Beans and Tortillas
This is the least glamorous recipe in existence, but we recently had to cut out gluten from our diets and this recipe saved me many times. It's based on one my mom made all the time growing up, and also happens to be one of only two bean recipes in existence that my son will eat. I try to always keep some of this on hand. While my favorite tortillas are flour, we use the corn tortillas right now to avoid gluten.
You have to start soaking the beans the night before, but once the beans are soaked and cooked everything else is very quick. Sometimes I make small batches, sometimes I make enough for an army. I freeze it in two cup batches so it's always on hand when there's nothing else to eat. If you make beans already you'll see how ridiculously easy this is when you glance through the directions.
two cups of dried beans
olive oil or bacon fat
1 T. cumin
a clove of chopped garlic
half an onion, chopped
1/2 T. coriander powder
1 t. turmeric
1 t. garam masala
1/4 t. chili powder
For the beans:
Begin the night before by soaking the beans in plenty of filtered water to cover. Leave it out for 8-24 hours. When you're ready to cook the beans, strain them and put them in a big pot. Add plenty of water again to cover, and bring them to a boil. Turn it down to simmer and cook them until all the beans are very soft. Try at least five to make sure, because for whatever reason sometimes they don't all cook evenly. In any case, you can't overcook them in this context. Strain the beans, but save some of the cooking liquid.
To finish the beans:
Heat up some kind of fat or oil in a big flat pan. Add the onions and garlic and cook over gentle heat until the onions are transparent. Turn off the heat and add the beans and onion mixture to a food processor, but NOT the bean liquid or you will end up with soup. Once they are blended together you can add some of the cooking liquid to make a smooth puree.
In the same pan you sautéed the onions and garlic in, add a little more oil if you need to and put in the cumin and all the optional spices if you're using them. Stir for a few seconds until the spices become fragrant, and then add in bean puree back in.
To make the tortillas:
Spread the beans on a tortilla, sprinkle with grated cheese, and top with another tortilla. Heat in a dry pan until the cheese melts.
In the pictures above you can see we added sliced ham and fried it up like a grilled cheese sandwich. It was great. My husband is master of the grilled cheese and I love it this way, but I still do it the way we had it growing up. It was always a bit more austere, and always heated in a dry pan.
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