Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Beers for Fears - Double Jeopardy Refried Beans

So it's Tuesday and I HAVE ANOTHER DOCTOR'S appointment! Fooray! Actually it is with the dentist, which is probably worse.  He's usually poking my tender gums with a sharp metal instrument or drilling for oil, or some such painful venture.  Truthfully, I like my dentist quite a bit; he will freely administer novocaine, and he has awesome staff as well. (The other thing I like about him is he is very circumspect about prescribing pain killers. "Oh, you have some pain after having all of your upper teeth removed?  Take Advil.") The only time I was truly unhappy in his office was when my appointment there was with the now-retired periodontist, who I had dubbed "Dr. Mengele."  Listen, over the years I've had countless root canals and all of my teeth pulled, and the teeth-cleaning I got from that periodontist was far worse. He reminded me of a somewhat refined version of Steve Martin's character in "Little Shop of Horrors."

The rest of the day belongs to me and my pork chops.  And those refried beans, but that's a straightforward recipe from a cookbook.  The pork chops jumped out of the meat case and into my cart when we were at BJs on Sunday, and demanded to be stuffed.  Who am I to deny such a simple act of kindness to the pig that gave his life for my family's supper?

The problem (there's always a problem) is that I have no idea what to use for stuffing.  Oh wait, I do! It came to me while I was working on the refried beans, and it is perfect.  Except I will have to stop into Publix for some of the ingredients.  Oh, darn.

The autocorrect just tried to change refried to retried.  Clearly the autocorrect does not understand The Law (said like Dredd).  The Law is The Law, and it says neither you nor the beans can be tried twice for the same crime.  If the glove don't fit, you must acquit.  Or refry your beans, it's your choice.  No double jeopardy, my friends.  It's The Law.

Up until an hour ago, I was having a really good day.  Happy to complete my chores, enjoying the warm breeze.  Chronic pain syndrome is merciless, and has a really bad sense of timing.  The pain came, and then the depression, and then the fatigue, and then the inability to retain even liquids and to taste food properly.  Talk about rapid cycling.

Chelsea, being a bitch

Anyway, once I got back to the house, I had to sit down and put my head down. No jumping right into the stuffing for the pork chops for me. Besides, Chelsea is running around the house like a Mad Dog and Englishwoman, whining her little head off, presumably because I sprayed a small amount of anti-flea stuff on her.  You would think I had set her hair on fire.  Oh, now she stuck out her tongue at me. Nice doggie.

The onions, bacon and garlic, together again for the "nth" time

The refried beans came out even better than expected.  They are not difficult, and the only "exotic" ingredient in there is beer.  I realize for some people, beer is as common as orange juice, but I don't normally keep it in the house (wine is an entirely different matter.  I'm not a bloomin' tea-totaller, just not a beer drinker).  Fortunately, my son keeps a couple of bottles in the fridge, so today's recipe is brought to you courtesy of Cory and Stella Artois.

Double Jeopardy Refried Beans

2 tablespoons roasted garlic extra virgin olive oil
5 bacon strips, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
4 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 generous teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 generous teaspoon dark chili powder
1/2 cup beer
1-14 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved
1-14 oz. can refried beans
1-14 oz. can pinto beans, drained
kosher salt, ground black pepper, granulated garlic

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  First add the bacon and cook for a few minutes, then add the onion and cook until the onion is soft and translucent and the bacon is well-rendered but not crisp. Add the garlic, cumin, and chili powder, as well as some salt, pepper, and granulated garlic.  Cook another minute or two, then deglaze the pan with the beer.  Stir to scrape up all good stuff, then add the drained tomatoes and continue to cook.  Stir in the refried beans, using the wooden spoon to break them up.  Reduce the heat and cook, stirring, until refried beans are smooth.  If the mixture seems too thick, add a little more beer or some of the reserved tomato juice.  Add the drained pinto beans.  Adjust the seasoning if necessary.

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