Sunday, May 9, 2010

Quick Cowboy Beans

I bought some chicken bratwurst from Pecatonica Valley Farm at the farmer's market yesterday and to me the natural side for bratwurst is baked beans. I could have just bought a can of Bush's Baked Beans or made these baked beans again, but I thought this was an excellent opportunity to try something a little different.

I used two pieces country bacon, also from Pecatonica Valley Farm, instead of regular bacon because that's what I had on hand and I wanted to try it out. It's not the same as regular bacon, but still worked beautifully in this recipe. I also didn't have pickled jalapenos, so I used sliced, jarred jalapenos instead.

Quick Cowboy Beans (Frijoles Charros Rapidos)
from Mexican Everyday

4 thick slices bacon, cut into small pieces
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped or crushed through a garlic press
Half of a 15-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice (preferably fire-roasted)
3.5 c. home-cooked pinto beans with enough cooking liquid to cover OR two 15-ounce cans pinto beans
1 or 2 canned pickled jalapenos-or more if you like spicy beans
1/2 c. chopped cilantro

1. In a large (4-quart) saucepan, cook the bacon over medium heat, stirring regularly, until crisp, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for a minute, then add the tomatoes with their juice. Cook, stirring regularly, for 3 to 4 minutes to blend the flavors. Add the beans, with their liquid, and simmer over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes.

2. While the beans are simmering, stems the chiles, cut in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Chop into small pieces and add to the beans.

3. Taste and season with salt if necessary-if the beans you used were already seasoned you probably won't need any more salt. Ladle into small bowls, sprinkle with the cilantro and serve.

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