I made the bean soup/stew today to go with the not enough leftover, we had from the last night takeout.I am calling it humble beans..well because..it is humble..it is satisfying,rich in protein, very very affordable and yes very very good for you.I grew up on Lentils not on beans but i adapted easily.Lentils and Beans are both legumes.
Also the way the beans are prepared and the form they are eaten was new to me.Cooking beans with ham-hock,bacon,lard is very basic here.It imparts deep and smokey flavor to the beans,i have heard. So these beans are not so vegetarian after all and one of the reason why I can’t eat them in restaurents.I became acquainted with the popular terms such as ‘Barracho’,”Charro’,Ranchero’,’Refried’.They all indicates how the beans are prepared,texture wise.The difference between the first two and last one is that beans are mashed fine after it is cooked for ‘Refried’ beans.Good for rolling it in Tortilla(Bean Taco) or serving it on the top of Crunchy Tortilla(Chalupa) or used as dip for chips.Tonight meal will fall into ‘Barracho’ category.This is how I prepared it .
- You can absolutely use the canned beans.No need to cook the beans from scratch.I have used canned beans many times and it is my pantry staple.
- You can use the same method with other kind of beans you like.
- Use the seasoning of your choice.
- I use freshly chopped tomatoes if I have them.Sometimes I also add tomatillos if I want little tartness.
- I like to add extra garlic,Turmeric and Bay leaf because it is good for you,I like the depth they add to the dish and I always have them stocked for my Indian pantry.
- Beans are some time cooked by adding ‘beer’ and in that case they are ‘drunken’ beans or ‘Barracho’ Frijolo.Without beer it is ‘Charro’ Frijolo(Spanish for ‘Beans’ is ‘Frijoles’, (Frijoles – >Fre – ho – les. “j” has ‘ha’ sound in spanish).
- ‘Pinto’ as these most popular beans are named,comes from the spanish word for ‘painted’.As these beans looks like different shades of brown splattered on them.