Entries Tagged as 'pinto beans'

Potaje Canario de Verduras (Canarian Vegetable Stew)

Potaje (pronounced po-TAH-hay) is a delicious multi vegetable stew very typical of the Canary Islands.  Here, rather than have all the food served at once, meals are served in courses.  Generally a first course, which can be either a soup, stew, salad, or pasta and is then followed by the main course and of course following that, dessert and coffee.  Many restaurants in Spain offer a lunch “menu,” where you can choose a first and second course from the day’s specials, and it comes with a beverage and dessert.  I’m pretty sure that the variety of potajes are as varied as the chefs that prepare them.  There are lentil potajes, watercress potajes (look for this one soon), corn potaje…the limit is your own creativity, much like soups and stews everywhere else in the world.  Let me share with you my mil’s recipe for Potaje Canario….




*note, add or subract at your preference, the amounts are approximate.

2 tablespoons olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon smokey paprika
2 ripe tomatoes, skinned, seeded and diced
1 onion, diced
a few sprigs of thyme
1-2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
1 cob corn, broken in two pieces
3 zucchini, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 large handful green beans, trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces
1 large handful of fresh pinto beans, shucked (you can also use canned)
2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 of a sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 chunk of pumpkin, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
1 red pepper, seeded and diced
1 thick slice of bacon, sliced (omit for vegan/vegetarian)
enough broth to generously cover vegetables (I used about 3 1/2 quarts I’d guess?)


In a large stockpot (this makes a LOT!), heat olive oil and saute garlic just until golden.
Add tomatoes, onions, paprika, thyme and bay, then season with salt and pepper.
Saute until vegetables are tender (this is called the “refrito.”)
Add remaining ingredients and generously cover with stock.
Season with salt and pepper.

Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer about 30 minutes.
Remove lid and simmer another hour or so, until the stew begins to thicken.
Adjust seasoning.
Serve with Queso Fresco and nice crispy baguettes.

Beans, Beans the Magical Fruit! Homemade Refried Beans and a Tex-Mex Dip

You’re totally singing that song now, aren’t you?  I have been singing it ever since I put the pinto beans to soak and my curious son asked, “What are THOSE things, mom?”  “Pinto beans,” I said.  To which my son replied, “OH!  Beans!  Beans! The magical fruit!  The more you eat, the more you toot!”  All the while dancing around the room to this fun tune.  Nice.  The kid had to take after me his dad. lmao  Actually, I like to make the beans from scratch, because there is this little trick I do to aid in the digestion of these delicious little bites to avoid said tooting.  So far, this has turned out to be a pretty appetizing post, hasn’t it?  LMAO  Nothing whets the appetite like a good tooting conversation. 

refried beans 

Refried beans.  So good, and so good for you!  While they are not actually “refried,” (that’s a mistranslation for “refrito,” which actually refers to what you have sauteed, be it garlic and onions, a tomato mixture, whatever…) they’re just fried once.  Of course you *could* reheat them in a pan rather than the microwave, and then they’d be “refried.” lol  But anyway, I’m not posting to discuss semantics today…I’m posting because I want to share my recipe for these delicious beans!  And afterwards the yummy layered dip I made with them.


2 pounds (1 kilo) dried pinto beans, washed, sorted and soaked overnight
2 tablespoons brown sugar (secret anti-toot ingredient!)
1/2 pound (200 grams) bacon, cut into bite sized bits (use a kitchen shears to save time)
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, minced
salt and pepper to taste
2-3 tablespoons chili powder


Drain beans of soaking liquid, and generously cover with water in a stock pot.
Add brown sugar (this is important to help aid the digestion of the beans and reduce flatulence normally associated with them).
Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low.
Cook about 1 hour or so, depending on the size and age of your beans–they’re done when the skin begins to break open.
Remove from heat and set aside.
Saute bacon in a pretty large pan until crispy.
Remove bacon to a paper towel and reserve, leaving drippings in the pan.
Saute garlic first, just until golden, then add onions and continue to saute until translucent.
Drain beans well, and add to the pan.
Season with salt, pepper and chili powder…maybe a little oregano if you really want to go wild.
Stir well, mashing a bit with either a potato masher or large fork.
Keep stirring and mashing for about 10-15 minutes, until thoroughly combined.
Adjust seasoning.

Remember that bacon you set aside? Now it’s time to use it. :) Let’s make a Tex-Mex Baked Dip with our beans and bacon:

tex-mex dip


2 cups refried beans
1 cup guacamole
1 cup sour cream
1 cup grated cheese
1/2 pound (200 grams) bacon, fried to crispy
1/2 cup green onion, chopped
2 chili peppers, sliced
(you can also add tomato pieces, black olives, whatever floats your boat)


Preheat oven to 425ºF/200ºC.
Spread beans in a 9×9 square baking dish.
Top with guacamole, then sour cream (or Quark or yogurt).
Sprinkle cheese over the top, then sprinkle bacon, onions, and chilies (and whatever other ingredients you’re adding).
Bake about 20 minutes, or until heated through.
Serve with corn chips.

tex mex dip

Hearty Minestrone with Tortellini

Minestrone is such a great soup for winter, isn’t it?  It has a little bit of everything in it, and is so versatile.  The ingredients can be changed up to fit anyone’s tastes, whether you like it with bits of ham or bacon, with cheesy tortellini (as I’ve done here), or easily made vegan as well.  This is a great recipe if you have a bunch of odds and ends in the refrigerator that  you’re looking for ways to use, too.  Don’t be frightened by the long list of ingredients, this is one of the easiest things in the world to make, and not only that, it’s hearty, delicious, and warming for those icky cold winter blahs.



2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
1 bell pepper of choice, chopped
1 16 ounce (400 grams) can plum tomatoes, crushed
1/2 head cabbage, roughly chopped
2-3 ribs celery, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and diced
a generous handful of green beans, trimmed and cut
a generous handful of pinto beans, shucked
2-3 potatoes, peeled and diced
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 small acorn (or other) squash, peeled and diced
2-3 zucchini, washed and chopped
1 large bunch spinach, washed and chopped
1 cup peas
1 cup corn
3 quarts vegetable broth (or more to generously cover vegetables)
oregano, basil and thyme to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1 bay leaf
2 cups tortellini


Using a large stockpot, saute garlic in olive oil until golden, then add onions and stir around a bit.
Add remaining ingredients except tortellini and bring to a boil.
Cover and reduce heat to low.
Cook about an hour then add tortellini.
Bring back to a boil, then cover and remove from heat.
Allow to stand about 30 minutes (to cook tortellini).
Serve with freshly grated parmigiana if desired.


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