Enteros, borachos and refritos are only three ways to serve up this Mexican delicacy. I like them served fresh in a bowl. With a big pinch of shredded cheddar on top while they're still steaming. Mix in five or six sliced jalapenos, or salsa, and a warm tort on the side – well, that's all she wrote. Of course, I'm talking about frijoles. You know, "the musical fruit, the more you eat, the more you toot".
The name pinto comes from Spanish, meaning painted. If you look closely at a pinto bean you'll notice that it has brown and beige Mosaic designs, like an abstract painting. It turns a pinkish brown when cooked.
Benefits of Beans
"Beans, beans they're good for your heart, the more you eat, the more you fart." Indeed, they are good for your heart. They provide iron, magnesium, potassium, thiamin and vitamin B-6. But, if only the last part of the jingle could be avoided. As a kid I used to eat a lot of beans. I was a notorious pedoro.
Refries with Manteca
My favorite bean style was refried that my mother would mash in a cast iron sartén with lard. Or manteca, as it's called in Spanish -fat from pork. It came in a blue box made of waxed cardboard with the name Snow Cap Lard, along with the word hydrogenated.
I bet you're curious about preventing the flatulence effect. Well, I'll tell you the secret, but that everybody already knows or has heard before. They just don't do it because it takes too long.
The first thing you have to do is clean the beans. Go through and separate out the little stones, halves, and damaged beans, setting them to the side. Then I soak the beans in water in a 4 quart pot for at least eight hours, or overnight. Make sure you cover them with at least 2 inches of water so when they expand, they will still have a water cover.
Soaking legumes dimminishes the oligosaccharides and phytic acid contents, which can cause much intestinal discomfort if left unchecked. This way they become easier to digest. If they've started to sprout, you probably left them soaking too long.
But not to worry, the beans will cook regardless. After the soaking, rinse the beans really well in a colander. I normally set the beans to boil, and afterwards set them on a low medium flame for 45 minutes, and add spices the last five. (Could be longer depending on the altitude. In Taos, NM, it could take nearly 3 hrs.)
Generally, I cook 2 cups of beans so I add 2 teaspoons salt, 2 teaspoons comino (cumin), 2 teaspoons red chili powder, 1 teaspoon oregano. But I think everybody has to adjust their spices to individual tastes.
As a matter of principle, my mother would never have combined comino and oregano in the same pot. But that's another story saved for another post.