Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Love!  I am a big fan of beans anyway.  These could make you a fan as well. Creamy, tasty and delicious.  What more could you ask for?

Beans are truly economical.  They can be a fast week night meal too.  Whether you get the beans out of the can or have them in crock while you are out for the day- the flavor will be wow.  This is a great combination of flavors for the beans.

My trick for yummy beans from dried beans is to flavor them while they cook.  You will see tons of blogs and cookbooks tell you not to put salt in it.  I have.  No big deal.  But truly the trick is to put flavor in.  After a virgin soak - nothing in the water at all, overnight- next day when you simmer the beans to get them tender, be creative.  I add at the very least, a bay leaf and an onion.  I have been known to add in garlic, broth, salt, herbs...  When the beans are done, you will have amazing tasting beans, instead of bland beans.  THen you add them to your recipe and layers and layers of flavor are present.

And for goodness sake don't throw away the bean liquor.  You know, the liquid you cooked your beans in.  Even if you dont have a use for them now, freeze the liquid.  It makes a great addition to soups!

Borracho Beans
From Whole Foods Cookbook

2 cans pinto ( I used soaked and cooked ones 2 cups dry)
1 rib celery
1 small onion
1/2 green bell pepper
1/2 cup cilantro

2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 jalapeno, chopped, more or less to your liking
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder (always use the best chili powder that you can afford)
1 tomato chopped
1 cup amber beer or water (but if you use water they will no longer be drunk- you could call them on the wagon beans instead!)
1 tablespoon smoked soy "bacon bits" or the real thing if you like
These directions are assuming you are using canned beans. If not just get your beans to that point first.

Heat olive oil in pot add onions, celery, green pepper, garlic and saute for about five minutes.   Add spices, tomato, and "bacon bits' to the pot.  Cook five minutes more.  Add the beans and beer.  Stir. Simmer for about 20 minutes.  Season with salt and garnish with cilantro.

And just a note.  Dishes like this are always better served the day after you make it.


kat said...

It's funny, I can't believe I used to use canned beans & miss out on that amazing cooking liquid! It make my chili!

grace said...

good tips, lori! and i love the term 'bean liquor'! :)

Roberthussy said...

Good morning friends! I am planning to make Borracho (Drunken) Beans for our meal tomorrow and have a few questions. I've read that you're supposed to pre-soak your dried beans, first of all; however, the soaking times vary from 1 hour to 24 hours with all different methods. One particular method says to put the dried beans in water and bring to a boil, then turn off the flame and let sit overnight in the same water. The article claims that this helps to process some of the gaseous enzymes out of the beans and makes them easier to cook - is this true.