I <3 Frijoles

In my parents home there has never been an absence of beans.  Ever.  My mom would make a batch of pinto beans every few days and we would eat them as a side dish, in burritos or my favorite – by themselves with a little queso fresco sprinkled on top accompanied by a warm corn tortilla to soak up the rich broth.  Yumz. 

Dried Bean Guide 

1/3 cup dry beans = 1 cup cooked beans
1/2 cup dry beans = 1 1/2 cups cooked beans
2/3 cup dry beans = 2 cup cooked beans
1 cup dry beans = 3 cups cooked beans
2 cups (1 pound) dry beans = 6 cups cooked beans

Beans typically can be found in bags at the grocery store or sometimes in bulk bins.  They must be sorted very carefully because they are a natural product that came from a plant, therefore will sometimes have debris such as little stones, that can be camoflaged against the sea of beans.  Sort out any beans that are discolored, wrinkled, or broken, in addition to debris.  Rinse the sorted beans.

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Good beans on the left, bad beans on the right

Place the beans in a heavy pot or Dutch oven.  In order to reduce their “magical” abilities, soak them in cool water, about 2 inches above the top of the beans, for 6-8 hours.  Strain out the soaking liquid and replace with fresh water, about 4 inches above the top of the beans.  Bring to a boil over med-high heat, then cover and reduce to med-low heat and allow to cook for about 2 hours.  Check on them once in a while to be sure they still have ample water.  If they are beginning to dry out, add more water. 

You can tell the beans are done by squishing a few between two fingers.  They should be completely soft. 

Now that the beans are done, they are ready to season.  I like to add salt, a teaspoon at a time, mixing each addition in and tasting before adding more.  Then I add one chopped onion and one sliced jalapeno for a nice spicy kick.  Allow the beans to simmer until the onion and jalapeno are soft and enjoy!

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