Monday, May 10, 2010

Book Club Dinner (and "Easy" Beans)

We hosted our couple's book club on Saturday with a little Mexican meal. We've been doing this book club with three of our closet couple friends for the past five years, and the person that picks the book hosts the dinner and makes something that matches the "theme" of what we're reading. This time around, hubby picked God's Middle Finger, so we decided to make a little Mexican meal to accompany us on our literary journey into the "lawless heart of the Sierra Madre."

Bryan whipped up a big batch of homemade chips that we served with guacamole, followed by flank steak topped with "magic sauce" and pork tamales with tomatillo sauce + beautiful rice and super easy beans...

I love these beans, and surprisingly (they're pretty spicy and feel a little "grown-up") so does Audrey. But I have to admit they are a bit of a cheat (maybe I should call them "cheater beans" instead of "easy beans"), as I use canned pintos and pre-made pico de guillo as the base.

I know, I know...

Before I share the recipe, I have to say that Mexican food is my favorite cuisine to make in the spring and summer -- it's easy, incredibly yummy and, well...(for lack of a better adjective) fresh. + there are the margaritas, which honestly might be the real impetus for all of this. I'm just sayin.

Easy (cheater) Mexican Beans (serves 6):
  • 3 pieces of bacon
  • 1/2 container of pico de guillo
  • 2 cans of organic pinto beans
  • 1 can of light beer
  • 1/2 cup organic chicken broth
  • kosher salt + pepper to taste
fry the bacon, remove from pan and coarsely chop, reserve bacon grease and move pan off the heat.

Once the grease has cooled a bit, add the pico de guillo (be careful when adding as the grease will splatter) and return to medium high heat. Saute the pico until the onions are lightly browned.

Add the beans and the chopped bacon to the sauteed pico and stir together over medium high heat for a few more minutes.

Add the beer and the chicken broth to the bean mixture, turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil for about 7 minutes.

Turn heat to lowest setting, cover beans and let cook for about 30 minutes. Be sure to check beans frequently, and if the liquid gets too low add a little more chicken broth. You'll want the beans to be thick with a little liquid but not soupy.

Add kosher salt and pepper to taste (I also like to add just a bit of fajita seasoning.)


  1. I see Tim!! and as someone who has had the pleasure of having these beans...make them!! They are delish! Jos, I was just about to email you for the recipe! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I tried your "other" beans last week. First time I've made beans from scratch. We used rosemary for the herb. Delish. Both my girlies loved. Thanks for this great blog. I read through the entire thing over the last week.

  3. i am totally trying this bean recipe...i already use your beautiful rice recipe on a semi-regular basis.

  4. Oh! I can't wait to try these beans...I never have the foresight to soak bean for scratch anyway :) Mexican food is my fave hands down!!

  5. I just now saw the link to this blog off your other sad I didn't see it sooner. I think I'm in love ;) just took a quick peak around and found several recipes to try. Thank you. I know I'll be back.

  6. Looks great. Love the dishes--details? I'll try the beans.

  7. barbara -- I'm a little addicted to white dishes...i'm not picky, i'll buy them from anywhere, but i think most of what's on the table is from crate and barrel...

  8. I LOVE making Mexican in the Summer - it just feels right. Loving the color of the sauce on that flank steak - So vibrant!


  9. I'm calling your "cheater beans" a real recipe!!! My biggest cheater bean recipe - that gets enough compliments to make me feel guilty - is rinsing off black beans from a can and warming them in a sauce pan with Rotel. LOL! It's such a college dorm kind of "recipe" but it's so good!!!

  10. kim...i'm loving your cheater beans. totally stealing that!