Monday, August 02, 2010

Slow-Cooker Southwestern Pinto Beans

The other half had the best of intentions. He wanted to make a pot of beans "just like (his) grandmother used to make." Beans, bacon and onion cooked down to soupy consistency and served over big slabs of cornbread.

But first the bag of pinto beans sat on the kitchen counter for a week or so. When they finally went into water to soak "overnight," time crunch and schedule conflicts left them in their mini-swimming pool for a couple of days. It was time for me to take matters into my own hands. Faced with the prospect of having to throw them out, my frugality-and creativity- kicked in.

Right before bed, I grabbed the CrockPot from its shelf in the garage and plugged it in. Concocted the "recipe" below and let all cook overnight. They might not be exactly like Grandma's, but they're mighty tasty.

Slow-Cooker Southwestern Pinto Beans
Makes 10-12 servings.

1 pound dried pinto beans, sorted and picked over to remove stones
4 cups water
1 can diced tomatoes and chiles
I medium onion, diced
4 slices bacon, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons garlic pepper
4 tablespoons juice from jarred pickled jalapenos, optional

Soak beans in enough water to cover for at least 8 hours. Drain and rinse.

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker and cook on low for 10-12 hours.

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