- Mommie Cooks! - http://www.mommiecooks.com -

Sweet and Spicy Black Beans

Today I’m going to share a recipe for sweet and spicy black beans although I can’t claim ownership for creating it.  It was taken from a cookbook given to me by my Aunt Ann entitled Recipes from Baja.  It was put together by the East Cape Guild of Baja California Sur, Mexico where my aunt and uncle now spend about about half their time during the year.

Before I share the recipe, I have to share a little bit about my Aunt Ann (or AA; double A as she is referred to by family and friends), because she’s a pretty amazing woman by all standards.  One of the many reasons I say this is because my aunt is an oarsman on the Colorado River.  She guides people down the Grand Canyon and has been doing so with her husband for almost 35 years now.

I have always been in awe of her ability to just get out there and do what she loves.  She was one of the first women to professionally guide people down the Grand Canyon.  She does her job really well and she is extremely respected within the rafting community.  She has taken all levels of people down the river including politicians, movie stars, sports stars and, of course, little ‘ol me.  Here is a picture of her on the river with Tom Cruise (this was before he married Nicole Kidman and went a bit off the edge of reality).

I was fortunate enough to be able to take a river trip with my aunt and uncle when I was a junior in high school.  It was an eighteen day trip, completely paid for.  All I needed to do was help out around camp and assist the research group that was taking the trip with us.  They were studying the humpback chub (a fish for all you non-biologist types out there) and it was right up my alley as I was planning to go to college for a degree in Wildlife Biology. I’ll never forget how amazing that trip was.  Many people only dream of having the opportunity to take such a trip and I was fortunate enough to get the chance.

My aunt and uncle have since “semi” retired from the rafting business although they still take the occasional trip down the river and run their own company selling custom whitewater rafting gear.  If you’re ever in the market, you can check out her company, The Summit.

A big portion of their time is now spent down in Baja California where they own their own piece of land on the ocean.  No home on it, just a trailer and a boat for marlin fishing.  And they relish every minute of it.  They love Baja and I love that they want to share a piece of the culture with us.

The cookbook they passed on to us has so many amazing recipes in it, including the bean recipe I’m going to share with you today.  I hope to share more recipes from this cook book in the future and when I do, I’m sure I will think of my aunt and what an amazing woman she is.  Here’s a picture of them taken in 2006 with my middle son, Alex.

And now, without further ado, the Sweet and Spicy Black Bean recipe.  Here’s what you’ll need to put them together.  Keep in mind when you’re looking at this recipe, that it puts together a really large batch so if you’re cooking for a smaller group you might want to cut the recipe in half.

Another thing to note is that I was trying to whip these up quickly while simultaneously putting all three kids to bed before all the guests arrived for the Cinco de Mayo cooking club, so I ran out of time to take my step by step pictures for these.  I apologize for dropping the ball today (or the camera as the case may be!)

Ingredients Needed:

2 Tbsp of Olive Oil
2 Medium Onions, Finely Chopped
1-2 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
2 Jalapeno Peppers, Seeded and finely Chopped
4 15oz. Cans of Black Beans
1 28 Oz. Can of Diced Tomatoes with Basil Garlic and Oregano, Undrained
1/3 Cup of Honey
1/3 Cup of Packed Light Brown Sugar
1 Tsp of Gnger
1 Tsp of Salt

Grab a large frying pan and heat your olive oil on medium high heat.  To the heated oil add your onions and stir.  Cook the onions for 5 minutes and then turn the heat down to medium and cook for another 15 to 20 minutes stirring frequently so they don’t burn.  Your onions should cook down to about half of what you started with and they should be a nice golden brown color.

While your onions are cooking, chop up the jalapeno’s and garlic and set to the side.  Drain and rinse your black beans and add them all to a large pot on medium heat.  Along with the beans add your tomatoes, honey, brown sugar, ginger and salt.

After your onions have cooked for an additional 15-20 minutes, add in the jalapeno and garlic and cook for an additional 5 minutes.  Then add the onion mixture in with the beans and heat through until hot.

There is also a note from the cookbook that says you don’t necessarily have to cook your onions for 20 minutes but this will make the dish if you do.  Those golden browned onions will impart a wonderful sweet flavor you won’t want to miss.

Here’s my finished pot hot on the stove and ready to be served up:

And here’s a picture of a serving about to be given to Andrew.  The kid tore these up.  It looked like a bean massacre when he was done.   The final product:

Sweet and Spicy Black Beans

Total Time: 30 min

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Onions, Finely Chopped
1-2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
2 Jalapeno Peppers, Seeded and Chopped
4 15 Oz.Cans Black Beans
1 28 Oz. Can Diced Tomatoes with Basil Garlic and Oregano, Undrained
1/3 Cup Honey
1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
1 tsp Ginger
1 tsp Salt

Directions:

Grab a large frying pan and heat your olive oil on medium high heat.

To the heated oil add your onions and stir.

Cook the onions for 5 minutes and then turn the heat down to medium and cook for another 15 to 20 minutes stirring frequently so they don't burn. Your onions should cook down to about half of what you started with and they should be a nice golden brown color.

While your onions are cooking, chop up the jalapeno's and garlic and set to the side.

Drain and rinse your black beans and add them all to a large pot on medium heat.

Along with the beans add your tomatoes, honey, brown sugar, ginger and salt.

After your onions have cooked for an additional 15-20 minutes, add in the jalapeno and garlic and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Add the onion mixture in with the beans and heat through until hot.