Thursday, September 17, 2009

Recipe: Mendez Family Frijoles

This is a traditional recipe for frijoles, traceable to cattle drive chuck wagon cooks. (The comino was suggested by someone from out of this world!)

Clean and wash as many pinto beans as you want to prepare. 4 c. makes a full pot, and that's a lot of beans, but they're good left over. Pour them into a traditional bean pot if you have one (see picture), or a heavy pot of whatever kind, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and keep them simmering. Do not stir! It mashes the beans! But do add water from time to time to keep the beans covered. Let simmer for 45 minutes-1 hour.

Add your choice of salt pork, bacon, sausage, ham fat, or even olive oil. A handful will do it, or 2 oz. of olive oil. Simmer another 45 minutes-1 hour.

Add garlic, a lot: four, five, six cloves, diced (or minced, a couple heaping T.) Simmer another 45 minutes-1 hour.

Add oregano. If ground, 1 rounded t.; if crumbled, 1 rounded T.

Add 1 rounded t. ground comino (cumin). This is the secret ingredient that gives the frijoles an exotic flavor.

Add 8-12 dried, crumbled chili pequines, for heat. Use more or less to taste, but it doesn't take many of these. Other kinds of peppers can be used as well: jalapenos, serranos, etc., but always to taste! Simmer another 45 minutes-1 hour.

Add 2 or 3 t. salt. Simmer another half hour or so. A taste test should indicate the beans are soft and cooked. If so, that's it!

See many more unusual, exotic recipe ideas in the right column under the photo of the cranberry-apple pie.

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