Sunday, July 08, 2007

Bacon Pinto Beans

If you know me well, you know that I pretty much absolutely adore beans. Of any sort really, I'm not too picky. In fact, good old cans of refried beans as a surefire hangover cure when nothing else sounds good. Those lovely legumes are a huge part of my diet so I'm always eager to try new recipes, and this one is really a winner. I love and often enjoy Betsy Beans but if you want something a little fresh and spicy with just the right amount of smoky flavor, try these sometime soon. Peter had 3 helpings they were so good. Maybe that's the reason his stomach hurt Saturday night? Beans, beans, the magical fruit...

Don't let the ingredient list scare you. Especially if you live in Chicago I promise you can find them in the Mexican section of your local Dominick's or Jewel

4 slices thick-cut bacon, cut in small pieces
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped (use your mini Cuisinart so your hands don't get sticky)
1/2 15-oz. can of fire-roasted tomatoes
2 15-oz. cans pinto beans, with juices
2 canned pickled jalapenos
1/2 cup chopped cilantro (optional)
Queso Fresco or Queso Anejo (optional)

1. Cook bacon in large stock pot over medium heat until crispy. Be sure to breathe in all those wonderful bacon smells and let them permeate your house.
2. Add chopped garlic and let saute until just golden brown and not burned.
3. Add the 1/2 can of tomatoes. Be careful, as they'll bubble up when you add them to the rendered bacon fat. Cook for about 5 minutes.
4. Add the canned beans, with all the juices intact.
5. Take the pickled jalapenos from the can and remove the stems. Cut them in half and rinse out the seeds and white membrane (they contain the heat, or capsaicin).
6.Turn heat to medium low and simmer as 15 minutes or as long as you need to get the rest of your meal complete, making sure to stir every now and then so they don't stick or dry out.
7. Just before serving, stir in the chopped cilantro if you like so it stays a bright, vibrant green. Add salt to taste.
8. For an extra special added bonus, top with a sprinkling of crumbled Queso Anejo. It's salty stuff, sort of the consistency of feta cheese, so you might not want to add extra salt if you plan to use the cheese.

Adapted from Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless

1 comment:

George Rafeedie said...

Where did that beepin' video go!?