I'm hooked on pinquito beans. They're much more refined than the more ordinary pinto or black beans, and like all beans, they are a great source of protein. They're perfect as a side dish to a good ol' steak or as a main course for vegetarians.
I received Susie Q Brand's Red Gadget Box which includes her most popular products. It makes a handy gift for the holidays, ideal for toting around your favorite kitchen tools. I used Maria Valley Style Seasoning for grilling steaks and glazed them with Suzie Q's sherry citrus rib glaze. I cooked the pinquito beans included in the package the same manner that my husband's late grandma Baji taught me. I prepared them in a masala curry gravy with Indian spices. I finished the bean dish by adding a smoky flavor using a few California red oak grilling chips. There is also a jar of salsa inside the Red Gadget Box; just serve it as a starter along with tortilla chips.
Susie Q’s Brand is the original maker of artisan foods capturing the flavors of Santa Maria Style Barbeque. Even though it's winter time, you could cook everything indoors and experiment with grilling and barbeque skills. I had fun discovering the flavors and ingredients of the Santa Maria Valley, and if you want a chance to experience them yourself, just enter today's installment of the 25 Days of Giveaways for a chance to win. Susie Q's has also kindly extended a special offer to Pham Fatale readers - if you'd like to get a Susie Q product for yourself or to give as a gift, use promo code FATALE10 at www.susieqbrand.com for a 10% discount (valid till Christmas).
Make sure you're a fan of PhamFatale Facebook fan page and Susie Q Brand, or follow @Phamfatalecom and tweet about this giveaway. To make it easy, you can just copy and paste this tweet if you’d like: "Red Gadget Box #Giveaway from @Phamfatalecom and @susieqseasoning: http://bit.ly/sp4V7y".
Servings: 16 servings
1 (19-ounce) package dried pinquito beans
3 tablespoons canola oil (or any neutral oil)
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon coriander, freshly ground
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1-½ teaspoons salt
6 tablespoons Greek-style yogurt
1 tablespoon butter (optional)
2 jalapeño peppers
Wash the pinquito beans. Discard any floating or odd-shaped beans. Wash and rinse thoroughly in several water baths (about three times) and set aside for at least 1 hour. Drain the beans, removing as much of the soaking water as possible.
Place the beans in a small pot. Add 1-½ quarts of water and the provided Susie Q seasoning packet (if used). Bring to a boil, then lower the temperature to medium heat. Cook for an hour and a half. Drain and set aside.
Stem, seed and finely chop one of the jalapeño peppers. Using a paring knife, create a 2-inch incision in the remaining whole pepper. Note: remember not to rub your eyes after touching jalapeño pepper seeds.
In the same pot, heat the canola oil. Cook the onions for about 6-8 minutes until soft and nicely golden. Leaving as much oil as possible in the pot, transfer to a platter. Set aside.
In the same pot, add the ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder, ground coriander and cayenne pepper. Once the ginger garlic paste is fragrant, add the onions and yogurt. Cook for about 3-4 minutes over medium heat. Add the pinquito beans. Add 2 to 2-½ cups of water; the water should barely cover the beans. Bring to a boil then lower to a gentle simmer for about 1 hour. Add the jalapeño peppers and salt half-way through the cooking process (it will bring out the natural flavor of the beans and they'll be more tender) and keep stirring every now and then so the beans don't stick to the bottom of the pot.
Once the water evaporates, check the softness of the beans (add water and cook a bit longer if not fully cooked). Transfer one third the amount of cooked pinquito beans into the bowl of an immersion blender. Coarsely blend the mixture and pour it back into the pot. Depending on how thick you like the gravy, you can blend more mashed pinquito beans. Add little mounds of butter (if used) into the pinquito beans. Adjust seasoning and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes over low-heat. Transfer to a serving bowl. Remove and discard the whole jalapeño pepper.
Optional: Prepare a stove-top smoker with wood chips.
Cut an onion in the shape of a cup; it will be the receptable for the wood chips. Place a small piece of butter in the cavity of the onion. Place the onion cup over the beans. Burn 2-3 wood chips and place them inside the onion cup. Cover the pot with a lid. Allow to rest for at least 15 minutes. The condensation from the pot with add a delicious smoky flavor to the beans. Remove the onion. It's ready to be served!
Serve with sherry glazed steak and a side of vegetables.
You could also make the same dish using chickpeas, black eyed peas, fava beans, kidney beans, edamame, garbanzo beans or pinto beans.
You've probably noticed I use ginger garlic paste a lot in my cooking. It tastes great and is very healthy for you as well.
Little reminder on how to make ginger garlic paste: Clean one (2-inch) chunk of fresh ginger, carefully removing any dirt. Peel the ginger root with a paring knife or the edge of a spoon, then finely chop it. Place the chopped ginger and 5 cloves of garlic in a blender and add about 2 tablespoons (or more) of water for a smooth flow. Transfer to a jar and store in the refrigerator. You can keep this paste for at least a week in the refrigerator.
Even if it's winter time and way too chilly to grill outside, grilling indoors is still possible on a stove top pan. For the pinquito bean side dish, I used wood chips. They can add a smoky flavor when they're used at the end of the cooking process. Smoking is done over indirect heat. I learned this trick from my husband's late grandma Baji.
For a faster coking time, you could also cook the pinquito beans in a pressure cooker. It would take only 40 minutes (instead of two long hours). You could also use a slow cooker.
For a vegan version, just omit the butter and yogurt and increase the amount of onions.