Meal Cost: $6.00, served 6
Pintos are so pretty before they lose their color in cooking. Calico beans!
This recipe gives you a use for the chipotle pepper in adobo sauce that has been in your fridge for months. (It almost never goes bad if it’s in a sealed container after you open the can. Who uses a whole can at once, anyway? Crazy.) This was cheap to make because I already had everything except the cilantro, avocado and peppers.
- 2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped onions
- ½ tsp. salt
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- ½ tsp. dried oregano
- 1 15-oz. can pinto, kidney or anasazi beans, drained and rinsed, or 1 ½ cups cooked beans
- ¾ cup breadcrumbs, preferably fresh (I used Panko, and it was fine!)
- Cilantro Sauce (recipe follows)
- 1 thick slice bread, stale is best
- 1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium-sized green bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 scallions (white and pale green parts), thinly sliced
- 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
- 1 small jalapeño chile, stemmed and seeded
- 1 cup cilantro leaves
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- Heat 1 Tbs. olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onions and salt, and cook, stirring often, 7 to 10 minutes, or until softened. Add garlic, chipotle chile, cumin and oregano; cook, stirring often, 1 minute. Add a third of beans and 1/3 cup water (or bean cooking liquid), and, using potato masher or fork, mash beans. When liquid is absorbed, add another third of beans and 1/3 cup liquid, and mash until mixture is chunky. Stir in last third of beans, and mash lightly. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is very thick and mostly dry.
- Transfer beans to mixing bowl to cool, about 15 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup breadcrumbs. Taste, and add more salt if needed. Spread remaining breadcrumbs on plate. Using spoon, drop bean mixture by one-sixths into breadcrumbs. Sprinkle tops with breadcrumbs, and form into 6 patties of equal size. Place patties on clean plate. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes, or until firm.
- Heat remaining 1 Tbs. oil in nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add patties, and cook until golden, about 3 minutes per side. Serve topped with Cilantro Sauce.
- Put bread in small bowl, cover with water and let soak 5 minutes. Remove bread, squeeze out excess water, and set aside.
- Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add bell pepper, and cook, stirring often, 7 minutes, or until softened. Add scallions; cook, stirring often, 1 minute.
- Put mixture into blender or food processor. Add 1/4 cup water, lime juice, jalapeño, cilantro, soaked bread and salt. Purée until smooth.