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.
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.
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.”)
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]