Pinto Beans – two yummy meals

I Make a big batch (8-10 servings) and freeze the extra

Soak 4 cups of pinto beans overnight in 12 cups water

Dice finely:
2 onions
1/2 head of garlic
1 large stalk celery
or alternative (I have a whole page on this)

Drain beans, add the veggies and fill with water till beans and veggies are covered.

black pepper

Simmer till beans are soft, 1 1/2 to 3 hours.
Add 1 tbsp salt now, to keep the beans from getting tough.

For every day, serve pinto beans over rice with salsa and a little grated cheese on top.

Tacos with Homemade tortillas

This is great for treating guests to something special and fun, without spending a lot of money on expensive ingredients. It's too much work for every day, though. At least we think so. Takes a lot of electricity, too.

Buy Masa Harina, special dried corn paste in a fairly big bag, like flour. Follow the instructions, making sure the dough is damp to the touch and soft, or the tortillas will be thick and dry. If the dough is too wet, it will tear too easily. Be prepared to waste a bit the first time, but once you've done it well, you'll remember how it feels when it's right. Use a tortilla press (about $20 from a kitchen supply house) to flatten the balls between sheets of waxed paper.

Cook them 30 seconds on each side and stack in the oven wrapped in a cloth.

On the table have bowls of:
Greens or sprouts
mashed reheated pinto beans
grated cheese

Let everyone make their own tacos. They're small, delicate and delicious.

* New in September 2010

I adapted this from a recipe I found after receiving some fresh goat cheese from a friend who has goats. I still had kale in the garden, cooked pinto beans in the freezer, and frozen cubes of tomato juice from making salsa with tomatoes from my garden.

Chevre, kale and bean soup

Cook pinto beans with finely diced onion, celery and garlic so that when they're soft there is just enough liquid to cover the beans.

4 cups finished beans & liquid
2 cups tomato juice
1/2 pound of kale (or 1 cup cooked frozen kale)
2 carrots, sliced
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
2 tsp. thyme

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup chevre
olive oil

Drain thawed beans into a container.

In a pot sauté onions and garlic in olive oil. Add carrots, spices, bean liquid, tomato juice and 2 cups of boiling water. Add and cook till vegetables are tender. Stir in beans and chevre over medium low heat until soup is creamy and hot.

Rosemary and black olive buns

1 cup buttermilk
4 tsp maple syrup or honey
1/2 cup black olives, sliced
1 egg
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp powdered rosemary
1 1/2 cups all-purpose four
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
extra flour as needed

Heat buttermilk and 1 tsp maple syrup or honey until 85 degrees (baby's bathwater temperature).
In a large heavy bowl dissolve 2 tsp traditional dry active yeast in the warm liquid. (10 minutes)

When yeast becomes a beige layer on the liquid, mix in sweetener, egg, oil, salt, rosemary, and half the flour. Beat with electric beaters for 2 minutes.

Use a mixing spoon to stir in the
olives and remaining flour (gradually) and extra if needed, until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl in a ball. It's a pretty sticky dough, but not so much that your hands get really sticky. On a floured board, knead the dough for a full ten minutes, adding as little flour as possible.

Place the dough in a buttered bowl and turn over so it's all greased. Cover with a cloth and turn the oven on for 50 seconds, then turn it off. Place the dough in the oven until it doubles in size. Possibly an hour, more or less.

Punch the dough down and cut into 8 pieces. Place the eight balls of dough in a greased 5"x9" loaf pan and raise it in the oven till doubled, maybe 20 minutes or so.

Remove the pan and preheat the oven to 375. Bake 20 minutes. Serve hot with the soup.

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