Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Cowboy Pinto Beans

I loved these beans- we had them over a week ago, I think, and I'm still thinking about them.  We ate them with this delicious Blue Cornmeal Cornbread.  It was a perfect combo!  Cowboy food!  The kids liked the beans well enough, except for Mr. Picky (but he loved the cornbread).  I loved the flavors of bacon, tomato, and cilantro in these. 

My store was out of bacon (and still's totally gone.  It happens sometimes with certain things over here.  I had some in the freezer but was too lazy to try to use that).  I used those real bacon bits in the pouch for this recipe.... those are pretty good.  Bacon I cooked myself would have been better, and I already loved this, so I can't imagine how much better it would taste with that instead of the bits.  Since I did not cook bacon, I didn't have any bacon grease, obviously, so I just used olive oil to cook my onion.  I also used a red onion, since I had that on hand. 

The recipe calls for not draining your canned beans, and next time, I would drain one and not drain the other; my mixture was a little too soupy.  It was fine, I would just prefer less liquid next time.  I saved the rest of my half can of 'maters in a plastic ziplock bag in the freezer, for a recipe later.  Use fire-roasted if you can get them; I can't, but it was great with regular.  I used petite diced.  I left my jalepenos whole, so I could pick them out later and eat them myself (so the kids wouldn't eat them; they don't like spicy). 

Cowboy Pinto Beans
adapted from Eating, Etc
4-6 servings

4 thick slices bacon, chopped into small pieces
half of a medium onion, chopped
2 fresh garlic cloves, minced
half of a 15oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes in juice (I used reg. tomatoes; freeze the other half of can for later)
2 15oz cans pinto beans (drain one can, leave one undrained)
1-2 pickled jalapenos, finely chopped
sea salt, to taste, optional
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

1.  In a large saucepan, cook bacon & onion over medium heat until bacon is crisp and onions are tender.

2.  Add garlic and stir for one minute.  Add the tomatoes and their juice.  Cook, stirring for 3-4 minutes.  Add beans with their liquid & pickled jalapenos; simmer over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes. 

3.  Adjust seasonings with salt, if desired.  Stir in cilantro and serve.

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