Archive for ‘Beans’

November 29, 2013

Nothing I’m more thankful for than Huevos Rancheros

huevos rancheros

It’s the morning after our Friendsgiving feast last night in Manhattan and feeling a bit homesick. One would think I’d want to curl up with a bowl of congee: light fare after a night of pigging out, food of my people and all. But nope. Jumped out of bed this morning with a inexplicably strong craving for huevos rancheros. R took one look at the heaping plate of chorizo, fried eggs, and warm tortillas and responded with “woa…bIG breakfast..”

You betcha.


  • 1/2 lb chorizo*, sliced
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 1 lime
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ~ 3/4 can of diced tomatoes, in juice
  • 1/2 can black beans, with liquid
  • optional: 1/3 can of corn
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 1-2 tsp chili powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 white corn tortillas (these dont get soggy as fast as flour)
  • cheese (cotija if you have it, or shredded mexican blend)

*NOT cured chorizo, but uncooked chorizo sausage. Note packaging instructions if you have to remove the casing. I keep it on unless it’s plastic…The type that comes in plastic casing tends to be the ground meat type that breaks up. Either is fine.


  1. Slice avocados. Squeeze over lime juice to keep it from oxidizing/browning.
  2. Toast tortillas in a single layer in toaster oven until they poof up. Start this while you begin cooking, remember to check on it from time to time so you don’t burn them.
  3. Heat pot over medium high heat. Add a bit of cooking oil, and cook sliced chorizos until browned and cooked through on both sides. Stir as needed. Remove and set aside.
  4. In remaining chorizo grease, add chopped onions and bell peppers. Season with chili powder. Salt generously and stir until soft, ~3 minutes. Add garlic. Stir until fragrant, 1-2 min.
  5. Add back beans with liquid in the can (this will help thicken the sauce), canned tomato, (and corn if you like corn). Salt to taste. Cover pot and simmer while you fry eggs.
  6. Fry eggs. In a 8-10” frying pan, heat on high. When pan is just smoking hot (or eggs WILL stick), add oil. Let oil heat to a shimmer, then bring heat down to medium/medium high. Crack three eggs into pan, spaced evenly. If you don’t like super runny eggs, carefully shimmy your spatula underneath each egg, then flip and let the top side just kiss the pan. Turn off heat. Salt and pepper tops of eggs.
  7. Plate tortillas, spoon over lots of tomato-y bean salsa. Top with a runny fried egg. Top with cheese. Squeeze over some lime juice. Add avocado and chorizo to the sides (or keep adding it to your tower if you’re brave.)
  8. EAT.

huevos rancheros 1

Side Notes:

  • I love Tortilla Factory tortillas. I’ve said this many times before. I keep packages of it in my freezer at all times. Great chewy texture.
    • Buying: avocados should be tender and give slightly when you press firmly on them (grip the whole thing in your hand, dont just poke it or youll bruise it). Skin should be dark, almost black, but NOT wrinkly or dimpled in any way. When buying avocados, I always get varying degrees of un-ripeness. ‘Cause you don’t eat five avocados in one day…. so get some that are a few days a way from ripening, that way they’ll be perfect when you finally get to it.
    • Cutting: I rock the knife from tip to end of one side, then back up to the tip on the other side (the pit will obviously prevent you from simply chopping it in half). Firmly chop down on the seed, twist the knife, then pull the pit out. Wrap the pit in a paper towel and gently pull it off the knife (be careful). Peel the skin off. If it is properly ripe, it will come off in sheets. Then slice and squeeze lime juice over it to keep from browning. IF the skin does NOT simply peel off (it’s probably not ripe enough), carefully slice with skin side down, then try to spoon out the slices. Messier, but will suffice.

huevos rancheros 2

October 1, 2011

Cajun Rice and Beans


  • 1lb kidney beans
  • 1 med onion, diced
  • 1 med green bell papper, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced (I omitted this because I ran out.)
  • 4 fat cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 2 tsp parsley
  • 1-2 tsp cajun seasoning
  • salt
  • butter
  • ~6-7 cups water (or half chicken stock)
  • 4 big links or 1lb andouille sausage, sliced*
  • cooked rice
  • Optional: tabasco sauce and or vinegar to serve. Note on vinegar: makes beans cook slower! Don’t add it until you serve.

*Feel free to use vegetarian substitute! Just make sure you get the right flavor. I actually used a chicken and turkey andouille.


  1. Soak beans overnight in enough water to fully submerge them by 2 inches+. The next day: rinse and set aside.
  2. In a 5 qt dutch oven, heat a pat of butter over med high heat. Saute onions until just soft (~3min) then add bell peppers and celery. Continue to saute (~3 min).
  3. Add garlic and seasonings. Mix.
  4. Add liquid and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low.
  5. Add beans, a pinch more salt, then cover and simmer for 2.5 hours.
  6. Add sausage, mash up some beans up against the side of the pot, then continue to simmer for 30 min.
  7. Serve over rice and top with parsley.

July 1, 2011

Huevos Rancheros

My take on Huevos Rancheros ala left-overs-in-the-fridge:


  • 2 small flour or corn tortillas, toasted
  • 1 15oz can black beans (I used the Spicy variety)
  • 1-2 tbs canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 handful multicolored sliced bell peppers
  • 1/2 small avocado, sliced
  • 2 eggs
  • sour cream (or greek yogurt mixed with lime juice)
  • crumbled cotija cheese

Toast tortillas in toaster oven.
Simmer beans with tomatoes. Season (garlic, onion powder, chili powder, whatever you like. Over salt just a bit because the tortilla and egg wont be seasoned.) Remove from heat and set aside. In pan, saute bell peppers until just heated through ~2 min (I dont like them soggy).
Fry eggs sunny side up.
Plate tortillas, spoon on beans, top with  bell peppers, avocado, cheese, sour cream and egg.

May 23, 2011

Beef Empanadas + Black Bean Soup

EMPANADAS ***EDIT: new and improved! Try my empanadas TAKE TWO. Much tastier… 

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 medium onion, minced
  • 1/2 small potato, diced finely
  • 1 tiny can tomato sauce
  • 1 tbs tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins soaked in ~1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 pinch clove
  • 1 pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 tbs cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 package of frozen empanada dough (I used Goya, flakey crust for the oven/horno)


  1. Heat a bit of beef broth (or water) in a small sauce pan and add minced potatoes. Cover and let potatoes cook until just soft.
  2. Heat some oil in a large nonstick pan and cook beef, breaking up pieces as you go. Salt and remove into a separate bowl when beef almost but not quite cooked through.
  3. In remaining oil, saute onion until soft. Add potatoes and mix. Add half the seasonings. If mixture is too dry, add some of the juice from the meat.
  4. Reintroduce beef into mixture. Add tomato sauce/paste and mix. Then add raisins and wine it was soaking in, as well as the rest of the seasonings.
  5. Let meat mixture reduce until all liquids absorbed. Salt to taste. Remove and set aside to cool.
  6. Preheat oven to 350F
  7. Spoon meat into center of each round, fold and crimp, apply egg wash.
  8. Bake ~20 min or until golden brown.


  • 2 (15oz) cans of black beans
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 small onion, diced finely
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced finely
  • 1 small rib of celery, diced finely
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1-2 tsp chili powder (Mexene brand)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 pieces of bacon, diced
  • 1 cup chicken stock/beef stock
  • 1 cup greek yogurt + lime juice or sour cream for serving
  • optional: cilantro or parsley


  1. Saute bacon to render the fat. Remove bacon pieces and set aside.
  2. Saute onions, bell peppers, celery, and garlic in remaining bacon fat (mmm..bacon fat..). Season with cumin and chili powder.
  3. Add black beans, drained but not rinsed, along with chicken stock. Bring to a boil then reduce to medium low heat.
  4. Using a hand blender or a food processor, puree some of the black beans (1-2 cups) until smooth. Add back into soup.
  5. Add bacon and corn. Cover and simmer 30 min to let flavors distribute.
  6. Serve with a dollop of greek yogurt mixed with lime juice (substitute for sour cream)!
  7. optional: I also added a pinch of parsley before serving. I hate cilantro but the dish needed some green…

May 21, 2011

Greek for Dinner: Lamb Shank Stifado + Gigandes Plaki

or “Greek Lamb Shanks + Gigante Beans.”

I claim no authenticity. I just wanted some tomato-y lamb shanks and butter beans tonight and this is what I ended up with. I believe a true stifado should include pearl onions, vinegar, and red wine. To avoid buying more ingredients than I had room for in my pantry, I used sweet yellow onions instead of pearl, and white wine instead of red wine and vinegar. I believe white wines are a tad more acidic than red, so I thought I could get away with leaving out the vinegar. And since I was using a lighter, white wine, I used a heavier/more robust beef broth instead of chicken.


  • 3 medium lamb shanks (~ 2 lb)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1 med sweet yellow onion (pearl, if you have them)
  • 1 stalk celery (~30% amount of onions.)
  • several small cloves of garlic, halved
  • 2 small bay leaves
  • 1-2 tsp greek oregano
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1 pinch allspice
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 1 pinch mint
  • ~1 cup beef broth
  • ~1/2 cup dry, crisp white wine
  • black pepper (whole kernel if possible.)
  • olive oil
  • lemon pepper (I forgot to buy lemons at the store…if you have them, use zest)

You will use your typical braising method for this recipe: (preheat your oven to 300F)

  1. Prep meat: Cut about 5 slits into the lamb shank between the muscle bundles and stuff halved garlic cloves in. Salt and (lemon) pepper generously.
  2. Brown meat: Heat olive oil in 5qt dutch oven. Sear meat on each side until evenly brown all over. Remove from pot and set aside.
  3. Saute aromatics: In remaining oil, saute minced onions and celery ~3 min or until just soft. Add garlic and saute until fragrant. ~5 more min or until onions are translucent and just browned. Salt and add half the spices.
  4. Deglaze: Add tomatoes + juice and deglaze bottom of pot.
  5. Reduce: Add beef broth and wine. Reduce until ~50% original volume of liquid is left. Add rest of the spices.
  6. Reintroduce Meat: Preheat oven to 300F. Return shanks into pot, distributing evenly. Spoon onion mixture and sauce over tops, cover, and pop in oven for 2.5+ hours. Remove from oven to flip shanks over at the 1 hour and 2 hour mark. Serve immediately or:
  7. Optional: Flip shanks once more, then put immediately into fridge over night. The next day, spoon off fat layer, gently reheat over stove, and serve. OK. This is not really optional. Make it ahead! Tastes better. I promise.

Braising is hands down, my favorite cooking methodology to date. (:

Yea, it’s not too pretty. but it taste good! I love how the garlic just melts away into the soup and how the nice tang of the tomatoes really balances with the dark earthy flavors of lamb. You really can’t go wrong with braising lamb.

Now on to the beans.


A note on beans:
1 lb dry yields ~ 7 cups cooked or ~ 4 fifteen oz cans
(2 cups/can). Not exact, but you can get away with this conversion.

Recipe from Serious Eats.

  • 1 pound Greek gigantes (giant) beans, soaked overnight and drained
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium red onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cups raw ripe plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped, or use canned plum tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons tomato concentrate, or tomato extract, or sun-dried tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh herbs, minced (dill is preferred by Greeks, but you could also use un-Greek basil, or a tablespoon of mint and a tablespoon of thyme)
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Put the beans in a large saucepan with water to cover to a depth of about 1 inch. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer, cover the pan, and simmer very gently for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the beans are starting to soften but not yet ready to eat. Periodically, skim off any foam that rises to the top. When the beans are ready, remove from the heat but do not drain.
  2. Set the oven at 325 degrees. Using 3 tablespoons of the oil, cook the onions in a skillet over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the onions are very soft and starting to brown.
  3. Using 3 tablespoons of the oil, cook the onions in a skillet over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the onions are very soft and starting to brown.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the hot beans from the saucepan to an oven dish, preferably a bean pot–a terra cotta or ceramic dish that is taller than it is wide (lacking such a pot, you could also use an ordinary casserole or souffle dish, but a bean pot is preferable). Stir in the remaining olive oil, the onions, and the chopped or crushed tomatoes. Dissolve the honey and tomato concentrate in about 1 cup of the hot bean water and add to the beans, mixing carefully and tucking the bay leaves in with the beans. There should be just enough liquid in the pot to barely cover the beans–add a little more if necessary, but make sure it is boiling hot. Cover the pot securely with aluminum foil (and the pot lid if available), transfer to the preheated oven, and bake for about 1 1/2 hours. Check the beans from time to time and add a little more boiling bean liquid or plain water if necessary.
  5. Remove the bean pot from the oven. The beans should be meltingly tender at this point. Stir in the fresh herbs and the vinegar, along with salt and pepper. Return the bean pot, uncovered, to the oven and let the beans bake for another 15 minutes to absorb all the flavors.

K. I’ll be honest. I f*(^ed this one up the first time around. I’m not too keen on the idea of cooked red onions, but I figured “what the hell do I know about Greek cooking” so I stuck with the recipe. They do, in fact, turn into an ugly shade of purple when cooked and I don’t feel they impart any particular flavor that would warrant its use in future cooking endeavors. Red onions will stay raw in my kitchen here on out. For some reason the recipe following ended there. I inadvertently used way too much dill. So don’t do that either. Anyway, I didn’t have time to remake my beans. But I’ll give this recipe another shot later. And this time I’ll follow it. ):

September 30, 2010

Butterbean and Chorizo Bruschetta

amazing recipe.

tried it earlier this summer. only necessary change i made was balsamic instead of red wine vinegar.

so so so easy and so so SO good.

sometimes cooking is like writing. brevity is key. if you need 823498572396 words/ingredients to express yourself, you’re probably not very good…

hm. must learn this lesson on both accounts.

*image and recipe not mine!