Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Receta: Frijoles charros

Today's recipe is one of my favorite to make because it is so easy. It can be served as a side dish to accompany enchiladas or mole or can just be eaten by itself as a soup, which is one of my favorites, especially on a cool day.

To start with you need pinto beans. For this I used a one-pound bag of beans. Some stores have beans in a crate that you can measure and bag yourself, but those didn't look so good when I checked.

One-pound bag of pinto beans
Next you take the beans out of the bag, put them in a colander and rinse them well. You are removing traces of dirt and also looking for "bad" beans or other debris that may have found its way into the beans.

Rinsing the beans
Finding bad beans and debris (i.e., rock)
 Once you have thoroughly rinsed your beans and fished out all the bad beans, which look very wrinkled, are darker, or the skin comes off, you place the beans in a large pot or olla (sometimes called a jaro) and cover them with water. You put about twice as much water as there are beans. Then you put it on the stove, cover, and cook on low for about two hours, checking to see how your beans are progressing.

Beans in the pot, with twice as much water as beans.
Beans on the stove, covered, on low heat
Cooking beans

When the beans start to lose their markings and are still a little hard, it is time to add the rest of the ingredients.These include bacon, garlic, onion, tomato, and cilantro. Some people also add jalapenos to their beans, I don't care for them that way. But if you like your beans with a little kick, the beans can definitely be made that way.
Other add-ins

I suggest a good thick cut bacon for beans because it adds a good amount of flavor to the beans. You take about four slices, cut them up, and then cook them on the stove in a frying pan.

Cut up bacon
Frying up bacon
 While the bacon is frying, it is a good time to chop up the vegetables, about a 1/2 cup of onion, 3 or 4 cloves of garlic, and about two tomatoes.

Chopped up veggies
 When the bacon is about cooked, add both the onion and garlic to cook them up as well. 

Adding garlic and onion to the bacon to cook.
Then it's time to finish cutting up the tomatoes and cilantro.
Tomatoes and cilantro
 Add the bacon, garlic, onion, tomato, and cilantro to your beans, add salt--but be careful because the bacon does add some salt--to your beans. You may have to add a little more water to your beans, depending on how soupy you like them. Cover the pot and continue to cook for another hour or so on low heat until the beans are completely soft.

When you're done and served up, your frijoles charros should look something like this:

Ready to eat!

Let me know if you try this recipe or how you like to make your frijoles.

¡Hasta la proxĂ­ma vez! 

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