Thursday, October 7, 2010

FOOD: The mighty bean.

Few ingredients are as important to Mexican cooking as beans, and after all the wise cracks and stereotypes that accompany beans its clear that we don't eat enough of these low fat, high protein , fiber rich, iron packing beans as we should. this food is perfection.

Frijoles, in spanish are more than just a side dish and the love the Mexican people have for beans is not that much different form the love Irish have for potatoes, both nations resourceful at cooking these ingredients and helping them find their way to almost every dish we have.

I'm from the state of Chihuahua and Pinto beans rule in my state, you can have them in every meal and can go from very basic straight out if the pot (Olla) to fillings, rice dishes and the quintessential refried variety. In fact to most Mexicans the smell of fresh refried beans in bacon grease on a Sunday morning is just as appealing as Pancakes for the average American, my home town is the land of burritos and beans and asadero, a fresh cheese somewhat similar to mozzarella is the classic starter, all my children had this for their first burrito.

Many people buy canned beans and I must admit they have gotten better, but there is no substitute to fresh or frozen beans, here is how I make mine.

Prep time  12hr.. WOW but there is a reason I take so long.

Clean beans, inspect for rocks, twigs and any other thing that might be in the bag.
Rinse with cold water
for this recipe use a large Crockpot, place enough  beans so you have 2 to 3 inches before you get to the rim and cover with one inch of water
leave in Crockpot DO NOT TURN ON and go to work.
When you come back the beans will be soaked and ready for cooking
replenish water to one inch above beans
Add about one tsp of kosher salt per lb or beans. (mix in salt)
Cover and set on high.

All Crockpot are different but within 2 to 3 hours you will have fresh beans ready to enjoy.
try them straight form the pot, with some Chihuahua cheese, or Monterrey Jack cubes. the hot beens gently melt the cheese and the taste of milk and butter work great with the them.

cool the rest in the pot and freeze in small portions on zipper bags.

on my next bean post a homage to my Sinaloa friends. Frijoles Puercos.


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