Tuesday, July 12, 2016

How [Not] to Cook Beans

Our financial advisor $u$an had us look at all of our expenses (part of figuring out how to pay for college), and to no one's surprise, "Eating Out" was quite the robust category. Thus, I've been cooking a lot more, even in the heat, even after working all day, oh poor me. But we've been eating very well!

Tonight was Taco Night, yum. I make the tacos with ground chicken (Husband has been trying to avoid red meat because of his propensity for gout), and they are muy delicioso. Usually I serve Spanish rice and refried beans, but we just had rice last night (with the world's tastiest stir-fry! Leeks and mushrooms and red pepper and snow peas, dang me it was good! but I digress) and I didn't have any refried beans, so I went another way. I made a yummy red cabbage slaw, which one of my favorite Mexican restaurants, Sol Azteca, serves as a side dish. (I didn't have a recipe so I did it by taste, and for me it was perfect.)

And I decided to fix some black beans. Into a pot went a can of black beans, a can of tomatoes, some dried minced onion, some garlic salt, and a dash of chipotle. Doesn't that sound like it should be good?

I heated it for a bit and then tasted it. Hmm.

Well, if I was going for the award for blandness . . . good news!

And then the craziness began.

Bland? OK! I added more salt and chipotle. Result: Too salty AND too hot.

I remembered having this problem with salsa once. The surprise solution: Sugar! So I added sugar.

Result: Still too salty, still too hot, and now too sweet.
I drained off some of the hot salty sweet juice and added some water. No change.

I dumped the whole thing in a strainer and removed all excess liquid, returned the beans to the pot, and tasted them. A tiny bit better, but still too spicy and salty.

Think, think.

And then I figured out what to do, even though it is disgusting. I added mayonnaise. And this milded out the flavor nicely, and I now had something slightly resembling bean dip. I served it with tortilla chips and warned the kids that it was spicy. And that was that.

(After all that, I thought it was pretty tasty. But I am not likely to make this again.)

The rest of the dinner was great, and now it is behind us.

I am feeling a little aimless and antsy, because I just watched Seasons 1 and 2 of my favorite new show Jane the Virgin and also finished a really good book, and while I have a stack of new library books, none has really grabbed me yet. I'll watch Jeopardy in a few minutes and then probably just sit and stare.

Oh! Husband downloaded Crazy Ex-Girlfriend for me, which I know I will love! OK, then!

Life is sweet.

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