Category Archives: Beans

Quick Cuban Style Black Beans~ Tasting Latin American

A few years ago I began teaching Mexican cooking classes at the local kitchen store. I also became very interested in learning some of the most popular dishes of Latin America. Besides Mexican food, Puerto Rican and Cuban food are also some of my favorites. The recipes are similar in ingredients when it comes to all three cuisines, with a few differences. Unlike many Mexican dishes, Cuban and Puerto Rican recipes will almost never include chile peppers in their ingredients.  For a while, I just could not get passed the idea of cooking without any chile peppers, lol! But, for a few years now, I often prepare meals and donate them to friends in need or groups of volunteers that help with local community projects.  And for those recipes, I have learned to scale way back on the chile peppers. It’s just my way of trying to help when I can and volunteer my time. As many of you know, I have been blessed with my dream job of working from home, cooking  and developing recipes  I love for the Hispanic Kitchen site.  It has been the most rewarding experience and continues to be a great blessing in my life. It’s the Hispanic Kitchen that inspired me to step outside my Mexican comfort zone and try my hand at a few popular Cuban dishes.  My friend Norma Torres, who is an awesome chef, blogger and recipe developer for Hispanic Kitchen as well prepares these most delicious Puerto Rican and Cuban recipes.

Quick Cuban Style Black Beans
Quick Cuban Style Black Beans

The Hispanic Kitchen site literally have thousands of delicious recipes posted from all over Latin America, Spain and the Caribbean.  Foods from Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela and Colombia are all equally delicious and ere definitely on my “To Try” list! For today’s post I am starting out with a quick and simple recipe for black beans. I prepared my first recipe for Ropa Vieja,(you can find recipe on my blog) which is a popular Cuban beef dish and is typically served with black beans and rice. And after spending all that time preparing the Ropa Vieja, I wanted a quick, but flavorful pot of black beans to serve with dinner that night.

Quick Cuban Style Black Beans
Quick Cuban Style Black Beans

Pulling ingredients I had available in my pantry and refrigerator, the Goya Jamon seasoning gives the beans a subtle flavor of smokiness. And the Knorr Sazon with garlic, onion, cilantro and achiote is great for any rice, bean or meat dishes. I keep them in my pantry at all times along with my regular spices. A quick and fresh version of sofrito is as easy as tomato, bell pepper, cilantro, garlic and onion. Freshly made is always the better option.

Quick Cuban Style Black Beans

Ingredients

2 roma tomatoes, roughly chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, roughly chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped plus more for garnish
1/2 jalapeño, seeded. Here I go with the chile pepper!
1/4 cup water
Olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup white or spanish onion, diced
15 ounce can black beans in it’s broth
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 Goya Jamon season packet
1 Knorr Sazon with achiote, garlic, onion and cilantro season packet
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
Salt to taste

*This recipe will have more broth than usual

Directions

1. In the blender, combine the tomatoes, bell pepper, cilantro, jalapeño (if using), 2 tablespoons olive oil half of garlic and half of onion. Pulse to blend until fairly smooth. I prefer to not add salt at this time since the season packets both contain some salt.

2. In a medium pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat. Add the remaining garlic and onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add the sofrito tomato mixture from the blender to the pot and cook for another 5 minutes.

3. Add all of the remaining ingredients to the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and continue cooking for 10 minutes. Taste for salt, cumin and pepper and season to taste. Remove from heat, garnish with some fresh cilantro and ladle beans with broth over rice. Yields 4 servings.

Next time, I will try the low and slow version for this recipe using a smoky ham hock and dried black beans.
Next time, I will try the low and slow version for this recipe using a smoky ham hock and dried black beans.
Tex Mex meets Cuban! How about some Ropa Vieja Nachos with smoky black beans, tender flank steak, jalapeños and your favorite melting cheese.
Tex Mex meets Cuban! How about some Ropa Vieja Nachos with smoky black beans, tender flank steak, jalapeños and your favorite melting cheese.

You can find the recipe for Ropa Vieja and Homemade Tortilla Chips-Totopos right here on my blog site. Just type it into the search bar or  search under catergories.

Using homemade chips or a good quality store bought chip, this is a tasty twist on traditional Tex Mex Nachos.
Using homemade chips or a good quality store bought chip, this is a tasty twist on traditional Tex Mex Nachos.

Black Beans Prepared In The  Pressure. Thanks to one of my favorite Chef’s Tyler Florence, I finally decided to take the plunge and cook a batch of black beans in my pressure cooker. It seemed simple enough. With a few “La Piña” touches added to the recipe I was on my way!

My first time cooking black beans in the pressure cooker. I will never cook them any other way!
My first time cooking black beans in the pressure cooker. I will never cook them any other way!

Ingredients

Olive oil
1/2 cup diced white onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 serrano pepper, minced
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 pound black beans, rinsed
1 packet Goya Jamon seasoning
1/3 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 cups water

*5 quart pressure cooker

I used a 5 quart pressure cooker for 1 pound of black beans
I used a 5 quart pressure cooker for 1 pound of black beans

1. Add 2 tablespoons oil to pressure cooker pot. Heat to medium, add onions, garlic, serrano, bay leaves and cumin seeds. Saute for 4 to 6 minutes.

2. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.  Then right before you cook, add 2 more tablespoons of oil to the beans. The oil prevents the beans from foaming up and clogging the valve. Very important that you don’t skip that step. Follow manufacter’s directions for pressure cooker. Lock lid, heat to medium/high until safety valve seals and locks. When the pressure valve begins to spin, turn heat to low and set your timer for 35 minutes.  after about 20 minutes, I turned the heat up slightly to finish cooking. Gently remove from heat. Once lock and seals opens and releases, them remove the lid.

Just took the lid off and all that steamy goodness aroma...aaaaahhh!
Just took the lid off and all that steamy goodness aroma…aaaaahhh!
All the times I have cooked black beans, they have never, ever come out this beautiful!
All the times I have cooked black beans, they have never, ever come out this beautiful!

Frijoles~ Beans~Legume – In My Kitchen

One of my jobs as a kid, was to help my Mom in the kitchen. The jobs were pretty easy, chopping mostly. My favorite job was when I was asked to help clean the dried pinto beans. Many times purchased in bulk, 5 pounds at a time, they contains broken beans and small stones. I remember sitting across the kitchen table from my Mom and we would spread the beans out onto the table in between us. In no time those beans we free and clear of all stones and broken beans. I could still hear the sound of the beans as we pushed them into that large, empty stainless steel pot. This one pot of beans would take us through many meals. On this blog post, I share with you a few of my favorite recipes prepared with homemade  beans.    

 

Frijoles de Olla

 

Frijoles de Olla
Frijoles de Olla



3 cups of dry pinto beans
1 medium white onion, quartered
1 whole bulb garlic
2 bay leaves
1 serrano or jalapeño
2 chile de arbol
salt to taste

1. Soak the beans overnight.
2. Drain and rinse the next day.
3. Cover with water, 3 inches above beans.
4. Add aromatics
5. Bring to a simmer.Partially covered, keep at a simmer for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until beans become tender. You will have to add hot water twice so the water level stays up. Add salt to taste once beans are tender. Remove aromatics. Yields about 8 cups.

Tips~ Remove aromatics and cool completely before storing in an airtight container. They will keep in the refrigerator for a week or divide into 2 cup portions with enough broth to cover and freeze in airtight containers or quart size freezer bags.

My favorite way to enjoy Frijoles de Olla is in their own broth with diced onion, chile, cilantro and lemon
My favorite way to enjoy Frijoles de Olla is in their own broth with diced onion, chile, cilantro and lemon

 

Frijoles con Chorizo

Frijoles con Chorizo
Frijoles con Chorizo

 

1 tablespoon of pork manteca or oil of your choice
1 cup uncooked mexican chorizo (I used homemade chorizo which has less fat, so I added some for cooking). Search under chorizo in categories for homemade chorizo recipes
1/3 cup white onion, diced
1 serrano, minced
3 cups whole pinto beans in their broth (about 1 cup)
Pinch of cumin, optional

*Crumbled Queso Fresco for garnish

1. In a large skillet, heat manteca to medium heat. Add the chorizo and cook for 6 to 8 minutes.

2, Add the onions and chile and cook for another 4 minutes. Add the beans and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer.

3. After they simmer for about 5 minutes, mash with a potato masher until desired consistency. If the beans become too dry, add a little more broth or water. Bring on the homemade flour tortillas and avocado! Yields 6 servings.

Tips~ For a smoother bean, you could blend the beans in their brother on high before adding them to the cooked chorizo/onion mixture.

Frijoles con Chorizo

My favorite meal as a kid and still my favorite meal as an adult.
My favorite meal as a kid and still my favorite meal as an adult.

 

Frijoles Borrachos, Charros, A la Charra (aka Drunken Beans) …..Just serve me a bowl already! LOL!

Frijoles Borrachos, Charros, A la Charra
Frijoles Borrachos, Charros, A la Charra

4 cups cooked pinto beans 
1 cup broth from beans
7 strips of bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 serrano chile, sliced into thick rings or minced
1 small white onion, diced
Handful of chopped cilantro
12 oz of a light beer
salt and pepper
Oil, manteca, canola or olive oil

Directions:


1. In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon of oil of your choice. Add the bacon and cook until browned. Add the onions, chile serrano and cilantro, stir well to combine.

2. Add the beans, liquid from the beans and the beer. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer. Season with salt and  pepper to taste, stir, cover and cook for a good 20 to 25 minutes. Taste for salt.

Tips~ If you wanted to prepare these without beer, I like to replace the beer with low sodium chicken or beef broth. Garnish with lime wedges, cilantro, crema (Mexican cream) and warm tortillas or tostadas. These beans were always made with carne asada…

Beer, going in!!
Beer, going in!!

 

Kicked Up Smoked Ham and Beans

 

Kicked Up Smoked Ham and Beans
Kicked Up Smoked Ham and Beans


2 cups dried pinto beans(soaked overnight), washed and drained
1 cup diced onion
2 serranos, minced
3 chile de arbol
4 cloves garlic, smashed
Smoked ham bone
2 cups diced smoked ham
3 roma tomatoes, diced
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Add the first 6 ingredients to a large dutch oven pot and cover with water 3 to 4 inches above the beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and continue cooking for 2 hours or until beans become tender.

2. Once beans are tender, add all the remaining ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper and cook for another 25 minutes. Yields up to 8 servings.

 

 Frijoles Refritos con Chile Colorado

Frijoles Refritos con Chile Colorado
Frijoles Refritos con Chile Colorado


3 cups pinto beans (cooked) with their broth
5 to 6 chile ancho, stems and seeds removed
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 teaspoon  cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
Salt to taste
1 cup chicken broth or more bean broth
2 tablespoons pork manteca (lard) or oil of your choice 


1. Transfer the chile ancho to a glass bowl. Cover with water and cook in the microwave for 7 to 9 minutes, turning halfway through cooking time. Remove from microwave and let cool slightly.

2. While the chiles are cooling, in a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoon of manteca (lard) or oil to medium heat. Add the beans and bring to a simmer. Drain the chile anchos and transfer to the blender. Add the cumin, oregano, garlic, salt to taste, and ½ cup water or chicken broth. Blend on high until smooth, set aside.

3. Add the chile ancho sauce to the beans, stir well to combine. When it comes to a boil, add the other ½ cup or more of chicken  or bean broth and reduce heat to a low simmer, stirring often. Taste for salt and while the beans are simmering, mash with a potato masher until desired texture. Cook until liquid is reduced by half.

Frijoles con Chile Colorado

 

 

Mexican Style Molletes ~ Bacon, Black Beans and Chihuahua Cheese

Molletes, for me are one of those simple, but so delicious, Mexican recipes that can be prepared any time of the day. It’s a bolillo style roll, sliced in half lengthwise, slathered with refried beans, topped with Chihuahua cheese and cooked under the broiler. It’s that simple!  I was so excited to find a big bag of shredded Chihuahua cheese at the local market a couple of weeks ago, I knew I had to prepare some molletes. Molletes are kind of like Mexico’s version of French bread pizza. The toppings are usually kept simple with just beans, cheese, ham and a fresh garnish of pico de gallo. For my recipe, I could not pass up a couple of slices of thick cut bacon. And instead of chopping up the pico de gallo, I decided to just slice all my fresh ingredients separately and garnish to taste. My would would always have these same garnishes anytime she would prepare tortas and well, this is kind of like an open faced torta with melted cheese, the best!!  I remember as a kid also enjoying a sweet version of a Mollete. It was the bolillo with a thick layer of butter and then sprinkled with sugar. A minute under the broiler and all that sugar caramelizes, wow! I think I may need to prepare some of those soon. I love how one found ingredient inspires a tasty dish and brings back a flood of wonderful family memories.  

Molletes topped with black beans, thick cut bacon and Chihuahua cheese.
Molletes topped with black beans, thick cut bacon and Chihuahua cheese.



Ingredients 
* I prefer to make my own version of refried beans than using store bought
1 1/2 cups black or pinto beans, cooked
1 roma tomato, quartered
1 quarter small white onion
1 serrano, chopped
Salt to taste
1 1/2 cups black or pinto beans
Oil of your choice (I used 1 tablespoon of pork lard)
1 cup homemade salsa
8 strips cooked , crispy bacon
1 cup Chihuahua cheese, shredded
2 Mexican bolillo rolls or Portuguese style rolls

Was excited to find shredded Chihuahua cheese at my local market.
Was excited to find shredded Chihuahua cheese at my local market.

 

Mollete with thick cut crispy bacon and some cheese, lol! This was my husbands, emphasis on the bacon!
Mollete with thick cut crispy bacon and some cheese, lol! This was my husbands, emphasis on the bacon!

For Garnish
1 avocado, sliced
2 roma tomatoes, sliced
white onion, thinly sliced
Jalapeño or serrano pepper, thinly sliced
Cilantro, chopped

Directions 

1. Preheat 1 tablespoon of oil (your choice) to medium heat in medium skillet. In the blender, combine the tomato, onion, serrano and pinch of salt. Blend until smooth. Add to skillet along with beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and mash with a potato masher until desired consistency. Remove from heat.

2. Preheat broiler on high for a few minutes. Split the rolls in half, lengthwise. Line a baking sheet with foil paper and spread out the rolls cut side up. Spread each roll with beans, salsa, 2 strips of bacon and Chihuahua cheese.

3. Cook under the broiler until cheese is nice and bubbly with a few brown spots. Remove from oven and garnish with avocado, tomato, onion, chile slices and cilantro. Yields 4 servings.

Mexican Style Molletes with black beans, thick cut bacon and Chihuahua cheese
Mexican Style Molletes with black beans, thick cut bacon and Chihuahua cheese