Mexican Beans

>> Wednesday, July 1, 2009

pinto beans,frijoles
Frijoles,Beans are an essential part of Mexican food, I remember when I was growing up my Mom always had a pot on the stove or ready made in the refrigerator for our weekly meals. If you want to make good Mexican food you should learn how to make simple beans to work with that you can later add other ingredients or spices to. Although you could just buy a can of beans nothing compares to the fresh-no preservative- no tin can taste of home made beans, (buying dry beans is also cheaper). Pinto beans are the most common bean used, although some regions use black beans, and we will be using Pinto beans here.

The very first thing you need to do is clean your beans, of course running them under water, but you also need to pick out the pieces of rocks or really dirty ones, I also discard the split halves. This is quite normal.

There are 3 ways you can cook your beans, 1. you could soak the beans in water overnight to soften them and shorten the cooking time.2. You could use a pressure cooker, this shortens the cooking time considerably. I'm not a fan of pressure cookers, it could be from a "childhood scar". One day my Mom was using her pressure cooker, goes into the kitchen to check on the beans. Then we heard a load banging noise, and my Mother screaming. We ran to the kitchen and saw a bean explosion. Beans were everywhere. On the walls, the ceiling and my poor Mother. It's kinda funny now, but we were just glad my Mom was Ok. You don't want to know how hard it is to remove bean stains from the walls. So no pressure cooker for me. 3. You can put them in a big pot and boil, nice and safe; for everyone.

To make enough for 1 meal for 2 adults you'll need 1 1/2 cups or about 275 grams of beans. After you clean the beans put in a large pot to start with enough water to cover them above by 2 inches/5 cm. Bring them to a boil then reduce heat and continue to cook until they are tender, have doubled in size and their skin starts to split. You need to check on them often, stir and keep adding water to make sure they don't dry out and burn. Cooking time can take up to 2 hours depending on weight. After they have become tender you can now add 1 teaspoon or more of salt. That's all, now you can use them in many Mexican recipes.


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