March is over, and I think we have survived another winter in Calgary, but just to be sure we didn’t catch any more random April snow storms, we skipped town and headed south to Texas for a few weeks. As I sit here writing this I am in my mom’s kitchen. The kitchen I grew up in, and most likely the place where I cooked my first meal.
I love being home, especially in spring. It is the time of year in Texas where the weather is perfect. Just before the months where the heat is unbearable, but it is still warm enough to go barefoot and dressed in minimal clothing. The blue bonnets are blooming, and every thing is green and lush. The best part of being here is getting to see my daughter, Minda, playing outside in the dirt, band aids on each knee covering the places where she has fallen and skinned them. It reminds me of my own childhood, and makes me worry that she is missing out on something really important because of where we live.
From here we are going to Houston for a couple of weeks where we will be staying in a hotel, which means no kitchen, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be preparing some of our meals myself. It just means I have to be a little more creative, and that our diet will be consisting of lots of raw foods.
Before we left Calgary, I did come up with a new recipe for borracho beans. Borracho can be translated as drunk, and these beans have been having a lot of fun thanks to the bottle of Negro Modelo that they had while cooking away. What they don’t have that is typical of borracho beans is bacon. I tried to keep the integrity of the traditional smoky flavor though by adding some chipotle peppers in adobo. These beans make a great side for sweet potato tacos or just eat them on their own with some corn chips or fresh corn tortillas.
2 cups dried pinto beans, soaked overnight
1 medium red onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalepeno, finely chopped
1 dried bay leaf
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
1- 12oz bottle Negra Modelo or other dark Mexican beer
3 roma tomatoes, diced
3 chipotle chilis in adobo, finely chopped, plus 2 tablespoons adobo sauce
1 handful fresh citantro, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
Drain and rinse soaked beans and place in a large stock pot along with the onion, garlic, jalepeno, bay leaf and spices. Cover the beans with 5 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.
Pour in the beer, tomatoes, and chipotle peppers, return to a simmer for 45 more minutes. Remove from heat, add cilantro and salt to taste. Serve hot on their own, as a side to any Mexican dish, or with fresh homemade corn tortillas.
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