Saturday, July 11, 2009

Frijoles: Three Days, Three Ways

Maybe you do not want to eat beans because of the after effects it gives you.
Maybe you do not want to eat beans because they are flavorless.
Maybe you do not want to eat beans, especially dried beans, because you think it will take too much time.

I am here to tell you that these things that some of the things that people think are just not true. I know I sing the praises of the virtuous bean a lot. But there is a reason, well, many reasons for that: they are economical, healthy, versatile and tastey.

The Mexicans use an herb, or rather a weed in their beans to minimize the gasous effects of beans. It's called epazote and no it is not just a belief, it really works. (I will tell you a secret I heard about epazote, it's not only a weed but it's name in English, among many, is Stinkweed. How ironic is that?) Plus, if you eat beans a lot, your digestive system does adjust a little and doesn't get quite as gassy.

The flavor of beans is really up to you. They will take on whatever flavor you want them to. This is true especially if you have the patience to wait another day. That extra day allows them to really pick up the flavors of what you mixed with them.

The slowcooker is your best friend when it comes to dried beans. The night before you want to eat the beans, place them in water so that the cooking process goes quicker the next day. Add your beans to whatever ingredients you want with them in a slow cooker. While you are at work or whatever, your beans will be happily cooking away. When you get home, voila.

"Frijoles charros
(charro beans) is a traditional Mexican dish. This recipe comes from Guadalajara and expands all over Mexico. The “charro beans” are made like normal beans, but with additional ingredients depending on the region. Some ingredients are bacon, serrano chili, red tomato, onion, cilantro, garlic, ham, chunks of pork and chorizo." Wikipedia.

Frijoles A La Charra

4 large cloves garlic
1 onion, quartered
1 1/2 teaspoons epazote
2 bay leaves
3 cups dried pinto beans
4 slices bacon, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped
water or brot to cook

Soak 3 cups of dry pinto beans. (yes, you have to use dry because first of all it will save you a ton more money but it tastes better, oh and you control the salt). Place in a large pot and cover with water by three inches. Soak overnight. (you have just saved a bunch more money there too because now you do not have to cook the beans as long.)

The next day, place on stove top and cook with the rest of the ingredients. Let it cook until the beans become tender. Alternately you could add everything to a crock pot and let it bubble away all day. You just want to make sure you have enough liquid. Three inches about the beans should be sufficient.

Once the beans have become tender they are ready, just add to rice or whatever and enjoy. Put the remainder in the fridge and you will have a delicious base or side to quite a few meals. If you want more beans, come back tomorrow for the next bean dish idea.


ellie said...

Thank you so much for your comment! The fact you gave blood just once means i owe you a big hug!!!

I adore beans and pulses and as a veggie they are vital sources of nutriton in my diet, i shall save this recipe so thank you.

Oh and my room is turquoise, two sahdes, 3 walls light and one deep wall- it really is so relaxing!

Happy Sunday,

Robin Sue said...

Lori I have epazote so so I can make this! Looks like a great recipe and I love my beans over rice, so good!

kat said...

Beans have become such a staple at our house its hard for me to think as a kid I hated them

Ingrid said...

I LOVE beans! I just this past year realized that love extended to black beans.

I've never had an issues with the after effects but I appreciate the tip for the rest of my family. :)

Pam said...

I love, love, love beans. This recipe sounds PERFECT...can't wait to try it out.

Murasaki Shikibu said...

"I will tell you a secret I heard about epazote, it's not only a weed but it's name in English, among many, is Stinkweed. How ironic is that?" LOL

Lori, I love beans and I was just getting in the mood for some - so the timing for this recipe is perfect by me. ;)

Grace said...

stinkweed, ha. i love beans so very much, the inevitable repurcussions of eating loads of them have never and hopefully will never stop me. :)