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Columns September 11, 2018  RSS feed

Cooking Country


Sherry Matney Sherry Matney Last week we cooked a big pot of beans and enjoyed them with a thick slice of onion and cornbread, but now we have lots of beans left and no way are we going to throw those precious legumes in the trash. If you are really country, like me, you will probably want, at least one meal, with fried potatoes. These are not French fries, but really fried potatoes. If you must peel the potato, do so, but if you do not mind the peel, cut them however you like. You can cut them across, and make medallions, or you can cut them long, or you can cube them. It really doesn’t matter but I like mine cubed. Then put some oil, or bacon grease, in a black skillet and heat until it sizzles. Add the cut potatoes, only turning when the bottom layer gets brown. Cook for about 30 minutes or until all the potatoes are soft. Serve these with the cornbread, beans and onions you made yesterday. My husband likes ketchup on his, but not me. Be sure to have plenty of time to rest after the meal because it is very filling and you need time to let it all digest.

But you still have beans left and probably your family may not want another meal of pinto beans. So take the beans and freeze them in two-cup containers. By now you probably have 4 cups left. When you want them, take out of the freezer and thaw. Throw together one of the recipes below and you will be a hero or heroine again.

Refried Beans

3 cups cooked pinto
beans
2 tbsp. olive oil
½ onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. chili powder
½ cup water
2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro Salt to taste

Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add chopped onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, chili powder and sauté for a couple minutes. Add beans, and if they are dry add water as needed. Stir and mash the beans so they are mushy. Continue to mash beans until the consistency is as smooth as you prefer. Add more water as often as needed to make the beans how you like them. Add salt and stir in cilantro at the end of cooking.

You can eat these with chips, like bean dip, or spread them on a soft tortilla, add lettuce, tomato and cheese, for a bean taco. Don’t forget the jalapeno!!

Another way to use the refried beans is to make a quesadilla.

Cheesy Bean Quesadilla

Refried beans, as much as
needed
Large flour tortillas
Oil or butter
Shredded cheddar cheese
Chopped red or green onions Toppings: sour cream, jalapeno slices or salsa

Spread refried beans over one tortilla. Sprinkle generously with cheese and chopped onions. Top with another tortilla. Heat a small amount of oil or butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Place quesadilla in skillet and cook until cheese has melted and underside of tortilla is browned. Carefully flip quesadilla, and cook until both sides are browned. Cut quesadilla into wedges and serve with preferred toppings.

Don’t be afraid to make red beans and rice with these pinto beans. Sure the traditional dish is with kidney beans, but these basic beans have been cooked with only pork as seasoning. You can add whatever you like to change up the taste.

Beans and Rice

2 cups cooked pinto
beans
1 tbsp. garlic powder
2 tbsp. onion powder
1 tsp. dried thyme
½ cup thinly sliced green
onion
2 cups cooked white or
brown rice

Combine beans seasonings and onion in a saucepan. Add water as needed to make beans soupy. Cook for about 20 minutes adding salt to taste, but be careful because you salted the beans with you first cooked them. Put ½ cup cooked rice in a bowl then pour bean mixture over rice. If you want sausage with this dish, slice it thin and throw it in while you are heating the beans.


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