After a week of eating heavily–I’m making a lot of delicious, calorie-laden dishes for this blog it seems– and before a bad eating weekend (gaming necessitates pizza and soda, people) I wanted to make something healthy and cheap. What could be healthier and cheaper than a pot of beans? Soak ’em, cook ’em up, flavor ’em any way you want, and you can chow down for days. Flipping through Mark Bittman‘s biblical-proportion cookbook, How to Cook Everything, I was intrigued by a recipe for “Black Beans with Orange.” It sounds colorful and interesting, doesn’t it? It could as easily be named, “Black beans with cumin, pepper, garlic, and orange” as the orange isn’t as prominent as I might have liked. But still, a good recipe for black beans and certainly a good starting point for me.
These images just emanate summertime, don’t they? Can’t you feel the warmth of the sun, smell the pool, see lightening bugs, hear cicadas? Can’t you? Just humor me, then. The bean preparation was fairly simple: simmer three cups of cooked beans and 1 cup liquid with sauteed bell pepper, onion, garlic, and jalapeno. Add a tablespoon of cumin and some salt and pepper. Add 1/2 cup red wine and squeeze half an orange over the beans. Cook for a bit and allow flavors to permeate. Serve with cilantro, tortillas, and any fresh fixin’s you desire. Squeeze an orange slice over the top if desired. J and I went the soft taco route with this dish. They look so pretty I could eat them all over again. I added some shredded chicken into the fixin’s for J. We ate every bit of this spread.
This morning after the dog park and scrubbing the house down and working out and going to the dreaded Wal-mart we needed a big lunch. Migas was a perfect solution for staying relatively healthy and using many of the previous night’s ingredients. We didn’t know about migas before we visited Austin, Texas to get engaged two years ago and had our first taste at the South Congress Cafe. Basically, migas, or “crumbs,” are a combination of eggs, stale tortillas, and anything and everything left over from the week. They are amazingly simple and good. Migas have a special place in our hearts because they were what we ate the weekend we got engaged and what we served at our wedding brunch buffet.
Today’s migas included the bell peppers, onions, and jalapenos from the previous night, fried up and chopped tortillas, eggs, and leftover cheddar cheese. We sauteed the veggies, added in tomatoes and tortillas and let them cook a bit, then added in four eggs and turned down the heat a bit. When the eggs were mostly done we sprinkled the cheese and mixed it in. What makes migas is the corn tortillas in them and I hope everyone will try these– the corn tortilla flavor adds something different and richer to what would be glorified scrambled eggs. We served the migas with homemade salsa and black beans. I like to mix the beans and migas in each forkful. J went for the extra carbs and put his migas in corn tortillas and had breakfast soft tacos.
The black beans were a great start to the weekend. We got at least two meals out of them and don’t have to feel guilty about either. They may have been an afterthought to the migas, but without the beans and tortillas already on hand I wouldn’t have even thought of making them. It’s awesome to see the connections I’m making as I write and cook for my family and my audience. Thanks for the inspiration.