Last month I spent 10 days in Medellin, Colombia. From the moment I got there all I kept hearing was how amazing their Frijoles were. I was like… “how good can beans be?”, I mean they’re beans…right? We ate out often and I refused to order Frijoles- why in the world would I go to another country to eat a bowl of beans?
We came upon this little town at the top of a steep hill that has been preserved as a museum. It is called Pueblo Paisa. In this town there was a restaurant where we decided to have a very traditional lunch, I finally gave in and ordered the bowl of Frijoles. Can I just say… OHHHH MYYYYY GOSSHHHH!!!
YO! This was not a bowl of beans, it was an experience. First of all the beans were beyond amazing cooked to perfection, they were buttery and seasoned oh so well. The consistency was that between a stew and a chili. They also top it off like we would chili. It was covered with wonderfully ripe Avocados, perfectly fried pork cracklings, sweet corn and French Fry POTATO CHIPS!! Who the hell thought of this? The bowl of beans was also accompanied with a side of perfectly cooked fluffy white rice, sour cream, ahogado (these are tomatoes and onions diced and sweated out over butter) and Aji (this is the Colombian’s version of hot sauce ). Moral of this story! When in Rome do as the Romans do – Eat the Beans!
For my mother in law’s birthday I decided to recreate this dish…of course A La Carmen. So I present to you Frijoles, according to carmen. I hope you enjoy as much as I enjoyed making it for my mother in law and my family.
- 2 lbs of Dry Red Kidney Beans
- 1 medium sized carrots cleaned, peeled and grated
- 1 medium sized onion grated
- 2 medium sized tomatoes diced in small cubes.
- 1 heaping tablespoon of Sofrito
- Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
- 3 teaspoons of Cumin
- Salt to taste
- 2 whole cloves of garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 chicken bouillon packets
- Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 Green Plantain, peeled and cut in 1/2 inches.
- Wash your beans. Cover the beans in water and allow them to soak overnight.
- Drain the beans, rinse through one more time and cover the beans with water in a pot. Be sure to use a pot with a lid.
- Add the bay leaves, garlic, onion, tomato, chicken bouillon packets/cubes, carrots, sofrito, cumin and red pepper flakes.
- You will place covered pot over medium high heat for 2 hours.
- At this point your liquid will have evaporated some. Stir in some water as you do not want your beans to dry out. Make sure the beans are always just covered with liquid.
- Add the green plantains and salt to taste. Cover for an additional hour on medium heat.
Just like Chili you can really top this dish off with whatever floats your boat. Below are the items I used.
- Pork Rinds – Traditionally this is covered with home made pork crackling but I did a Sandra Lee on this and went semi-homemade so I had my hubby pick up a bag of pork rinds. It was not the same but it was still yummy.
- French Fry Potato Chips
- Diced Avocado
- Sweet Corn – I’d like to tell you that I picked corn in a field and stripped the kernels but no such luck, I opened a can, drained and rinsed. It was still amazing.