Southwest-Style Beans

These spicy beans pair wonderfully with this week’s cornbread and your favorite meat or vegetable hot off the grill.

Ingredients:
1 pound Santa Maria Pinquitos, or other dried bean of your choice
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 bell peppers, preferably 1 green and 1 orange or red (for color), seeded and diced
1 Walla Walla sweet onion, diced
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Place the beans in a large bowl and cover them with cold water. Set them aside and let them soak for 5 to 6 hours or overnight.

2. Drain and rinse the beans, and then place them in a large pot. Add the garlic, bell peppers and the onions. Cover them with about an inch of water.

3. Next add the chili powder and cumin, plus a large pinch each of salt and pepper. Stir to combine, and then bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the beans until tender, about 2 hours. Check the liquid level about halfway through the cooking process; if you’d prefer the beans to be less soupy, you can ladle off about a third of the cooking liquid.

Variation: For extra depth of flavor, add 3 slices of chopped bacon into the pot at the same time as the garlic, onions and peppers.

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