Friday, July 8, 2011

Holy Homemade Frijoles!

The other day I tried some refried beans at a baby shower at work...then I tried some more...and some more...until I was ashamed of myself. I asked my coworker why her beans were so amazing because mine are always...well...not this good!  She said her secret was instead of pinto beans, she uses Peruano ( Ped-U-wano) beans.

Native to South America, Peruano beans, also called canary beans, are one of the most common beans sold in Mexico City today and are a staple in traditional Mexican cooking. They are rich and buttery and more yellow in color than pinto beans. Her English is about as good as my Spanish, so through a translator I was able to get some sort of recipe, because of course, amazing cooks don't use recipes, they just know what it should look and taste like.

So, I'm trying these beans out for the first time and seeing how they stack up to my normal pinto refried beans--if your grocery store doesn't have these beans, you can use Northern beans, which are equally as yummy. The key, according to Maria, is to boil your beans with a whole onion and a few cloves of garlic, then flavor your oil with dried Arbol chiles...Gawd, my mouth is watering just typing this! Seriously, these beans will make you ooze back into your chair while your eyes roll to the back of your head. Anyone remember watching the show "Family Matters"? One of my favorite moments from that show is when Urkel is eating something delicious and Laura tries to ask him something; then he exclaims "Shhhhh! ...Not while I'm chewing!" This will inevitably be how you react when eating these beans and someone tries to get your attention. Okay, you've waited long enough! Here's the recipe:

Holy Frijoles
1 pkg dried Peruano beans (or Northern Beans)
1 Onion, cut in half
4 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in halves
2 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil
1 dried Chile de Arbol, or 2-3 dried serrano peppers
salt to taste

Rinse beans and pick out any deformed ones or rocks...yes rocks, it happens. Put in a large pan and cover with water, add onion and garlic and about a tbsp salt. Cover and boil for 2 hours, until beans are soft.

Meanwhile add the oil and your chile to a large skillet and heat on medium high for about 10-15 minutes. Be sure to turn on your vent fan as your chiles will start to smoke--this is where the flavor comes in! turn to low heat.

Once your beans are soft, drain excess water, you will need some water in your beans, but if it looks like more than a cup, best drain it. Now it's time to transfer your beans to the skillet. Make sure your oil is not scalding-hot by spritzing a little water in. if it pops and splatters, then wait for your oil to cool a little longer. You want your beans to simmer in the oil, but not burn and smoke.

Add your beans and everything else that was in the pot (onion/garlic) to the oil and begin mashing with a potato masher until beans are nice and smooth, add a little water if your beans look lumpy. Enjoy!

If you really want to go all out, make my Arroz De La Weda and Bacon Tortillas and I guarantee you'll be in a food coma!

1 comment:

  1. These beans look luscious and very different from the usual frijoles. This will be fun to dry.