Tex-Mex Sidetex_pinto

Texas Pinto Beans
(Serves 8-10)

Earthy little pinto beans get a tastey kick from chipolte peppers. Com'n get it!

1 lb. dried pinto beans
6 C water
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. sage
2 T oil
1 medium onion (diced)
1 large green pepper (diced)
3 large cloves garlic (minced or crushed)
1 tsp. cumin
1 chipotle from a can (chopped; see sidebar, peppers)
1 T chipotle sauce from the same can

Place dried beans into a large pot with 6 C water, bay leaf and sage. Use Quick-Soak method * to release flavors from sage and bay leaf. Do not drain beans; leave them in their soaking liquid.

In a skillet, sauté onion and green pepper in oil till soft. Add garlic and cook 3 more minutes. Add this mixture, along with remaining ingredients, to beans in pot.

Simmer on low, covered, for 2-3 hours—adding more water if necessary to keep beans submerged. Check on beans after 2 hours to make sure they don't overcook. Beans are done when soft and tender but not not mushy.

Serve with Texas-Syle Ribs and Buttermilk Cornbread (see Southern recipes).

* Quick Soak Method: add the beans to 6 quarts of water, bring to a boil. Once the beans boil for one minute, remove them from the heat, cover and let them stand for an hour. Otherwise, don't heat them; let them soak in cold water overnight—that's the "Long Soak Method."

| See more Tex-Mex recipes |

Tips & Glossary

Plenty of heat! For many that’s the pleasure of Tex-Mex food. But if you’re sensitive to throat-burning, eye-popping peppers, then turn the heat down—just reduce the peppers.

Chili Powder: dried ground chili peppers typically mixed with cumin, garlic powder, and oregano. You can make your own blend, adding cinnamon, cloves, coriander, paprika, and nutmeg. Briefly heat dried peppers in a skillet to release flavors, then grind them into powder.

Chorizo: a spicey pork sausage. OurTex-Mex recipes use the Mexican version—fresh pork which is cooked before eating. Spanish Chorizo is cured, ready to eat like pepperoni. If unavailable use a hot Italian sausage.

Chili Pepper: any small hot pepper, as opposed to larger, milder bell peppers; includes, cayenne (red), chipotle (smoke-dried jalapeños), habanero, jalapeño, paprika, poblano, serrano, and tabasco.

Chimichanga: a deep fried tortilla, filled with rice, beans, cheese, or meat, and folded into a rectangular packet. It's thought to have originated in Arizona.

Coriander: also known as cilantro and Mexican or Chinese parsley. Both fresh leaves and dried ground seeds are used in Mexican, Mid-East, Asian, and Indian cuisines.

Cumin: an aromatic kin to the parsley and carrot plant; an important ingredient in chili powder. Used especially in Indian curries, but also in Mexican, Thai and Asian dishes. It has an earthy, peppery flavor.

Enchilada: made using corn tortillas, dipped in a sauce, filled and rolled up. They are placed in a casserole dish, topped with sauce and cheese, then baked.

Quesadilla: (kay-sa-dee-ya), literally, “little cheese thing.” In Tex-Mex cooking it has come to mean a sort of grilled cheese sandwich, using two tortillas filled primarily with cheese, grilled in a skillet or griddle, then cut into wedges.


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