are:

1.  roasted peppers (red bell, poblano, banana, w/ Scotch Bonnet (but the latter is for garnish, as most people can tolerate only slivers of it); baked cremini mushrooms stuffed with jalapeno white cheddar and minced garlic, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and grated Parmigiana Reggiano (to die for).

2.  baked tomatoes stuffed with leftover rice w/ white kidney beans topped with grated P. Reggiano.; roasted radicchio;  baked tortilla (store bought and warmed up).

3. chopped parsley and cilantro, olives (and the onions of course).

And here’s the whole presentation—very elaborate (and healthy)!

Ceiling Cat Special - DYI version

The CCS main dish is at bottom, surrounded by its garnishes. When I asked “P” if those were indeed garnishes, she replied:

Yes, those are all accompaniments and garnishes for the CCS, along with the obligatory onions and yogurt/sour cream. I forgot the lemon wedges, and the bacon salt shaker for the folks who are allowed that.

I wanna know when I get invited for dinner. . .


  1. MikeW
    Posted April 4, 2014 at 3:53 am | Permalink

    Where’s the rice?

  2. MikeW
    Posted April 4, 2014 at 3:55 am | Permalink

    Ah, I see it. Never mind.

  3. Diana MacPherson
    Posted April 4, 2014 at 5:06 am | Permalink

    Mmmmm that looks so good and something even my broken stomach could handle!

  4. Dominic
    Posted April 4, 2014 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    “Food is something you get down you when your trousers start slipping!” Sid James in a Hancock’t Half Hour episode, “The Gourmet”

    • Dominic
      Posted April 4, 2014 at 6:01 am | Permalink

      Hancock’s Half Hour… he was a British comedian of the 50s/60s.

  5. gravityfly
    Posted April 4, 2014 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    Can I get invited for dinner too? 🙂

  6. Merilee
    Posted April 4, 2014 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    I just threw some leftover black beans into a leek and camembert( plus some chicken stock) soup. The consensus ( of two) was Yummy!

  7. Adam M.
    Posted April 4, 2014 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    I’ve been making my own version of the CCS for a while. At first I tried to be faithful to the original recipe, but I was never fond of plain yogurt or sour cream, so I didn’t much like it.

    Then I replaced the yogurt with some spicy jalapeño jack cheese that I let melt into it, and now it’s great. 🙂 I’ve also taken to mixing a raw egg into the finished product just before I eat it, for a bit more vitamins and protein.

    The above looks great, but complicated! My favorite thing about the CCS is that it’s quick and easy to prepare.

    Still waiting for the world’s best hot and sour soup! 😉

  8. cnocspeireag
    Posted April 4, 2014 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Have you tried shaving rather than grating Parmesan? It really brings out more flavour, or makes it go further.
    This is not the planing some restaurants use, but drawing a sharp knife across the surface of the cheese while holding the blade perpendicularly to it, like shaving your cheek with a straight (cutthroat) razor. You get very, very thin sheets of cheese this way and it makes the most of your Reggiano.

  9. Posted April 4, 2014 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Jerry, you have an open invitation to dinner at my place (or my parents’s place) any time you’re in the Phoenix metro area.


  10. jiten
    Posted April 4, 2014 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    “P” has pimped CCS !

  11. Posted April 4, 2014 at 2:31 pm | Permalink



  12. Posted April 4, 2014 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    All that’s missing are mango salsa, cervezas, limonado, and mojitos!

  13. DianeALangworthy
    Posted April 4, 2014 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    Looks delicious! We’ve also enjoyed a variation of the CCS recently with our sautéed veggies piled on top – mushrooms, summer squashes, bell peppers, and lots of caramelized onions. Plus a bit of sour cream. Plus a nice chardonnay.

  14. Marella
    Posted April 4, 2014 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    I believe we’re going to be having another Global Atheist Convention in Melbourne next year. If you are coming here for it Jerry I will be happy to take you out to dinner. Melbourne has some of the best food in the world and has recently been voted as having the best coffee in the world too!

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