February 24, 2008

We eat it with our other food!

Andy works with a lot of Hispanic men. Having said that, based on the meals he takes to work, he has been asked repeatedly if I am Mexican. I didn't think I cooked all that different from the average American but these guys eat out of vending machines and the idea of a white American woman cooking tortillas from scratch just seems to amaze them. Or, they think he's married to a loca woman. Okay, now that you have a little history.

We were at Winco yesterday. I have decided that for our health - both of our bodies and our pocketbook - that we are going to do a better job of cooking our beans from scratch, being the bulk bin fanatic that I am. I thought I just wanted pinto, kidney and black beans. Little did I know there was such a wide variety actually available at Winco. So I get the three previously mentioned varieties and decide which of the others I "need." One is the mayacoba bean. An unassuming little yellow bean. As I'm staring at it, a Hispanic man is loading up his bag. I ask him, "What do you do with it?" He looks at me for a moment. Mind you I am the ONLY white woman in the bulk bean section. After deciding I'm perhaps just a little touched, he says, "We eat it with our other food." Well, why didn't I think of that? "We eat it with our other food." Of course, he does. Just like what Andy would probably tell someone if they asked him what he does with a potato, or rice or pasta. We eat it with our other food!
So, tonight Andy and I are eating it with our other food - in a 3 Bean and Pork Slow Cooker Chili (or actually I guess I should say 4 bean).

4 Bean and Pork Slow Cooker Chili
1/2 c. each dried pinto, black, kidney, mayacoba beans
1 T chili powder
1/2 tsp. each fresh cracked pepper and salt
2 lbs lean pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 c. carrots chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 oz. can tomato paste
1 c. canned tomato puree (I pureed frozen roasted tomatoes)
30 oz (3 cans) RO-TEL diced tomatoes with lime juice and cilantro
1 small jalapeno, seed and diced (used plastic bags as gloves!)
1 tsp dried organo, crushed
1. Soak beans overnight covered in water. Drain next morning. Put in pot and cover with water. Bring to a bubble with lid slightly open. Cook until desired doneness. Maybe an hour or so.
2. Mix everything together in crockpot. Cook on high 6-8 hrs.
3. Top with shredded cheese, fresh tomato, ranch dressing, basically whatever you have or want!

I'm pretty happy with the results. I adapted this recipe from one on the WW website. Never have tried the Ro-Tel products and like that addition. I also think the dried beans are better than the canned but would normally just make a chili with canned. It's rich and wonderful and very cheap. All very good things. It was only when I sat down to write this post that I realized there was such a battle going on over the mayacoba bean. Check it out if you have time!

Love Letters to My Sons..