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.

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.

 

 

 

Cheesy jalapeño hash brown casserole

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cheesy jalapeño hash brown casserole

What happens when you have a bumper crop in your garden? You get creative.

Hash brown casserole is another example of a typically over creamy, over buttered wonderful food that can be made without all the extra fat. The jalapeño adds a really nice flavor. Cooking them first makes it not too spicy.

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20 ounce fresh shredded hash browns

3 jalapeño, remove seeds and dice

1 cup diced yellow onion

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

1 1/2 cups water

1 1/2 teaspoons chicken bouillon

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup shredded Colby jack cheese – divided

 

Cook the jalapeño and onion in butter on medium heat for 10 minutes. Add the flour. Slowly add the water in small amounts while stirring constantly. Add in the bouillon, pepper, and cumin. Continue to stir often until thickened. Remove from heat. Add in 3/4 cup of the cheese. Stir until melted.

 

Place the hash browns into a bowl. Fold in the prepared cheese sauce until fully mixed. Grease an 8×8 or 9×9 casserole pan. Press the mixture in the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-60 minutes uncovered.

 

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Mexican red rice

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This rice side dish is my favorite on enchilada or tamale nights. I searched forever for the best recipe. I tried probably like 30 in the past 10 years. I will never try another one again! This one never fails. I found it on geniuskitchen.com. Again… I did not create this… but I must re-share something so perfect. Okay I might have changed like 2 things.

2 cups canned petit diced tomatoes – do not drain

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 cup diced yellow onion

2 cups batsmati rice – rinse under cold water in a mesh strainer

1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups chicken broth or 2 cups water and 2 chicken bouillon cubes

Juice from one lime – 1 tablespoon or so

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

I use my dutch oven for this recipe. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the oil in the pot and warm it over medium to medium high heat. Add the rinsed rice and cook this until slightly browned (6-7 minutes). Add the onion and garlic. Cook 1-2 more minutes stirring constantly. Add the tomatoes, paste, lime juice, chicken broth, salt and cumin. Bring this to a gentle boil. Cover immediately and place the whole dutch oven into the oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove it from the oven and fluff the rice. Do not stir too much or it will get mushy. Allow it to cool for a bit, then stir again. This is really good leftover or with refried beans inside of a tortilla.

I think the original recipe calls for fresh jalapeno as well. I do not like my rice with heat. I feel as though the rice is the calm to the spice in the food. If I were to add it, I would dice it and add it to the recipe at the same time as the onion and garlic.