Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Frijoles con Chile Guajillo (Pinto Beans with dried Guajillo peppers)

Beans and other type of legumes are a staple in my house along with rice (a day doesn't go by that I haven't eaten some type of bean dish and rice and I am damn proud of it because they are so healthy and good for you! Yup yup ;)

All three of my culinary backgrounds use beans in some way (from my Mexican side the humble pot of simple pot of boiled pinto beans, my Spanish and Cuban side the rich varied bean stews made with meats, sausages, and vegetables, or the Cuban staple of rice and black beans so yeah can't really avoid them hehe.

Anyways in Mexican Cuisine one of the staples is boiled pinto beans (usually just boiled with a few pieces of garlic, onion then salt to taste) however my friend Simon who's family is originally from Guadalajara, Mexico prepares the beans by boiling them with dried Guajillo peppers and a whole head of garlic. The guajillo peppers gives them a nice smokey earthy taste, and the whole head of garlic well the delicious flavor of garlic most are familiar with :) Thank Simon and his sister Liz for teaching me yet another way of enjoying beans :D

-1 lbs. dried pinto beans, or peruano beans, or flor de mayo beans
-4 dried chile guajillos (stem removed and seeds shaken out) or you can substitute with dried "Chile Nuevo Mexico" or "Chile California"
-1 whole head garlic
-salt to taste (I use about 1 1/2 teaspoons or more to taste)

(1) Put all ingredients EXCEPT the salt in pot (do not put the salt until the beans are tender because they will never be as tender as they should), cover with enough water to submerge them 2-3 inches in water.

 (2) Bring beans to a boil using high heat, then when they come to a rolling boil, cover and turn heat down to medium low. When beans are tender and salt to taste allow to boil an additional 5-10 minutes. Then turn off heat & discard/ throw away the chilies and onion (their flavor has already infused into the beans)
(1) Don't get any bright ideas and puree the garlic after boiled and strain it into teh stock, the garlic boiled whole gives a nice mild taste, but if pureed and added back HELL NO! it'll be tooooo overpowering.

(2) My mother likes to throw away the garlic after it's boiled in there and the beans are done, but she blends the dried peppers and strains them back into the beans, it's her twist on my friends recipe and I love the taste it get's that way :)