Category Archives: Cooking

Mexican-Style Beans – Recipe

Mexican-Style Beans

  1. Use pinto, kidney, or black ‘turtle’ beans (the beans in the photo above are pinto).
  2. Soak beans overnight in plenty of cold water. (Use whatever quantity of beans you want, the recipe remains more or less constant)
  3. Drain beans.
  4. Put beans in big saucepan or pressure cooker and cover with unsalted water so that the water is about 3 inches above beans.
  5. Add a single clove spice ‘nail’.
  6. Bring water to boil and make sure the beans boil hard for at least 2 mins.
  7. Turn heat down and simmer beans for about 1.5 hours (or much less if using pressure cooker – check manufacturer’s instructions). If using normal pan, check regularly to make sure there is enough water to cover beans. Add more water if necessary.
  8. Check that the beans are cooked. They should be soft. If they are hard then cook for longer.
    Now, keeping the beans and the cooking liquor in the pan, add a heaped teaspoon of vegetable bouillon, a squeeze of tomato puree, and a good pinch of salt to the beans.
  9. Simmer down the beans for another 30-40 minutes until the liquor has concentrated and thickened.
    Towards the end of the simmering period, in a separate frying pan in 2 tablespoons of olive oil fry a finely chopped large onion, a fresh chilli, and some garlic. When the onion is golden, add a heaped teaspoon of ground cumin and a flat teaspoon of paprika (sweet and/or smoked). Fry the mixture for 2 more minutes until the spices become fragrant.
  10. Add the onion mixture to the simmering bean pan (deglaze the frying pan with some of the bean juice to get all the flavour), stir.
  11. Simmer the beans and onion mix for another 3 minutes.
  12. Check seasoning and add salt to taste.
  13. Add finely chopped coriander leaves and stalks, stir.
  14. Serve
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Recipe for Spanish Omelette (Tortilla Española)

tortilla española

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion
  • 3-4 medium potatoes. Waxy potatoes such as Maris Piper work best
  • 5 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • sea salt

tortilla española

Equipment:

  • Medium-large, non-stick frying pan with a lid (a plate will do)
  • Medium-large mixing bowl
  • Two warm plates

Method:

  1. Slice the onion and potatoes thinly.
  2. Fry the onions and potatoes for around 20 mins on a low heat in a covered frying pan in 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir occasionally.
  3. Season the potato and onion mixture well during cooking.
  4. Check the potatoes are soft – on the verge of breaking up.
  5. Break the eggs into a mixing bowl and gently beat. Season.
  6. Add the hot onion and potato mix to the eggs in the mixing bowl. Mix.
  7. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the empty frying pan. Turn up the heat to medium.
  8. Pour the egg, potato and onion mixture into the pan. Turn the heat down to very low.
  9. Cook the mixture for about 15 minutes, until it is no longer runny on the top.
  10. Covering the frying pan with the lid or a plate, carefully turn the pan over, so that the omelette rests on the lid or plate. (I do this over the sink in case of an accident.)
  11. Put the frying pan back on the heat, and carefully return the omelette to the pan, with the cooked side now facing up.
  12. Cook the omelette for a further 6 minutes on a low heat until the other side is done.
  13. Tip out or invert the cooked omelette onto a clean, warm plate.
  14. Cover with a second warm plate to keep the omelette warm until ready to serve.

Enjoy with crusty bread!