On my stove today….

Today I am making a big pot of pinto beans to be used for meals in the coming days…..tonight’s portion will be made into refried beans to be served with our tamales and fish tacos. The remainder will be portioned out (6 cup portions) and put into the freezer. I’m trying a new way to season my beans while cooking today. I’m following my normal procedure of cooking dried beans (found here and here) (Ok, I’m now finishing this post the next day….Saturday, got busy yesterday and didn’t get to finish this post!….so everything from here on is being written on Saturday) but I added a hamhock that was in the fridge, and needed to get used up before it went bad, and I cut a whole onion into quarters, added 5 cloves of garlic (I just crushed the whole cloves, didn’t chop them at all), and a jalapeno pepper that I cut in half.   Let the soaked beans cook for about 2 hours, then added salt and pepper and let them cook for another 30 minutes.   At the end of the cooking time I let the beans cool down enough to be able to touch, and pulled out the onion, the jalapeno and the ham hock……I did learn a lesson though, next time I’ll cut those items up small and leave them in because they added a lot of nice flavor to the beans.     The beans were WONDERFULLY flavored, and didn’t have a “ham-y” flavor at all, which is what I was concerned about.  The hamhock just added a depth of flavor that was SOOOO nice!   I will definitely do it this way again!

I served half of the beans as refried beans and put the other half into the freezer for a future meal…..which will be tostadas for lunch one day this coming week…..the kiddos will be thrilled to learn how to make tostadas, and refried beans!   (As a side note, all 4 of my kids have taken a real interest in learning to cook, and have been hanging out more and more in the kitchen watching me and learning….R has gotten very proficient at making guacamole and it is GOOOD! 🙂 )     We had the refried beans with some wonderful tamales (garnished with guacamole, salsa and sour cream), fish tacos (another post :)), and a beautiful green salad!     It was  a VERY YUMMY dinner, and even the two little girls that we were babysitting loved it!   It was a hit with everyone 🙂

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