Too many Pintos on the Dance Floor
August 18, 2012 9:19 AM   Subscribe

So many pinto beans . . .

Instead of buying two pounds of dry kidney beans, my husband bought five pounds of pinto beans. And soaked all of them. And cooked all of them 80% of the way. Half of our freezer is now pinto beans.

I need your very best pinto beans recipes. Whatever you've got.
posted by freshwater to Food & Drink (15 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I haven't tried these recipes, but when you mentioned pinto beans, I immediately thought of the blog Homesick Texan, where they are a frequent ingredient. (search of Homesick Texan for Pinto)

I've been meaning to get some myself so I can try these recipes.

Good luck.
posted by sciencegeek at 9:58 AM on August 18, 2012

You can toss some into a blender (add a few pickled jalapenos to spice it up a bit) and puree, then serve on tacos or tostada shells with your preferred taco toppings. Quick & easy :)
posted by kira at 10:03 AM on August 18, 2012

Honestly the best pinto beans I have ever made-- beans that got rave reviews, beans that were rapidly devoured from our fridge and freezer-- were simple chili non-carne from the Rancho Gordo heirloom bean cookbook.

Saute chopped onion in oil until very soft.
Add minced garlic, and ground New Mexico chile and sautee briefly-- 2-3 min.
Add beans.
Add liquid-- water or stock.
Simmer for a long time.

The key here is quantity of non-bean ingredients. You need at least 4 onions and half a cup of chile powder per pound of beans. Yes it seems a lot. Yes it is way more than most cookbooks will recommend. But New Mexico chile is not fiery, and this quantity it's the difference between delicious, savory amazing beans, and "oh my god, not more beans!"
posted by willbaude at 10:04 AM on August 18, 2012 [10 favorites]

(Oh, and add plenty of salt, to taste.)
posted by willbaude at 10:05 AM on August 18, 2012

Don't forget to add a couple of tablespoons of mineral oil to prevent, um, unwanted eruptions.
posted by workerant at 10:14 AM on August 18, 2012

I often throw leftover beans on or in anything that I can think I can get away with doing so. They tend to be bland enough not to hurt the flavour of most things. I throw them on salads (green salads, potato salads, macaroni salads, specifically bean salads), in soup (random soups and specifically-bean soups), in with all of my casseroles, in spaghetti sauce (you could blend them if that's less weird for you), in tacos, in chili dip, on nachos, in stir fry, in wraps, mashed with potatoes, etc.

If you drink smoothies, you could probably add a few for fibre without compromising flavour.

There's also the classics: baked beans, refried beans, chili. I don't have recipe links because I don't use recipes for those any more.

You could probably blend beans with a little water or broth and use it as a base to make some sauces of your choice.

I recently saw a recipe for roasted chick peas, and I think it would work fine on any bean. I tried it with maize and it was awesome.

Don't get hung up on the specific type of beans. I notice that most recipes that call for a specific type of beans usually work just fine with another; taste a little different, but work just fine. The only exception is when the recipe needs that specific texture of beans.

Stop thinking of them as "beans" and start thinking of them as "near-flavourless food stretchers" and a whole world of opportunity will open to you.

And, of course, you can give some away to friends!
posted by windykites at 12:27 PM on August 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

Since they're mostly cooked why not have a chili potluck? Have others bring the ingredients for the chili and cornbread. Prepare, drink beer and eat.

I make a loose recipe that we eat with rice and tortillas. Sauté onion, maybe some hot peppers, add chili powder and cumin, add canned tomatoes and beans and cook. Add chicken bouillon liquid if needed. When cooked, add a can of corn to heat through. Serve with cilantro and scallions on top if desired. Very flavorful, and corn at that stage adds crunch.
posted by AnOrigamiLife at 12:30 PM on August 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

By the way, workerant, mineral oil is a petrolium by-product. You might want to consider not eating it. Makes me nervous, at any rate. It's supposedly safe in small quantities, but it also blocks vitamin absorption.

Castor oil, also mentioned, is a pretty harsh laxitive and doesn't taste very good. I wouldn't want it in my food, but others may differ.
posted by windykites at 12:36 PM on August 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

One of the best dried bean recipes of all time is to pour soften a ton of garlic in copious extra virgin olive oil (using a lot of oil is important) then throw in just-cooked-through dried beans (drained), warm that through and throw in a fistful of minced fresh parsley.
posted by slkinsey at 12:56 PM on August 18, 2012

You can puree a cup and throw it into minestrone -- it adds a surprising amount of depth and substance.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 4:03 PM on August 18, 2012

Make a pureed soup with beans, onions, and sweet potatoes.


Hummus (pintos are just about as mild as garbanzos, IMO).

Beans n greens. Get some good greens and sautee them with garlic. Serve with beans and garlic toast and parmesan.

There are some bean and pasta recipes which are very google-able

Bean brownies.

In tacos.



Make a giant pot of bean soup and give out jars to friends. Low cost, high karma.
posted by bunderful at 6:17 PM on August 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

Catherine Newman: How to Have Beans for Dinner
posted by lakeroon at 5:55 AM on August 19, 2012

On a different note, you can make brownies. I know all the recipes out there call for black beans, but I bought pinto beans by mistake and they turned out ok (I'm starting to suspect that if you throw in enough sugar, butter and chocolate, you can turn anything into brownies).
posted by mirileh at 12:05 PM on August 19, 2012

Someone else said beans and greens, but it didn't sound like the way I grew up eating that:

Cook the bean on very low for as long as possible. Don't boil, because that breaks the skin. Cook with ham hock in a mixture of chicken broth and water. Put in a while onion. (You will throw the onion away when the beans are done.)

Cook greens pretty much the same way.

Make a skillet of cornbread.

Crumble cornbread in pot likker from greens.
posted by syncope at 4:47 PM on August 19, 2012

This kale, zucchini, and pinto bean enchilada recipe is one of my go-to summer dishes, would use not only your pintos but also the stuff that's overflowing a lot of gardens right now.
posted by aimedwander at 7:16 AM on August 20, 2012

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