Thursday, January 13, 2011


I am serving parent to parent these beans with chips and rice and cheese this Friday! So I thought if they like them I had better post how to make them!
 A blogger friend of mine Sherelle inspired me to try beans. My brother in laws mother also taught me a few tricks. We use the leftovers as refried in breakfast wraps or a quick taco or mexi side dish.  They are super cheap and the flavor is great!. We've been cooking them a lot, and I have finally found a way to prepare them, that is so yummy. Dry beans are perfect for food storage. They have a long shelf life, and they are super cheap...but I can't stand bland food (and almost every recipe I've tried for beans has been bland), so I have adapted this recipe to give them pizazz.
Beans have to be made in advance. I usually put mine on the stove after morning chores and before I start work for the day.  This way, I can let them simmer all day
To start with, you'll need to decide how many beans you'll need (dry Pinto Beans). I usually cook about 1.5-2 cups (remember, they will expand though). Wash the beans really good using a colander. You'll want to make sure to wash the well, because beans are won't believe the dirt that comes out of there!

After washing, place beans in a large pot and cover with about 2" of water.  Bring to a boil, turn off heat, cover and let sit for 1 hour. This is a fast soak method. Once your beans have soaked for an hour, remove the lid and season. Here is where you add all the flavor. I start by adding 4-5 slices of bacon to the pot. Then, I add a few slices of jalapenos (you could add more or less, but I promise the flavor is better if you add at least a little slice). I usually mince up 2-3 cloves or garlic and throw in the pot, and then season generously with the following: seasoning salt, pepper, garlic salt, cumin, chili powder, dried onions (you can also add red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper if you like it spicy). Use at least 1-2 tsp of each! Now, make sure that the beans are covered with water (some may have been soaked up by beans during the soaking process). I always keep my beans covered with water, so you'll want to keep checking throughout the cooking process. Bring to a boil again, and then turn down to simmer. Replace the lid and simmer on the stove for about 5 hours, checking it every now and then to make sure there is plenty of water and stirring. Sometime after about 2 hours of simmering, I take out the bacon and jalapenos.  The flavor the jalapeno adds is amazing and it does not make it spicy.  Towards the end, I usually add a little more seasoning if needed. Be sure to taste the beans as you go.
I usually whip up a batch of gluten free cornbread and we simply eat beans and cornbread for dinner. It is honestly so tasty...I never thought that something so simple could taste so good! We like to add a bit of sour cream and cheese to the beans as well. You can even add fresh chopped onions and cilantro as toppings.
Refrigerate left over beans in an air tight container. When you're ready to make refried beans, just add a little olive oil to a skillet and then scoop in some beans. Season with a bit of cumin and chili powder and start mashing them once they start getting bubbly. Turn and mash again. We like to make scrambled eggs and refried beans for breakfast, and add them to a warm corn tortilla with a little bit of mexican blend cheese. It makes the best breakfast burritos, and my kids gobble them up.

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