Spicy Beans for a Cold Month

Last night, I was rooting around my refrigerator to see if anything should be used before it went bad, and I found the following items: a wrinkled sweet red pepper that had no mold and about a quarter cup of cilantro salsa, again with no mold. What to do with them? In my cupboard, I had a can of black beans, and my freezer yielded a cup of frozen corn. Well, why not make some spicy beans? But rather than having them over rice, which would be delicious, I would use them as a stuffer for baked potatoes. Last fall, I bought 50 pounds of organic Yukon Golds from Farmer Kev, and although the potatoes are still good, they are sprouting eyes, so now I am planning to use potatoes in a variety of ways.

The ingredients
The ingredients

Before I get started on the actual recipe, I want to emphasize that this is one of those adaptable dishes that can accommodate many kinds of beans and various vegetables. Therefore, the following recipe should be used as a place to start as much as a recipe to follow. I used garlic to jazz up the beans, but onions would work, too. Or, if you wanted to get really bold, onions and garlic. If you have a hearty digestive system—alas, I don’t—go for it. It’s winter.

The cooking
The cooking

I always use my Yankee husband, Clif, as an indicator as to whether a dish is successful. These spicy beans not only got a “Pretty darned good” from Clif, but he also went back for seconds, using tortilla chips as a base for the beans. He liked these spicy beans so much that he suggested I make them especially for nachos. “That would give them some snap,” Clif said. (With the Yankee emphasis being on “some” rather than “snap.”)

Ready to eat
Ready to eat

It certainly would, and I just might make these beans for nachos on a cold Saturday night in January or February, when the snow crunches and squeaks underfoot, the nose pinches when you take a deep breath, and the frost doesn’t leave the windows, even during the day. Warm inside, cold outside. A cozy time of the year.[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:13]


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