I have been inspired. By a delicious, delectable, delightful dish from Edible Aria: frijoles rojas. Now, this wasn’t by a long shot the first time I’d seen this dish but the pictures looked soooo good I could not resist. I know what you’re thinking: Lauren, dear, you are so magnificent. How do you ever find all of these tempting treasures? Oh, I shrug with a nonchalant sweep of the hand, I just stumble upon them. I love Stumble. I find so many fantastic things there. The internet is my vast, giant cookbook and Stumble is my faithful page-turner. Or something like that.
Anyway, what were we talking about? Oh, right. Beans.
So I needed something to make for dinner. We had some tortilla chips leftover from Saturday…or Sunday…or one of those. It’s all kind of blurred together now. Anyway, I also had cheese, tomatoes, rice and some Spanish chorizo in the freezer, leftover from a trip to Eastern Market. I’d found the frijoles recipe a few days earlier and figured…that’ll work.
The original recipe for the frijoles rojas is in the link above. Here’s what I did:
Diced up half a link of Spanish chorizo into chunks and tossed them into a skillet over medium high heat to heat them up a bit and render out the fat. Then spoon the chorizo out of the pan and drain on paper towels.
While the chorizo was rendering, I chopped up half a sweet onion and 2 cloves garlic. After the chorizo was removed from the pan, the onions and garlic went in, stirring them around to get them all coated in that chorizo-y goodness.
While they cooked for a minute, I chopped up one medium yellow squash and then added it to the pan as well, along with 3/4 c. chopped red bell pepper I had sitting in my freezer.. To that I added about a half cup of crushed tomatoes that Josh had canned over the summer, put the lid on the pan and let it cook the tomatoes down for about 4-5 minutes.
Then I added in one small can of pinto beans, plus a couple tablespoons of their juice to the pot. On top I sprinkled a spicy mix of cayenne pepper, ground cumin, paprika and chili powder and salt–about a tsp each–and added the chorizo back in. Then I stirred it all together, put the lid on and let it cook for another 3-4 minutes.
That..that’s pretty much it.
On the side I cooked up some plain white rice, and we had shredded cheese, salsa, tortilla chips and guacamole to go on top.
What I really loved about this dish was how fast it came together, how easy it was…and how flavorful. A lot of that is from the Spanish chorizo—I may have been nibbling on pieces of it while the beans cooked–and if you’ve never tried it, you definitely should. The great thing about it is that it’s packed with spices and has such a strong presence that you really don’t need much at all. The dish is mostly about the beans, but the chorizo provides the background flavor. If you can’t find Spanish chorizo, or would prefer not to use it, then definitely go with some good quality, smokey bacon. Mmm bacon.