Thursday, January 28, 2016

Frijoles Pintos - Pinto Beans

I have been cooking (and burning) beans for years.I've diligently followed my mother's recipe, but if you've been following us for a while, you'll know she doesn't provide us with specific quantities on ingredients. It's usually a little of this, a handful of that, etc. 

So the taste {and texture} of my beans always seems to waver a bit. Never quite as delicious as mom's, or grandma's, of course....

And, then a big percentage of the time I burn them. And if you've ever let a pot of beans burn, you know you'll have that reminder for the next 24 hours. Heck, the very first time I ever attempted to cook them, they dried out and burned so badly the neighbors could smell it!! Needless to say, they laughed at me. It was quite comical actually.

The thing about beans is that they take so long to cook, you have to make sure you'll be home for several hours to make sure they have enough time to cook thoroughly.

So I finally decided one day when I was craving "frijoles" and had to step out for a few errands...why not try the slow cooker? Wow. This took my beans to the next level. Here's how you too can make that happen.


You'll need a Slow Cooker.

2 cups of whole pinto beans
1 quarter white onion
salt to taste

For added flavor:
1 strip of raw bacon OR 1 cube / 1 tablespoon of Knorr Suiza Bouillon  

Sort the pinto beans to search for rocks, dirt, debris, etc. Wash the beans. Place them in the slow cooker. Pour water in the slow cooker, enough to cover 3/4 of the pot.  Add onion, salt, bacon or Knorr Suiza Bouillon.

Turn slow cooker to High, and set to cook for 5 hours. Mine has never ran out of water, therefore, never burning. It covers the house in that yummy goodness fragrance, and the beans are soft and perfect!

Throw out the onion and bacon strip and serve up in a bowl with queso and avocado sprinkled on top, or refry them. 

Try it and let us know how it works out for you.


Sonia and Sandy

Thursday, January 21, 2016

How to make (fry) homemade tostada shells

Hey there!

We previously posted a recipe for mom's awesome tostadas. This is by far one of my family's favorite recipes. It's a good day in our home when it's TOSTADA day. Anyhow, the recipe previously posted called for buying premade tostadas at the store. There is ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong with premade tostadas...heck, I've got some in my pantry as we, as I type.

But if you want to step it up a notch....or 10....make your own. Depending on how many you want to make, could be time-consuming. But, it's a fairly simple process that will take the taste of your tostadas to whole other level. 

This is something you can make a day ahead if you don't want to cook the beans, refry the beans, cook the meat and make the sauce all on the same day. 


- corn tortillas- as many as you'll need. I usually calculate 4 per person
- vegetable oil- I start with about 2 cups

Pour the oil in a pan and heat at medium heat. Once it's heated add your first tortilla. I fry one at a time because they're temperamental, and that's why I say it could be time-consuming depending on how many you're frying.

I use tongs to push the tortilla down to make sure it's under the oil. I lift it every so often to check the bottom. Once it's golden brown, I flip over. I like mine brownish because they're crunchier that way. But you can play with the level of crunchiness you prefer.

Once it's golden brown on both sides, pick it up out of the oil with your tongs so the oil drips off as much as possible, then place the tostada shell on a plate with paper towels on it, 2-3,so the paper towels soak up more oil.

Put the next tortilla in the oil and repeat for each tortilla.

Helpful Tips:

-The first tostada will take longer to fry. The rest will become progressively quicker to fry, as the heat rises in temperature.

- You will notice the oil level will decrease. Add oil as you start to see that the tortilla can't be submerged in the oil as easily.

- Oil splatters...they happen! It can be cleaned up off your appliances and countertops, no problem. A bit of a mess. However, if it splatters on your skin, or eye, not so bueno. I use this handy oil splatter screen and it has made a world of a difference! We did not have these growing up. But I recently came across these and they make safety and clean up that much easier! You place it to rest on top of your pan so it covers the entire opening of your. Of course, when I'm prodding and flipping my tostadas, you can't just lay it to rest. I hold it in such a way that it's protecting my face and I lift it up on the side opposite my face, so I can get my tongs in there and push the tortilla down and flip, etc. When you're comfortable just leaving the tortilla alone to fry, you can simply lay it to rest on top of your pan...and no splatters!

I hope you take the time to make these. You'll never want to buy tostadas again...unless you have no time, and are having wine with a friend and you run out of time to fry....which is how I ended up with store bought tostadas in my pantry....

Until next time and buen provecho!!