Aaaaand we’re back! Crisis Beans

Heeeeeeeeeeeey!  I missed you guys!  And by you guys, I mean the internet, that vast, echoey cloud full of kittens doing human things and the stalkery data trail I use to see if anyone is actually reading this.  Thanks, WordPress!  You make me feel less isolated.

As I mentioned in the last mini-post, I have been absolutely swamped by my Master’s program here in Sevilla, and have just recently surfaced.  I spent last week going around and reintroducing myself to some of my friends and dipping my toes into the internship world. Let’s not go there.  Right now, I should be working on my thesis – I actually just got an email with further instructions but I’m just going to pretend I didn’t see that – but instead, I want to talk about food.  Because that is what I do…well if not best, then let’s go with most often.  I promised that I’d talk about the cheese steak adventure that my friend Dan and I went on for Christmas, but I wanted to share this with y’all first.

For those of you who don’t know, Spain is submerged in an incredibly painful economic crisis that has been compared to the Great Depression and seems to only be getting worse.  Woohoo!  If you are at all interested or looking for a laugh, this comic book author sums it up pretty well.  And yes, it is subtitled.   I had to move out of my old apartment because both of my roommates lost their jobs and had to move home to their parents’ places, all of my coworkers are panicking because they may be losing their jobs because of education cutbacks, none of my students bother to study because there’s no jobs waiting for them after graduation, etc.  And for the last two months, I have been holding my breath because my bosses keep…forgetting to pay me.  So Desa of the expensive tastes is learning how to live off rice and other basic staples for that extra week of the month that appears off and on.

Oh, and welcome to my new apartment!

That’s where this recipe comes from.  Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t the least expensive thing you could make or eat, but it is filling and comforting while keeping costs down, which is important.  We all need some bucking up, and for me, that cheer comes in the form of chorizo.

This recipe is made up of things I usually have on hand, besides the chorizo.  Really quick, this is an uncured chorizo – the softer kind you have to cook.  Here in Spain you buy it to toss into stews.  I used half of what I bought, just to get flavor, and then froze the rest for another day.  You can also use Mexican chorizo, whatever you can find, really.  This is really a kind of Mexican-Spanish broke-ass-fusion dish.  We’re going to make a sofrito, a mix of vegetables sauteed in olive oil that serves as the base of a lot of Spanish dishes, then mix in black beans because I like them, and beans and rice send you to bed full.

You will always, always find these items in my kitchen. In pretty much any Spanish kitchen, actually.

I had to start from dried beans because they’ve discontinued canned black beans in my grocery store.  Use canned if you can afford it, dried is a pain in the ass.

But oh so pretty!

Crisis Beans

1 to 2 cans black beans

1/2 medium onion, diced fine

1 large Italian pepper or 2 smaller ones, diced fine

1 large clove of garlic, minced

1 large red tomato, diced fine

3 in section uncured chorizo, diced fine

1/2 c chicken stock

1/4 tsp pimentón dulce (you can sub in paprika if you don’t have this)

Generous dash of hot sauce

Salt to taste

Heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a deep pan and begin to sautee the onions. When they are just JUST beginning to get translucent, toss in the pepper, tomato, chorizo, and garlic. Cook over medium high heat until the tomatoes start to lose their structural integrity.  This should take around ten, fifteen minutes.  Don’t rush it.  Add the hot sauce and pimentón.  Pimentón is the main spice in chorizo that gives it that lovely color and staining power.  I added more to give the illusion that more chorizo is in there than there really is.

Add the beans and the chicken stock, salt if desired.  When I say chicken stock, I can also mean chicken bouillon.  Let the liquid simmer almost completely off, so you just have a thick sauce. Serve over rice.  Or if you are lucky and there are tortilla shells in your grocery store, eat it as a burrito.

If you have some spare change lying around, this is also wonderful with some shredded cheese and avocado on top.  Go wild!


3 Responses to “Aaaaand we’re back! Crisis Beans”

  1. 1 Susan A. April 20, 2012 at 2:01 am

    Glad to see you back at the food blog. This looks delicious. In cooking for Victor, who is a non-fat vegan (who also won’t eat canned food), I make beans several times a week. To make things easier, I boil them in 8 C. water for 5 minutes; cover and let sit in the hot water for one hour; then drain and add 8 C. water and simmer for about 2-3 hours. Not difficult; one just has to be there… Look forward to seeing you soon!

    • 2 desasdishes April 20, 2012 at 1:26 pm

      It’s the whole being there thing that gets me. I let mine soak over night then boil ’em for a couple of hours. But that means I have to plan ahead, too. The planning ahead parts means that I usually eat beans a day later than I actually wanted to and eat cereal instead 😛

  2. 3 Johanna April 20, 2012 at 5:04 am

    Chorizo! Pimenton! Spain! Desa! I miss all of these things. But I’m glad that I can feel like they’re a little bit closer through the power of the internet. Please another recipe soon?

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Hey, I'm Desa. I've been bouncing between the Pacific Northwest and Sevilla, Spain in the last few years and from tiny apartment to tiny apartment. I cook mainly for one, which means some potentially boring meals, but here I'll be sharing the food that excites me. Feel free to offer suggestions, commiseration, or desires. And thanks for coming by!


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