Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Drunken Beans

Drunken Beans, originally uploaded by Kim De.

I love beans. I find them good in salads, on rice, in tortillas, and with eggs. I like them cooked dry, re-fried or made as below, "drunken" and saucy.

I have a recipe I have used for years with no interest of trying any other. Until I started seeing recipes using roasted poblano peppers. There arent many things I love more than roasted poblanos! Once the seed idea was in my head, I researched recipes to find the right combination for us. The addition of baby portobello mushrooms adds another "meaty" texture to the thickly sauced beans. Wild mushrooms would also work.

The garnishes are not necessary. However they make the dish festive and fun. Play with them to your liking - switch the feta cheese for shredded cheddar. Add a squirt of lime. A dollop of sour cream for a cold contrast. Whatever you choose, try these beans!

Drunken Beans

1 lb dried pinto beans, soaked overnight
2 T olive oil, separated
2 small red onions, one and a half finely chopped, the other 1/2 sliced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 bottle good brown ale or bock (but any good beer will work)
1 lb baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
3 poblanos, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped

Heat 1 T of the olive oil in a large stock pot. Add the finely chopped onions and cook until browned. Add the garlic and cook another minute, then add the mushrooms and stir until well blended. Then add the dried beans, the beer, and enough of the soaking water to cover them by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, then add to a large crock pot on high. Cook 4-6 hours or until the beans are soft.

Heat the other 1 T olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the sliced onions. Cook, first over medium high heat for 2 minutes, then gradually turn the heat to low and caramelize slowly for 40 minutes. Add salt to taste. Set aside for a garnish.

Keep an eye on the beans--add more water or beer as needed. The
water level should remain 1-2 inches above the beans. When they are barely tender, add some or all of the roasted chile peppers and
salt to taste. When the beans are creamy, and soft, they are done.

Serve the soup garnished with any caramelized onions, feta cheese and cilantro.

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