frijoles con todo
It's been 575 days since my last post...
I honestly haven't missed it because I really, I mean I REALLY detest writing. Writing is a struggle for me. I can't seem to find consistency, should I be funny or serious, quiet or loud? Point me in a direction and I will go, go, go but every time I approach the keyboard I automatically tense up and my brain comes to an abrupt halt right up against my skull. Writer's concussion? Is that a thing? Is it more serious than writer's block? Hypochondria for writers? Everything I'd like to write about flees my brain the very instant I touch the keyboard and questioning myself drives me batshit crazy to the point of wanting to knock down my monitor and saying I am outta here! And yet... I have come back. I know it's very much like exercising, the more I write the easier it gets but like exercising, I hate it, damn it.
Ready for a bumpy segue? If I was in shape I could weave this post together in a few fluid, witty paragraphs but yeah, that's not happening.
Anyways, these beans... well, this recipe was like how I feel about writing. A pain in the ass. (That's your warning)
I made this recipe over and over again. I was like Goldilocks,
These beans are too hard
These beans aren't seasoned enough
Oh, these beans are just right
When I finally got this recipe down cold it was and still is a head scratching, "how in the hell did that happen?" magic. (That's your incentive for making them. Magic. Cooking Magic.)
Really all these beans do is simmer in some chicken stock and their own juices and they taste like nothing you could ever imagine. Beans in their own juices sounds kinda disgusting, I know but trust me when I say this is a warm comforting dish for autumn and it's magical when done correctly.
Frijoles Con Todo
~Pinto Beans With Everything~
2 cups pinto beans, picked over, rinsed and drained
3-5 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed (to taste)
½ white onion, peeled and root cut off
½- 1 jalapeno, stem cut off (to taste)
2 Bay leaves
¼ teaspoon of each: (add more to taste)
Powdered Mexican oregano
Pasilla chile powder
Red Onion, chopped
Jalapeno or Serrano peppers, chopped
Cilantro, stemmed and chopped
¼ pound of queso Oaxaca, Shredded (Monterey jack works well also)
Place beans and everything else, except toppings, in a heavy duty sauce pan and cover with chicken stock so that the waterline is about 3 inches over the beans. Bring the beans to a boil over high heat, and then decrease the heat to medium. You might have to skim some foam from the top of the beans. Discard that nasty foam.
This is important!!!! Simmer, not boil, but don’t under-simmer either or this recipe won’t work.
Simmer, adding stock or water to keep the waterline two to three inches above the beans for the next 2-4 hours. Stirring occasionally to keep the beans from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Stop adding water after 2-3 hours of cooking or when the beans are tender. At this point, the liquid will be cloudy and milky and start to thicken from the starch of the beans. You’ll want the stock to slowly reduce until just covering the beans until perfectly tender. This is also tricky because sometime I have to add more stock and am constantly adjusting temperature and stock levels. I like this dish a little more broth-y so adjust to your taste.
Adjust seasoning and slowly add salt. (You’ll need more than you think) Remove bay leaves, onion, garlic cloves, and jalapeno from the pot.
Ladle the beans and broth into each bowl and top with cheese, avocado, onions, cilantro, chiles, and sour cream.