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Why Did I Make Spicy Black Beans?

December 26, 2010

Because it is one of the ingredients for Huevos Rancheros, which I am going to make on the first day of 2011.

I had fun this morning going out to Trader Joe’s, Lunds, and Penzeys to find the Peppadew Peppers, chili oil, and some dark chili powder (in that order). The chili oil and the peppers are for a recipe I am going to make tomorrow, but I needed a good chili powder to make the black beans. Since’s Penzey’s didn’t have a chili powder labeled as dark I to be a little less literal and picked the one that was darkest. I wound up going with their Meduim Chili Powder, which I already had at home, but this recipe would have cleaned me out. I discovered something valuable today about buying spices at Penzeys – over half of the cost is the jar. They are very nice jars, but I was able to get 4 oz of chili powder in a ziplock for the same cost as 1.5 oz in a little jar.

I did enjoy my grocery shopping this morning, but I have to say I don’t really get the whole Trader Joe’s thing. While I was able to find the Peppadew Peppers, the experience just didn’t do it for me. I had a couple of normal items on my list (sugar, chicken broth, etc) , but after looking for a little bit I gave up and just bought the peppers and some ciabatta rolls. I’m guessing they did have sugar, but it wasn’t in any obvious place and it would probably have been super-organic Trader Joe’s sugar.

The hardest part about making the beans was just remembering to soak them overnight. All I had to do today was add all of the ingredients and simmer for about two hours. I used one of my new Calphalon pans to make the beans. The large pan was almost exactly big enough to fit all of the beans and simmering liquid. I had to be careful when stirring, but Kira and I got this great set of pots and pans from my father-in-law, Ed,  and I wanted to break them in.

While the beans simmered I played Monty Python Flux, with the kids at the kitchen table. I popped up to stir the beans and taste them every now and again. When the beans were nearly done Melanie tested them with me and we both declared them delicious. In my opinion they have exactly the correct amount of spiciness. They don’t burn your mouth at all, but you can tell that they are supposed to be spicy.

Recipe #2: Spicy Black Beans

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