The following recipe is for a dish that is both vibrantly colorful and wonderfully flavorful. Don’t be intimidated by the four jalapeño peppers — if you remove the seeds and white membrane from inside the peppers, they hardly have any heat, especially when cooked a long time, so it’s a very mild dish. If you want it to be hot, however, leave the seeds in one or more of the jalapeños, or add some crushed red pepper or a dash of cayenne at the end of the cooking time.
Guacamole with tortilla chips would make a nice accompaniment to this dish.
Mexican Corn Stew
1 cup dry pinto beans
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
5 cloves garlic, minced (approx. 1 Tbs., if you buy it chopped)
4 jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
1/2 cup diced tomato (fresh or canned)
1/4 cup minced cilantro leaves
1 48-oz can chicken broth (about 6 cups)
16-oz. package frozen corn kernels
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. ground coriander
Sort the beans.* Rinse beans, then place in large pot with four cups of water. Bring to the boil, then cover, remove from heat, and let sit for an hour. (This replaces letting them soak over night, which you can do if you prefer, and if you remember to set them out the night before.)
Drain the beans, then add the broth, cumin, and coriander. Bring to the boil, then cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 45 minutes.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Sauté the onion and garlic until the onion is soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add jalapeños, carrots, and celery and cook for 3 minutes more. Add tomato (if you’re using fresh tomato, you may want to add a pinch of salt; if you’re using canned, don’t include the juice) and cilantro leaves, and sauté an additional minute.
After the beans have cooked the initial 45 minutes, add the sautéed vegetables to the pot, as well as the frozen corn. Cover pot and simmer for an additional 45 minutes, or until beans are tender. Adjust seasoning, if necessary, and enjoy. Serves 6.
*(Sorting: This ubiquitous instruction for beans simply means shuffling through the beans to find and remove any bits of branch or rock or the odd blackened or moldy bean. You won’t find much, but it’s still always wise to check.)
© 2008 Cynthia Clampitt