Herrera’s Bean Soup

The Boss is gone this weekend.  There was a sister get together and I wasn’t invited.  The Boss is a worrier.  She frets about leaving me home alone for the weekend.  I say worry not.  There’s simply something that must be done when The Boss is gone.

Make beans.  This weekend’s mini-project was to recreate the free cup of pinto bean soup you got with every meal at one of our favorite Tex-Mex restaurants.  I know the location we frequented in Carrollton Texas has closed.  Many of the chain’s locations have boarded up and I’m not sure if any have survived.  The Doctor always ordered 13b double beans, no rice.  Each family member has fond memories of the food.  I’m fairly certain there was plenty of lard but we’ll never know for sure.

I started with my basic Sopa de Frijol con Vegetal and used bacon slices to saute the vegetables.  Instead of the canned tomatoes I used a commercially bottled Salsa Casera medium from Mexico (seriously, this should have nailed it).

Nope.  The beans taste exactly like my pinto bean soup with bacon and some spicy tomatoes.  I have failed to replicate Herrera’s bean soup.

Now if I could just find out the brand of hot canned jalapenos Herrera’s used…

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Tiny Taste Tester Tries Ted’s

I moved to Texas when I was 25 years old. It didn’t take long for me to develop a taste for Tex Mex. If you’re from Texas you crave Tex Mex. If you’re from Texas and you find yourself living in Oklahoma, you still crave Tex Mex because the restaurants in this state don’t make or serve Tex Mex. We have Okie Mex. Some restaurants do Okie Mex better than others. One of those places is Ted’s. The original Ted’s location near NW 63 and May Avenue in OKC opened in 1991. There are multiple locations in the OKC metro and the closest to us is 0.5 miles from the house. For the final installment of our Tiny Taste Tester series from this weekend we present:

The Tiny Taste Tester Ted’s Review

Tortilla chips. Very small pieces, thin, salty. Good chips. Four stars.

Small hand torn pieces of fresh flour tortillas dipped in queso. Each piece was savored for several minutes. Four stars.

Smashed Mexican Spiced Potatoes. Green chilies provide the predominant flavor profile. OK but not her favorite. She made a face. Two stars.

Refried beans. Mild flavor. Very tasty example. Four stars.

Guacomole. It’s green but doesn’t taste like any other green mush that comes in small jars. I don’t know what this is but I like it and I like it a lot! Five stars.

Overall 3.8 Stars. Tiny Taste Tester Approved.

Cheese Enchiladas with Chili Sauce

The text message arrived after we were asleep.  The urgency was palpable.

“Need your enchilada recipe in the AM.  Please send.”

Parents are accustomed to dealing with emergencies like this.  But WHICH enchilada recipe?  If you’re looking for the chicken enchilada with sour cream version click here One Rotisserire Chicken, 50 Meals – #3 Sour Cream Chicken Enchillada Casserole.

It was a perfect opportunity to use my PhotoScan app and add to The Box Project.  But before I forget, here are the remaining ingredients from the back side of the recipe card:

  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 clove garlic

Filling

  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 pound grated cheese

In the lower left corner you’ll find Source: Buena.  This recipe came from one of Grandma and Grandpa’s neighbors in Texas.  Nothing fancy here.  Just plain old Tex-Mex comfort food.

I think the crappy photo scan can’t be enlarged.  So here is the front of the card:

  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 T butter
  • 2 T flour
  • 1 green pepper chopped
  • 1 cup canned mashed tomatoes
  • 1 can chili con carne
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbs chili powder
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Saute onions in butter.  Add flour, salt, chili powder.
  3. Add beef broth slowly, then green pepper, garlic, and tomatoes.
  4. Simmer 15 minutes.
  5. Add can of chili con carne and simmer until thickened.
  6. Dip tortillas in sauce.
  7. Lay each on a plate and spread 1 tbs onion and 1/4 cheese on each.
  8. Roll up and arrange in a baking dish.
  9. Pour chili sauce over and cover with cheese.
  10. Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese melted.

Tips

I sent him a text to tell him to use yellow corn tortillas, the white and flour don’t work as well. Also he would need to heat up each tortillas if was going to make cheese enchiladas or the tortillas will break.

There you go.

Sopa de Frijol con Vegetal

Sopa de Frijol con Vegetal

1/2 pound dried pinto beans
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried oregano (Mexican variety preferred), crumbled
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic (medium), finely chopped
1 can tomatoes, fine dice
2 teaspoons chili powder
pinch salt

 

1. Pick over the beans carefully and remove any foreign particles. Put the beans in a strainer and rinse under cold running water. Put the beans, bay leaf, oregano, and cumin in a large saucepan with water to cover by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook until the beans are tender and the liquid thickens, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Do not let the beans boil dry. Check the water level during cooking and add hot water, when needed, about 1/4 cup at a time. There should always be about 1/2 inch of water above the level of the beans.

2. Meanwhile, heat the oil over medium heat in a medium skillet and cook the onion, stirring, until it browns, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, tomatoes, and ground chili. Cook, stirring, until the tomato juices evaporate, 2 to 3 minutes. When the beans are tender, add the onion mixture to the beans. Add salt, and continue cooking for about 20 minutes to blend flavors. Remove the bay leaf, and serve hot.

Adapted from the original meatless recipe found in “1,000 Mexican Recipes.” Copyright 2001 by Marge Powe, Wiley Publishing, Inc.

Tips

I love pinto beans and found this recipe a long time ago.  When the offspring were little I didn’t fix beans at home.  I got my bean fix when we went out for Tex-Mex and gorged myself on the refried variety.  Nowadays as an Aging Wonder I tend to eat a lot healthier than during my younger days.  Give me a good bowl of beans and I’m a happy camper.

Check back for updates and tips on this soup recipe.  I’ve got beans on the stove and I am absolutely positive I no longer follow the recipe as written.

Black-Eyed Pea Dip

Source: Zannie’s Black-Eyed Pea Dip | The Pioneer Woman

Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 cups cooked Black-eyed Peas
  • 1/4 whole sweet onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Sour Cream
  • 8 slices Jalapenos
  • 1 cup Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Salsa
  • Hot Sauce (optional)
  • Garlic powder, a dash or two
  • Salt And Black Pepper To Taste

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Drain black-eyed peas and mash, leaving some whole.

Add all other ingredients, stirring to combine.

Spread into a 1 1/2 quart baking dish and bake for 20 to 30 minutes until hot and bubbly.

Serve warm with tortilla chips.

I stole this recipe.  I did the usual change one or two things but refuse to claim this recipe as an original.  Instead of canned beans I prepared my own from dried beans.  The hot sauce is optional because I forgot to add it and when we started to chow down the dip didn’t really need any more heat.  As far as bean dips go this recipe is a keeper.  There were only six people at the gathering and we ate it all.  So the recipe serves six.

The stuffed mushrooms all got eaten too but that’s another recipe for another day.

Helpful Hints –  This is a Texas thing, black eyed peas for good luck at New Year’s.  So here are a few hints.  Salsa is not optional and I think I used a half cup but since I tossed and didn’t measure it might have been a little less or a little more. Hell on the Red from Telephone Texas.  Use a different salsa but the dip won’t taste the same.  If you like your dip spicy add more jalapenos.  Add hot sauce too but it better be a good Tex-Mexican hot sauce.  Don’t do the sriracha thing that everyone else does or it won’t taste the same.  

 

 

The Unoriginal Chili Lime Rub

The Unoriginal Chili Lime Rub

Wet –
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
fresh-squeezed lime juice from 1 lime
Several dashes of your favorite hot sauce (I used Frank’s)

Dry –
1 teaspoon each of the following:

chili powder
brown sugar
oregano

1/2 teaspoon each of the following:

ground cumin
paprika
onion powder
garlic powder
sea salt
ground pepper

It is summer and it is hot. We’ve had several 100 degree plus days already and when the heat is on I think about grilling. Don’t heat up the kitchen and minimize the mess. Fearing the Rut I began to think about the limes I had in the fridge and thought “I wonder if there are any chili lime marinade recipes on the Internet?”.

There are literally dozens of chili lime recipes on the Internet. So I looked at several and while different they were all basically the same. They all looked like taco seasoning with oil and lime juice tossed in. So for the record, I didn’t steal this rub. But since they’re all very, very similar I’m calling this stuff The Unoriginal Chili Lime Rub.

The recipe makes enough rub for a little over a pound of animal protein. If you are cooking for a crowd doubling or tripling this recipe should work out fine. I made boneless chicken breasts to test the rub and the meat turned out well. Unlike marinades, just rub on the rub and let the protein sit at room temperature for 30-45 minutes. Grill until done. Eat.

  1. Mix all dry ingredients together.
  2. Add the wet ingredients and mix thoroughly.  You should have a wet rub with the consistency of a loose paste.  If the rub is too thick, add a touch more oil.  The hot sauce can be omitted or kicked up to taste.
  3. Slather (like this word?) your animal protein with the rub, making certain the entire surface area is SLATHERED.
  4. Allow the protein to sit at room temperature for 30-45 minutes before hitting the grill.

Tips:

The rub was so tasty The Boss and I decided it was a keeper.  I’m looking forward to using this rub on chicken thighs, beef, and pork.  NO FISH.  Really, no fish.  That could get ugly.  TOFU?  You try that first and let me know.

 

Beans May Help With Weight Loss

 ‘Pulses’ like these may help dieters feel fuller and reduce food cravings, new analysis shows

Source: Beans, Chickpeas May Help With Weight Loss

I have two bean stories.  I’ll start with my second favorite memory of beans.

I moved from NJ to Texas at the age of 25.  Talk about culture shock.  It was a big brand new world to explore.  And if you enjoy ethnic cuisine you try to eat whatever the locals ate.  I wasn’t quite sure what Texas cuisine was besides smoked brisket.  On one day of exploration I passed a rather cheap and gaudy looking fast food joint that probably no longer exists.

“I wonder what this is?”

So I stopped, went in, stared at the menu and had absolutely no idea what anything was.  So I ordered a bean burrito.  It was your typical fast food burrito, thick brown paste, a little cheese, a little chili sauce, all wrapped up in a flour tortilla.  This happened so long ago the only remaining memory was that I liked it.  A lot.

So ends my second favorite bean story.