¡Lime-a Beans!

jalapeno-lime refried beans

holy frijoles

No no, I don’t mean lima beans. Although I have nothing against those. I’m talking lime. And also jalapeño. Which is such a tasty combination, made even tastier mashed with cannellini beans.

Storytime: Refried beans used to gross me out as a kid. I never understood how or why they were fried, and then fried again. Who would do such a thing? They also kinda looked like dog food to me. Or what I perceived as dog food because we didn’t have a dog. But then one time, somewhere, I actually tasted them. Mmm, creamy and spicy. And I loved them. Now, a Mexican dish doesn’t seem complete without a side of refried beans. Later on I did some research into the name, and found out that it’s a mistranslation. It’s not re-fried. It’s actually closer to well-fried. So there you go. And here’s an easy recipe for jalapeño-lime well-fried beans.

Jalepeño-Lime Refried Beans
½ small yellow onion, decided
1 jalapeño, finely diced
1 teaspoon of minced garlic
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 15.5oz can of cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
1 tablespoon of butter
1 tablespoon of lime juice, or more depending on taste
Jalapeño hot sauce
Vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
A few sprigs of cilantro, for garnish

In a cast iron skillet, heat a few tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the jalepeño, garlic and cumin, and cook 1 minute until fragrant. Add the beans, 4 tablespoons of water and season with salt and pepper. Cook on low until beans are soft and liquid has mostly been absorbed, about 10 minutes. Off the heat, add the butter and mash the beans until they’re the consistency you prefer. Stir in the lime juice and hot sauce to taste. Garnish with cilantro, and then eat.


Spill the Beans

baked beans

wicked good beans

Quick: what’s a tasty backyard barbecue side dish that isn’t macaroni, pasta or potato salad?

If you said corn on the cob or cole slaw you’re right – and wrong. What about baked beans, people?? I think everyone always forgets about those. Although maybe not, judging by the size of the baked beans section in the grocery store. Sure, you can go ahead and pick up a can of those “famous family recipe” beans and bring them to your next BBQ. People will commend you for using the can opener and heating something up on the stove.

But if you really want to impress people, here’s a little secret: bring a crock of homemade baked beans. It’s just as easy, you still get to practice your can opening skills, and people will be genuinely delighted. The best part is that you get to make your own glorious sauce to cook them in, which here is a combination of ketchup, molasses (for sweetness), Dijon mustard (for tang) and canned chipotles (for heat). This recipe also uses cannellini beans, which are nice hearty beans they won’t turn into mush while baking.

Easy Baked Beans
5 15.5 oz cans of cannellini beans, rinsed & drained
1 small onion, diced
1 cup of ketchup
1 cup of molasses
½ cup of Dijon mustard
1 to 2 canned chipotles in adobo sauce plus some sauce
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

Heat your oven to 350º.

In a Dutch oven, heat some a tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft and slightly translucent. Leave in the pot and set aside.

In a blender, combine the ketchup, molasses, mustard, chipotles, 2 tablespoons of the adobo sauce and the apple cider vinegar. Blend until combined. Adjust flavors according to taste.

Add the beans and the ketchup mixture to the Dutch oven. Stir to combine and season to taste with salt and pepper. Bake uncovered for 30 to 35 minutes until heated throughout and the sides bubble. Serve hot.