I have been blessed this week by good friends who cooked me delicious food, two nights in a row! But no good thing could last forever, so last night it fell upon me, once again, to come up with something to eat. This, which I dimly recall making a version of last semester, is what I came up with. It’s a one-pot vegetarian meal full of delight and nutrition, inspired by fajitas and huevos rancheros. (Usually I intend to top it with fried eggs and salsa, and then never manage to do so. It’s just that good on its own.)
This is how I made it last night–I’m sure it could be endlessly tweaked to suit your preferences. Note that you could replace all of the fat with lard if you were feeling authentic. Myself, I prefer to cook the veggies in olive oil and the beans in an animal fat. In general I think the amount of fat in this recipe could be significantly reduced, if you have a good non-stick skillet and a good stove (like a nice gas one).
- 1 green bell pepper (approx 185 g)
- 1 yellow bell pepper (approx 153 g)
- 3 small red onions (approx 150 g)
- 1.5 T olive oil
- 1 small head of garlic
- 1 large handful of cumin seeds
- 1 can of beans (approx 240 g, and yes, you can cook your own from scratch if you are so inclined)
- 1.5 T olive oil
- 9 g goose fat (optional, could be replaced with olive oil)
- chili powder (I use Alton Brown’s Chili Powder Recipe)
- red chile flakes
- couple of handfuls of cherry or plum tomatoes, halved (approx 140 g)
- a handful of cherry tomatoes, quartered, to serve
- sour cream, to serve
- chopped fresh cilantro, to serve
- Put a dry, non-stick skillet on the burner to heat.
- Add the cumin seeds and start them a’toastin’. Stir them frequently to ward off the burnin’.
- Meanwhile, roughly chop the bell peppers and the onion.
- When the cumin seeds have reached an appropriate level of toasty-ness, take them out of the pan and set them aside.
- Then, into the pan goes some olive oil (I used 1.5 T, but I think it would work with less if your non-stick skillet is less lame than mine) and the chopped peppers and onions.
- Cook the bell peppers and onion until they’ve lost a bit of their raw edge. (I believe the technical term is “crisp-tender”. I didn’t take them much farther than that–I wanted some textural difference in the dish. No squishy peppers for me, no sir.)
- While the peppers and onion are cooking, chop the head of garlic. (It doesn’t have to be super-fine. Go with whatever you’re comfortable with.)
- Once the peppers and onion have hit “crisp-tender”, pop them out of the pan onto a plate.
- Add the other 1.5 T olive oil and the 9 g of goose fat (if you’re using it) to the pan. Then add the beans, garlic, and cumin. Stir!
- When you start to smell the garlic cooking, add paprika, red chile flakes, and chili powder. (I used a lot of all three of those, but do it to suit your tastes, you know?)
- Then add the halved tomatoes. Cook those with the beans until the tomatoes are good and squishy and the whole thing is a little more liquidy.
- Return the bell peppers and onion to the pan with the beans. Stir to combine.
- Salt to taste!
Serves 2 for main courses, probably 4 if you top it with fried eggs and serve with tortillas or potatoes or something.
Serve topped with sour cream, chopped fresh tomatoes, and chopped cilantro. If you’re feeling like living on the edge, throw in some chopped avocado as well!