Monday, February 6, 2012

Super Bowl Sunday SoCal Style

With zero on the clock, final score is 21-17, and the NY Giants win this year's super bowl.  But regardless of who won, for me, super bowl Sunday is a time to gather with your closest friends and enjoy some good food.  There's always a reason to have a party.  And while the boys are glued to the TV, I get cooking in the kitchen.

And when in SoCal (Southern California), do as most of us do --- Mexican food.  For somebody who has never cooked Mexican food before, I had the nerve to try and make some today.  I dared to make Re-fried Beans, Mexican Rice, and Pico de Gallo.  For now, I will give you:
Re-fried beans in the foreground, with melted cheese on top.

Re-fried beans

The Big Picture:

  • Soak beans overnight
  • Boil beans
  • Season beans in a skillet

1 small bag of pinto beans
2 bacon strips
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
Red pepper flakes
Ground Cumin
3-4 bay leaves
Grated cheese (optional)


1.  Soak the beans overnight with enough water to cover the beans in about three inches of water.  Add about 1 teaspoon of salt.

2.  Drain the beans.  Place the beans in a pot with water to cover the beans in about two inches of water.  Bring the beans to a boil on medium heat.  Reduce to low heat when it boils.  Simmer for about 1 hour until the beans are soft enough for mashing, and the skin is easily coming apart.

3.  When the beans are almost done, cook 2 strips of bacon until crisp.  Chop the cooked bacon into tiny bits.  Set aside.  Save the bacon fat.
4.  Remove the beans from the water and mash the beans using a potato masher.  Save the water.

5.  Using a heavy skillet, saute the garlic in bacon fat until fragrant.  Add in the onions and sautee for a few seconds.  Add the mashed beans and bay leaf.  Season with salt, cumin, chopped bacon, red pepper flakes, and cumin.  Stir everything together.  Add water using the same water you boiled the beans in as you season, so it doesn't dry up.

6.  Transfer the beans to an oven-safe casserole.  Add grated cheese on top.  Cover the casserole with aluminum foil and place the beans in the oven on low setting (about 170 degrees F) until the cheese melts.  Serve immediately. -GG-

The beans will absorb the water as it soaks, so you want to have at least three inches of water above the beans.

Keep adding water to the beans as you season it to prevent it from drying up.

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