I am getting weird about my diet. I can’t remember the last time that I bought white sugar. There is a half a bag sitting in my pantry. It is probably one dry lump by now. I can’t say that I buy brown sugar much either. The point is that my brain doesn’t function well when I have sugar in my diet. Once I abandoned sugar, and processed food wherever possible, food began to taste better to me. I began eating whole foods and enjoying the natural flavors.
One of my favorite new toys is an electric pressure cooker. It allows me to make dishes that would have taken two hours on the stove in only 30 minutes. I can wait half-an-hour for dinner. If I have to wait for two hours, someone is going down!
I love to cook beans and pulses in the pressure cooker. It isn’t just because of the speed. The pressure actually suffuses the flavors throughout the food. The best comparison that I can make is that it is like eating leftovers today. This is a go to dish that I eat out of the fridge for several days. Hearty, spicy and filling.
Sol thro’ white Curtains shot a tim’rous Ray,
And op’d those Eyes that must eclipse the Day;
Now Lapdogs give themselves the rowzing Shake,
And sleepless Lovers, just at Twelve, awake:
Thrice rung the Bell, the Slipper knock’d the Ground,
And the press’d Watch return’d a silver Sound.
Belinda still her downy Pillow prest,
Her Guardian Sylph prolong’d the balmy Rest.
Aleander Pope – The Rape of the Lock
The only point of the clip above is to underline the fact that good things come in threes. Three is a spiritual number! The foundation/core of many dishes start with three important vegetables or spices. Mirepoix is a French starter and is a combination of carrots, celery and onion. Add bell pepper to it and you have the foundation of many Cajun dishes. I use this as the basis of my beans. Put some bell peppers in the recipe and I bet it is even better.
You can soak the pintos if you really want, but another benefit of using a pressure cooker is that you do not need to.
1 pound dried pinto beans
2 ounces bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 onion, diced
4 stalks celery
4 medium carrots
Turn the pressure cooker onto a setting where it will heat hot enough to saute the mirepoix in a table spoon of EVOO extra-virgin olive oil). However, first brown the bacon and then add the mirepoix. Saute until soft.
Then add the salt, garlic, cumin, chipotle and jalapeno.
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 minced chipotle en adobo with sauce
1 diced jalapeno pepper
Add 6 cups of water, 1 lb of pinto beans, 1 bay leaf and salt & pepper to taste.
Cook for 25 mins after your pressure cooker comes up to temp/pressure and allow to cool without disturbing the pressure/lid.
As they say in French – Wah-lah! Southwestern beans with as much punch as you dare to add!