Sunday, March 2, 2008

Beans, Beans: They are good for your heart, the more you eat....

For breakfast, Matthew and I finally made good on my promise to refry some beans. Central to the discussion of the beans was that "refried" does not actually mean "fried again" but "super-fried." Diana Kennedy translated refried to "Well-Fried," and Ricardo Arjona's song Tu Reputacion has the line "Tu reputacion son las primeras seis letras de esa palabra" (your reputation is the first six letters of the word -> the word being reputacion -> first six letters -> puta = whore, reputa = super whore).

My apologies for the convoluted rambling, I had no master plan for this post. So, onto the recipes.

Recipe #5 Refried Beans
a la Dianna Kennedy and Mark Bittman

I ended up merging the two recipes because I started with Kennedy's, and I wasn't happy with it, so I switched. These beans have all sorts of uses, and were really the way I ate beans growing up, rather than still whole in broth like Mrs. Kennedy claims is common in Mexico. Probably a regional thing.

6 tablespoons of pork lard (I still don't have lard, I used a mixture of vegetable shortening and bacon fat, but if you have pork lard, use it)
2 tablespoons finely chopped white onion
2 cups cooked beans (either previous recipe #3 or canned), in their broth (I didn't have enough broth, so I added water to make up the difference)
1 teaspoon ground cumin, or to taste
cayenne pepper, to taste
salt, to taste

In a heavy skillet, heat the fat and sweat the onion without browning, until soft. Add a small amount of th beans and their broth, and mash well as you cook them over highish heat. Matthew and I shared this job, each of us with a fork, and it went fairly quickly. Keep adding beans and broth and mashing until you run out. Add cumins and cayenne and mix in well. Add water if too dry or cook until desired consistency. (There is really no exact recipe here, you just have to keep cooking them until the beans are how you like them. I like mine moist.)

Possible additions: bacon, chorizo, cheese, chili of various sorts, sour cream or Mexican crema. I'm probably going to add creme fraiche at some point, just to try it.

Recipe #6 Molletes

My great grandmother used to make me these bean sandwiches for breakfast when I was little. I never could talk my mom into making them for me, so I haven't had them in years, but they are as good as I remember. Matthew liked them too :).

Note: do not skip the butter, it really adds a lot of flavor to this sandwich that might otherwise be pretty dry.

Mexican Bolillos, if possible, we used hamburger buns. A better replacement would be French bread
melted butter
3/4 cup of refried beans
Salsa (I used the leftover sauce from the enchiladas in recipe #2)
Cheese (white cheddar, cojita, whatever white cheese is on hand, but under no circumstances use yellow cheese)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread melted butter on bread. Place in oven on cookie sheet for 10 minutes. The bread should be crispy in the center, but try to avoid browning it. Mix cheese into the beans. Quantity here is a matter of taste, but I really like mine to be super cheesy. Almost like a grilled cheese sandwich with beans. Spread beans on both slices of bread, and place back in the oven to heat the beans and melt the cheese. Put sandwich together. Add salsa as desired.

No pictures this time. The batteries died during the last photo shoot, but I have batteries now, so tomorrow's dish will be well photographed. I will be making this excellent sounding dish from Serious Eats. Unless I'm too tired from work tomorrow, in which case, it'll happen sometime this week.

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