Borracho Beans – Drunken Beans

I promise that these are delicious and well worth the wait. The photos I took really do not do them justice. I recommend using a good Mexican style beer. These also take a long time to make but easily is enough for 3 dinners. I usually vacuum seal them and then freeze them to use later.

1 pound dried pinto beans, soak for at least 12 hours in water (overnight)

6 slices of bacon, sliced into small pieces

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2-3/4 cup rough chopped tomatoes – roma or cherry

2 medium onions, chopped

12 ounces beer

1/2 cup fresh cilantro

2 jalapenos, remove seeds and chop

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon mexican oregano

salt and pepper

Remove any floating or abnormal beans after soaking.

Place the beans in a large heavy bottom pot. Cover them with water by 2-3 inches. Bring this to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Allow these to cook for 1.5 hours.

In a separate skillet, fry the bacon until done. Remove the bacon and drain on paper towels. Leave the grease in the skillet. Add the vegetables (garlic, tomatoes, onion, peppers). Cook for 10 minutes or until done. Return the bacon to the skillet. Add the can of beer. Simmer 5 minutes. Add the cilantro, cumin, and oregano.

Pour the bacon mixture into the beans. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Simmer for another 30-60 minutes. Covered. Remove and stop cooking when the beans are the texture you enjoy. Serve hot.

Restaurant style red salsa

For this salsa, the spice level will really depend on the jalapeno that you purchase and also if you use the mild or regular Rotel. It is best if it sits for at least 8-12 hours before eating it.

1 can Rotel diced tomatoes, undrained

5-6 small Roma tomatoes

1/4 of a medium yellow onion

1 jalapeno seeded and rough chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

1/2 teaspoon chili powder – (guajillo)

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

salt and pepper to taste

Add all the ingredients into a food processor. Blend to the desired consistency. Make sure to refrigerate the mixture for at least 8-12 hours before eating. Will keep for up to 1 week.

3 pepper casserole – stuffed peppers

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This meal cooks in about 45 minutes. It is a one pan meal so it does not require much clean up. It tastes best if made the morning before eating or even the day before. It warms really well in the oven.

 

1 pound lean ground beef

1/2 large yellow onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 large green bell pepper, diced

2 large sweet banana peppers, sliced into rings

1 large jalapeno pepper, seeds removed and diced

1 cup jasmine rice, uncooked

1 tablespoon paprika

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 1/2 cups beef broth OR 1 1/2 cups water with 2 teaspoons bouillon

1 8 oz can tomato sauce

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes

 

In a large skillet, saute the ground beef until fully cooked. Break it into small pieces as it cooks. Add the garlic and onion. Saute another 3-5 minutes. Add the peppers, cook another 3-5 minutes.

 

Add the uncooked rice. Saute another 5 minutes stirring often. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef broth, paprika, thyme, black pepper, and Worcestershire. Bring to a boil. Stir. Cover with a lid. Reduce the heat to low or just above (maintain a slow simmer). Simmer for 25-30 minutes. Do not lift lid and stir while cooking unless it appears that the water has all disappeared.

 

After 25 minutes, lift lid and fluff. Test the rice to make sure it is tender. If it is not, cook another 3-5 minutes and add water if needed. When finished, remove the lid and allow it to sit without stirring much for 5-10 minutes. Stirring too much when just cooked with cause the rice to become mushy.

Place the mixture in a prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese (optional). At this point, either move to the oven or refrigerate.

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Bake in a 350 degree oven covered for 30 minutes.

 

 

Jalapeño popper potatoes

Jalapenos are a little tricky. Some are super spicy and some are mild/sweet. The ones I used for this were definitely mild. Cooking them prior will help decrease their heat. If I felt that my peppers were really spicy I would definitely not use 6. Also please keep in mind that the cream cheese definitely decreases the spice level significantly.
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3 russet potatoes, peeled and diced

6 slices of bacon

1 cup yellow onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

4-6 jalapeños, seeded and diced – see above notes

4 ounces cream cheese

1 cup shredded colby jack cheese

1 cup half and half or milk

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup Panko bread crumbs

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Dice the bacon into very small pieces.  In a saucepan, cook the bacon until done. Remove the bacon from the pan. Using 1-2 tablespoons of the bacon grease, cook the onion, garlic and jalapeño about 5 minutes of until tender.

Add the cream cheese, bacon, and milk/half and half. Stir constantly until the cream cheese melts. Add the salt and Colby jack and continue to stir. Remove from the heat.

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Place the diced potatoes into a prepared and buttered 9×13 baking dish. Pour the cheese sauce on top. Cover with foil. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes.

Remove and sprinkle the top with Panko. Bake uncovered for an additional 15 minutes.

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Pimento cheese potatoes

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This came out perfect. The flavors in the pimento cheese are simple the perfect way to make au gratin potatoes. It also cuts down on the time needed to make a dish like this. Pimento cheese is easily found in the deli section of the grocery store. Of course, you could make your own also. I would definitely adjust the salt based ion the type of pimento cheese you buy.  You can also make it perfectly well without the jalapenos. This amount made enough for 2-3 generous side dishes.

 

2 russet baking potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced

2 jalapeno peppers sliced

1.5 cups pimento cheese

1 cup half and half

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare an 8×8 baking dish. Begin by layering the 1/2 of the potatoes, all of the jalapeno, the 1/2 of the cheese.

 

Make another layer that is the same – the remaining potatoes and then the remaining cheese.

Pour the half and half over the whole thing. Cover with foil. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes. Remove the foil cover and bake an additional 15 minutes.

 

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Black eyed peas

Being from Missouri, we never…. NEVER ate black eyed peas. Now that I live in Texas they are a staple. It has taken me several years to get a spice variety I like. Now that I have it down, I could easily eat these every day. I based my recipe off the Paula Dean variation. It is warm, comforting, and just a little flavor with still allowing the peas to shine. We even grow the peas, jalapeno, onion, and okra right in our backyard. How easy is that?

This is a true “dump and go’ type recipe. It cooks for 2 hours, which can seem a bit long, but there is little that needs to be done to it once it is in the pot. It just needs a few stirs here and there.

This recipe does not work well using dried black eyed peas because of cooking time. They require much longer cooking, and I personally do not like the way they taste as much. It is a lot better to buy fresh peas or even the frozen type that can be found near frozen vegetables at the grocery store.

These black eyes peas are really a meal in itself. Serve them with cornbread and they are perfect. My husband and I like them with BBQ chicken and cornbread. For extra luck, add a side of cabbage.

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2-3 cups black eyes peas – fresh or frozen

6 slices of bacon

1 small yellow onion, diced

1 large jalapeno, seeded and diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 roma tomatoes, roughly chopped

1 handful frozen okra slices or 2-3 pods fresh okra sliced

6-8 cups water

3 chicken bouillon cubes

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon guajillo chili powder

 

Cook the bacon in a dutch oven. Drain the grease and replace the bacon in the pan.

Add all of the ingredients. Cover. Simmer on medium or low for 2 hours.  Stir every 30-45 minutes. Add more water if needed.

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Pinto bean soup

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I think I prefer this pinto bean recipe to taco soup. It is just that good. I made this using dried beans that I had soaked in water for 20 hours. At one point I learned that the longer you soak dried beans, the easier they are on the tummy. It is true. I know that the soaking time could be decreased if you wanted.

The meat I used for this was from a butcher. I purchased the bacon and ham end pieces. You could use any type of ham or bacon for this recipe. You do not have to purchase premium meat as it cooks for a such a long period of time that the meat will tenderize.

This soup cooks for approximately 2-4 hours. It is an all day type meal but most of the work really happens in the first 30 minutes. It is kind of slow and low cook type meal that is very hard to mess up. This recipe makes enough for 6-7 very large bowls of soup.

 

1.5 pounds of bacon ends and ham ends

1 large yellow onion, diced

5 cloves garlic, minced

2 large jalapenos, sliced

15 ounces of canned diced tomatoes – undrained

1 pound or 2 cups of dried pinto beans

5 chicken bouillon cubes

10 cups water

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon mexican oregano

1 bunch fresh cilantro, cleaned and roughly chopped

1 teaspoon black pepper

 

In a large dutch oven, cook the bacon and ham over medium heat until done. Remove the cooked meat from the pan and drain any fat.

Add the onion, jalapeno, and garlic. Replace approximately 2 tablespoons of the fat. Add the meat back as well. Cook on medium to low heat for approximately 20 minutes or until the onions are soft and reduced.

Add the diced tomatoes, water, and all spices (including the cilantro). Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 2-3 hours. Stir the soup every 20-30 minutes and add more water if needed.

 

Serve this with corn bread or toasted tortillas.

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Chicken and okra creole

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This happens to be one of the times where I want the tastiest chicken possible. Sometimes when chicken is braised in sauce or made in a crock pot, it turns rubbery or over cooks to mush and cannot be identified as chicken. For that reason, I prefer grilling the chicken breast first and adding it at very end. Also, you could use leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken.

This recipe also allows me to use all the okra we grow in the garden.

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1 cup sliced okra

1 can corn, drained

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

1/2 medium yellow onion, diced

1 jalapeño, sliced

1 large (1 pound) chicken breast, grilled and sliced

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon thyme

1 teaspoon paprika

3 large tomatoes, rough chopped

1/4-1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

2 cups chicken broth

salt and pepper to taste

green onions, diced for garnish

cooked white rice to serve with

 

Heat the oil in a wok or pot on medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeño, and peppers. Sauté for 5 minutes or until tender. Add the chicken broth, cayenne, bay leaf, tomatoes, paprika, thyme, corn and okra. Simmer on low uncovered for about 10-15 minutes stirring often. Add in chicken. Cook another 3-5 minutes until chicken is just heated. Add salt and pepper as needed to taste. Serve over rice and top with green onions.

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Jalapeño hominy casserole

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This is NOT my recipe. It comes from an online source copycatting Perini ranch steakhouse in Buffalo gap, Texas. This hominy is simple to make and very good. In fact, I hated hominy until I ate this. It is quite unique. I changed the recipe I found just slightly. I think it said to use poblano peppers and I chose red bell peppers.

 

5-6 slices bacon, cooked and chopped

1 15 ounce can white hominy

1/4 cup hominy liquid from can

1 small yellow onion, diced

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

1/4 cup pickled jalapeños, diced

2 tablespoons picked jalapeño juice

 

Cook bacon and remove from pan but reserve grease. In the same pan, add back 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease. Add the onion and red bell pepper and sauté until tender or about 10 minutes. When cooked, add in drained hominy, bacon, cheese, pickled jalapeño, reserved hominy juice and pickled jalapeño juice.

This can be made ahead and refrigerated if needed.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place all into a prepared 8×8 casserole pan. Add additional cheese if desired. Bake for 30-40 minutes uncovered.

 

 

 

Pork empanadas

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My husband loves smoking pork shoulders. The average weighs about 9 pounds of meat. I run out of ideas for all the leftovers. I can only handle so many pulled pork sandwiches. This is a great way to use the leftover pork and it does not taste leftover. In fact, you can assemble these and freeze them for easy later use. One batch makes about 8-10 very large empanadas.

Dough:

12 tablespoons cold butter

3 1/4 cup flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 egg

2 tablespoon white vinegar

1/2 cup cold water

Pulse the flour, salt, and butter in a food processor until combined. It will appear like coarse crumbs. Mix the water, egg, and vinegar. Pour over the flour and continue to pulse until just combined. Flour the surface and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for a least 2 hours.

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Filling:

3 cups leftover smoked pork

1/2 yellow onion

2 cloves garlic

1/4 cup fresh cilantro

1 teaspoon cumin

Salt and pepper

1/2 teaspoon mexican oregano

1 small can diced green chilis with juice

4 small jalapenos

Pulse all of the above in a food processor until it has a pate consistency. The jalapeno does not need to be seeded.

 

Egg wash:

1 egg

2 tablespoons water

Mix the egg and water together. Set aside to brush the top of the pies.

When ready to assemble, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Roll the dough on a floured surface to 1/8-1/4 inch thick. Cut circles that are 6-8 inch diameter using a template or cereal bowl up-side-down. Place an egg sized amount of filling on the circle. Fold over half of the circle. Press down the edge over the filling using a fork. Place the pies on a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Brush the top using egg wash. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with salsa, guacamole, or sour cream.

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