Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Big Bean Bind

Recently I received an email from a Carolina Girl in dire straits.

Somehow, through a series of events she was the recipient of a barrel of beans. Pinto, to be exact. Some people have all the luck!

Knowing that I am a lover of beans (with a good tortilla) she has written and solicited my help in her personal cooking matter. Plus, I love helping out a friend who is in need.

Actually, she has been wanting my pinto bean recipe for some time now and because it wasn't exactly written down I had been a little vague in the past. So it is now with great love, for my dear friend and for lovers of the pinto everywhere, that I write out what has only been in my head.

For those of you who are scared, it's OK. Sometimes I scare myself.

Dear Kellie,

I am writing to you today as a desperate woman….I have 10 pounds of pinto beans and no idea what to do with them! I am begging for your help. If you don’t help me, I don’t know what I may end up doing. I may resort to making beanie babies stuffed with pinto beans and sending them to your kids for gifts, while my family starves. It wouldn’t be a pretty picture, I assure you. So, to save me from this awful fate, I am asking that you send me a recipe that I can use the pintos in. I have heard of one involving a crock pot, chicken broth, salsa, etc. Can you help???

Desperate in NC

Dear Desperate,

My Goodness girl! How did you acquire so many beans! I wish I was there. You know I would certainly take some off your hands.

O.K. Don't panic. Here is what I do.

Take 2 cups of beans and pour them on to a flat surface. Make the kids put them into a bowl and pick out all the rocks and stuff....otherwise you will bite into a rock and have to go the dentist, which really cramps the bean eating process and makes bad memories.

Then take 6-8 cups of water and add chicken broth cubes to it. Depending on what kind of broth you buy it will tell you how much broth/water is required. I use Knorr chicken bouillon cubes found in the Ethnic food isle. If I am making 6 cups worth I usually use two cubes...that way you can season it with salt to taste later. You can use beef broth too. I just prefer chicken.

Then find some salsa, I like the fresh stuff from Costco but that stuff they make in New York city is fine too. Just hide the ropes.

Dump 1cup (or more!) salsa in the pot.

Put a lid on that puppy and go take a siesta. Bean eating takes a lot of work.

If you are cooking in the crock pot I would put the beans on in the morning and cook for 5-6 hours or so. If you cook it on the stove top on medium heat it will take 3-4 hours but you will have to check it often and add water at times.

I like to eat mine with a bit of graded cheddar cheese and some salt!

Oh! And a good flour tortilla, but corn tortilla chips work too.

Happy eating...wish I was there to share in your first bean baking bash...so eat a bowl for me!

Love ya!

La Vida Dulce!


Blue Skies said...

warning! If you've never been a bean eater before....... Make sure you aren't around company for about 24 hours beginning 12 hours after bean consumption. Or at least make sure there are "facilities" nearby with an adequate exhaust fan. Soaking the beans overnight and then rinsing them before cooking can sometimes help alleviate the worst of it. Or take Beano.

Lara said...

This is so weird...it must be bean harvesting time...One of Ray's biking buddies owns a pinto bean farm in Mexico and he gave us about 10 lbs of beans too...K4 should I bring some when we come your way? I tend to avoid fiber that doesn't come in pill form especially when it takes days to cook it...too much prep! I am going to have to make some though he wanted to know how we liked the ones we got last year.??? Last year??? did we get beans last year??? I must have made bean bags cause I sure don't remember eating that many beans!