Almost every Mexican or TexMex dish comes with a side of rice and beans. My mother must have made rice and beans every week when I was growing up. She made enough beans to last us a few days. When she made something for dinner us kids didn’t like, we’d end up having bean burritos for dinner. Even now, when I go home and open her refrigerator I’m sure to find a container with frijoles de la olla (pinto beans) and sopa de arroz (Mexican Rice). There are many add-ons for both of these recipes. These are just the basic recipes that allow you to be creative and adjust to your taste.
Frijoles de la Olla
I usually pick through the beans and discard of the ones that are broken. Some people soak the beans in water for a few hours or overnight. I rarely ever do.
Rinse the beans thoroughly under cool water.
Bring to a boil over medium heat, then cover and simmer for 2 hours or until beans are tender.
Note: you will have to add more water to pot while beans are cooking. Make sure to add HOT water.
1 hour before beans are done you can add onion, garlic or sliced jalapeños.
You can choose to serve the beans whole or take it a step further and make refried beans.
My Lita – short for Abuelita (grandmother) would use lard instead of the vegetable oil. You can also use bacon fat to give the beans a rich flavor. Mash beans using a potato masher.
Sopa de Arroz