3-2-1 Pinto Beans
3 cups dried pinto beans, soaked overnight
3 dried chiles de arbol (or chile japones), with the stems picked off
3 Tablespoons of dried chopped onion, or a 10 oz bag of frozen diced onion or 1 medium onion chopped (This is a great place to use some fresh organic onions from your CSA box)
2 Tablespoons of dried ground cumin
2 in square of Kombu seaweed (this one is totally optional. I recently started adding this to help with the digestibility of the beans, it breaks down mostly while cooking and can be scooped out at the end, or blended into the beans, it really doesn’t change the flavor of the finished beans.)
1 Tablespoon of granulated garlic, alternately you can ad fresh minced garlic from your CSA box!
1 Tablespoon of salt
Soak beans overnight, then rinse them well. Place rinsed and soaked beans into your pressure cooker and add the rest of the ingredients. I like to break my dried chiles into smaller pieces because I blend them into my beans. If you want the flavor of the chiles but not too much spice, then leave the chiles whole and discard after cooking, before blending.
While you wait, this is a great time to chop some onion and cilantro, hit that with a little squeeze of lime juice and salt…heaven on a taco!
When the time has come to open your pressure cooker (I would let the pressure come down on it’s own rather than a rapid release because beans create a lot of foam while cooking and it is a total disaster, I know this from first hand experience…more than once…) you will fill your home with a delicious smell that will make you hungry!
Now is decision time. Whole beans or “re-fried” aka blended? Spicy or mild? If your goal is spicy and whole, do nothing. Use a slotted spoon and serve these bad boys on a tortilla, or over chips.
If your goal is a “re-fried” bean analog (only healthy because they are made without oil), then you need to either remove the chiles or not based on your heat preference. Then you will need to ladle out as much water as you can without becoming OCD about it! Seriously, if the beans are a bit runny the first night, while they are refrigerated overnight they will soak up some of that extra liquid and become firmer the next day. This is really personal preference.
I use an immersion blender for this step. You could use a fork, a potato masher, or a blender if you like…or see the instructions for whole beans above! Blend or mash until the beans look like the right consistency to you. Some people like ’em totally mashed and others like to see some whole and partial beans in the mix. It’s totally up to you!
Voila! Beans, done. If you give this recipe a try, let me know in the comments below. Tacos and nachos and even enchiladas are a great way to feature some of the great produce and meats that we have here at Sage Mountain Farm!
P.S. If pressure cooking isn’t your bag, these beans can also be done in a crock pot on high for most of the day, or even on the stove (if you don’t mind the heat in the middle of summer, ugh!).