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Frijoles de la Olla

December 9, 2006

frijoles de la olla

Back when the internets were in their infancy, in the days before blogger, people used to keep web journals. When I was in college I was addicted to a few of them, and read them pretty much daily. (I even had one, myself, and the HTML was a programmer’s nightmare). Mimi, Lan, Melty, La Malinchista–these web presences who sometimes felt so close to me it was odd to remember that we’d never even had a conversation. People discussed everything from academics to politics to what they cooked for dinner.

This recipe was one of my college favorites–cheap, tasty, easy, and providing enough food to last for weeks. La Malinchista posted it to her web journal, and I still have the printout from the page in my ridiculously vast recipe folder. I haven’t made it in years, but when Dmitri and I started talking about green chili and making burritos at the JJ, I decided I would have to pull out the big pot and make frijoles again. This time, though, I’ll be taking this whole project a step further: Frijoles Refritos.

La Malinchista’s recipe for Frijoles was a keeper not just because the beans are tasty, but because the way she wrote the recipe was stellar. I’ve been searching and searching, hoping I might be able to find a remnant of it somewhere, but to no avail. So I put it up myself.

I did change it a little bit (but really not much at all), so I’ll also post up my version. Cooking up the frijoles is the first step toward the frijoles refritos, which I’ll be making tomorrow. After I get some lard. Yay lard.

Frijoles de la Olla, Laurapants style

  • About 2 pounds of pinto beans (I used to make five pounds at a time when I was in college. Yes, I ate them all.)
  • 1 large onion
  • About six gloves of garlic
  • Lots of salt, and some black pepper
  • About 1 1/2 T. cumin
  • About 1 tsp. cayenne
  • Some chicken stock, and some water

I rinse off the dried beans in a colander, because frankly, trying to drain the water out of the pot when the beans are in it is difficult, and I have, in the past, dumped pounds of beans into the sink on accident.

Basically, you just want to throw everything into the pot and cook it up for many hours. I used some chicken stock this time, because I had it, so why not? I think there was about 1 1/2 cups, and I filled the rest of the pot with water, up to about 2 inches or so from the top.

Cut your garlic cloves in half, or thirds, if they’re big cloves. I used to just toss them in whole, but I noticed after awhile that smashing them or chopping them up resulted in better garlicky flavor. Cut the onion into big pieces and throw it in, and then add lots of salt and pepper. You can add cumin or cayenne or peppers or bacon or whatever you want now, if you want.

Bring the water/stock to a boil, and then lower the heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and let it simmer for about four hours. Yes, four hours. When everything starts to fall apart, and the onions and garlic are pretty much disintegrated, your frijoles are done.

Mr. X just thanked me for beaning up his house, but I think it smells fantastic. Tomorrow: lard city. I’ve never refrito-ed the beans before, so I suspect it will be an adventure. Stay tuned…

3 Comments leave one →
  1. you nice permalink
    December 10, 2006 12:40 pm

    mmmm, do i get some too?

  2. July 11, 2008 2:06 pm

    muy ricosssssssss


  1. Frijoles Refritos, con tortillas « The Kitchen Illiterate

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