Sunday, January 29, 2012

Slow Cooker Smokey Frijoles Negros

*Not canning related, but I've been asked for this recipe.

Most Sunday afternoons I cook a meal to carry over for several days in repurposed ways. And, this meal must meet certain requirements.
1. It can be used for Meatless Monday in some way.
2. It must incorporate a large pot of beans.
For this week's pot of beans I'm making my slow cooker smokey frijoles negros. The frijoles will be our side to accompany stuffed peppers for supper tonight. Tomorrow they'll top freshly cooked rice and have a side of fruit salsa to keep them company on the plate. Tuesday night we'll take a break and have a roasted chicken with brussel sprouts, carrots, and potatoes. And, then back to the beans on Wednesday with black bean chicken quesadillas. If we have any left on Thursday I'll probably turn them into a salsa to munch on for a few lunches.
I find that if I plan out my menus ahead of time not only does it save time and money, but it also saves me a hassle.
You know what I'm talking about. That day where everything's falling into place and you're owning that to-do list. Showing it who's really in charge. You're going along and thinking that you deserve a break and fix a cup of tea only to realize you've forgotten about supper. Crap. Now what? That's the hassel and headache I'm talking about.
Menu planning works. Trust me. And, making a huge pot of beans at the beginning of the week makes it so much easier. That's one less side dish you have to worry about. Beans can be added to soups, stews, and chilis if you're bored with eating them on their own. And, they're full of fiber. Remember, boys and girls, fiber is our friend.
I make these in my slow cooker, because again, it makes my job easier. I don't need to extol to you the virtues of the slow cooker. I often refer to mine as my personal assistant since it does the dirty work I don't always have time to.
Here's what you'll need:

2 cups of dried black beans that have soaked overnight
2 chipotle chilis chopped with 1 TBS of the adobe sauce they're packed in
1 sweet bell pepper seeded and chopped
1 to 2 jalapenos seeded and chopped *These are optional if you want to omit some of the heat
1 medium to large sized onion *I usually use yellow onions, but red work just as well
2cloves of minced garlic
1/2 TBS oregano
1 TBS cumin
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 Bay leaf
8 cups of water
salt and pepper to taste
*optional a dash or two of red wine vinegar after cooking

If you forgot to soak your beans overnight you can always follow the instructions on the packaging for a quick soak.

Add all the ingredients to your slow cooker and cook on high 5-6 hours. The beans should always be covered with liquid and add as necessary. Remove the bay leaf and serve. Sprinkle with Oaxaca cheese or any other cheese you might prefer.


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