Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mayocoba Beans with Tomato and Onion

This week's recipe isn't much of a recipe. It's more of a how to cook beans and turn it into a lazy weeknight dinner post.

First, you start with some dried beans. In this case Mayocoba. You could use Pinto, but I like the buttery mild taste of the Mayocoba over Pinto.

Next, clean the beans by picking out any tiny rocks that can sometimes be found in the bag. Once you've picked through the beans you'll want to cover them with 3 inches of water and soak them 8 hours or overnight. Soaking beans will help them cook faster.

After you are done soaking the beans, drain the water and give them a good rinse. Place the beans in a pot with fresh water and bring to a boil. Once the beans have started boiling you'll want to reduce the heat, add salt to taste and simmer until the beans are tender. Cooking times can vary anywhere from 1 to 3 hours.

Note: when salting beans I tend to make the water a bit salty since the beans take a while to absorb the flavor.

In order to turn a simple pot of beans into a weeknight dinner you can do the following:

Saute some onion in a bit of oil (preferably a neutral oil like canola or vegetable oil). You'll want to cook the onion until soft and translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes. Once the onion has softened a bit, add an equal amount of chopped tomato and a pinch of salt. Let the tomato and onion mixture cook for another 2 minutes then remove from the heat. Next, chop up some fresh cilantro.

Take some of the tomato and onion mixture and place it in the bottom of a bowl, then pour some of your freshly cooked beans on top and garnish with fresh cilantro.

The heat from the beans will wilt the cilantro a bit and mix with the flavors of the sauteed tomato and onion beautifully.

There you have it a simple, healthy and delicious weeknight supper!

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