186 cookbooks – Frijoles borrachos, and more

Rick Bayless’ Mexican Kitchen. Mmmm. All right, I’ll admit it. I have no intention of getting rid of this one, even though the excuse for this cooking marathon is that I need to sort out the cookbooks I don’t want to keep. The only excuse for trying a recipe from Mexican Kitchen is that I’m a completeness geek, and self-indulgent too. So be it.

Anyhow, I’ve been curious about frijoles borrachos – drunken beans. Which, it turns out, are almost exactly the same as frijoles charros – cowboy beans. You just add a slug of tequila to get those cowboys drunk, and we really couldn’t taste the tequila among all the other flavors anyway.

The covered pot contains freshly cooked pintos.

But the other flavors – oh my. Beans have a deserved reputation for being stodgy, not that there’s anything wrong with that in moderation, in the background. Beans with some onion and chopped peppers and bacon and cilantro are ready to party.

And since there’s no point in being just a little Mexican, I included a chile-glazed pork tenderloin, kind of inspired by some of Bayless’ ideas but, really, not up to his authenticity standard. It’s good, though.

You just need some garlic, brown sugar, tomato sauce, ground ancho and chipotle – you see what I mean about being non-authentic. (My fallback authenticity excuse, when pushed, is to insist that whatever I cooked is Authentically Pennsylvania Dutch. After all, that’s what I am; so anything I cook has to be authentic, right? Right?)

So, not totally Mexican. Faster and simpler, though. Cook a chopped garlic clove, 2 teaspoons of ancho and a quarter teaspoon of chipotle in a little oil for a few seconds. (If you like hot hot hot food, use more chipotle and less ancho.) Add two tablespoons of sugar and cook till the sugar is melting. Now stand back – melted sugar is HOT and may spatter – and add about two tablespoons of tomato sauce, to make sure the mixture is loose enough to apply to the roast. Let it cool just a bit (see above; melted sugar is really hot), then daub it over the pork tenderloin and roast for about an hour at 375 Fahrenheit. (A medium hot oven, for you Celsius-minded people. Too cool for bread, a little hot for cake.)

And this is what we had for Sunday dinner.

Yum.

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