These traditional beans are a versatile protein to have on hand. A little spicy and packed with flavor, these chorizo beans are very filling.
By Natalie Rose
Sometimes I think frijoles colorados, or red beans, get swept under the table in Guatemala, a country obsessed with its black beans. But the frijoles colorados come in a bath of tomato and (sometimes) chorizo broth spiked with cumin and chili and elevated plain ol’ beans to something special. The beans are cooked down so much they start to break down and thicken the broth, making it a great bread-dipping dish. It’s worth keeping a container in the fridge or the freezer as a base for tacos, enchiladas, rice bowls, even soup (just add some sautéed carrots and celery and a bit of broth). I’ve eaten them wrapped in fresh tortillas with a little queso fresco, I’ve fried them with scrambled eggs, I’ve made tostadas, and I’m planning on making nachos tonight (straining the liquid, of course).They’d also fair well over rice with diced avocado, kind of like a bean and rice bowl. It’s a good dish just to have around in the fridge.
- 1 pound red beans, picked over, rinsed and soaked overnight
- 1 whole head of garlic
- 1 medium onion, peeled and scored
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ¼ pound chorizo, sliced into a diagonal (optional)
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup tomatoes, about 2 large, diced
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon ground chili
- crema to serve
- Put beans, head of garlic and whole onion in a pot, cover with water by two inches and bring to a boil.
- Turn heat down and simmer for one and half to two hours, until beans are very soft. Add salt to taste (I added about two teaspoons sea salt).
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a saute pan and saute chorizo with onion and garlic, about five minutes (if omitting chorizo, just fry onions and garlic in oil).
- Add tomatoes, cumin and ground chili, cook over medium heat for five minutes to break down tomatoes.
- Add to red beans and simmer for another twenty minutes. Adjust salt to taste and serve with crema.
Natalie Rose is a freelance food and travel writer, media producer and avid cook. The daughter of a Mexican-American mother and a Lebanese-American father, Natalie honed her palate tied to the apron strings of family members keen to pass along the strong culinary traditions of Mexico, Lebanon, and her native Arizona. She writes the food and travel blog Chocolate and Chiles. She resides in New York City and La Antigua, Guatemala, and spends her days dreaming up new adventures and delectable dishes to cook. Her mother says she was always a very good eater.