Thursday, December 17, 2009

Habichuelas Guisadas, Puerto Rican beans

This Puerto Rican dish has always been an ultimate comfort dish.  It smells and tastes delicious, while warming your insides and providing you with a complete meal in one pot.  This recipe actually will serve 4 people for dinner with several leftover lunches to boot.  Habichuelas is pronounced A-bee-ch-well-us and is a very typical Puerto Rican dish that can be served at any meal from breakfast to dinner.  It is usually a side dish and not the main course.  All of our friends loved my mother's bean recipe.  They could never pronounce the name and since we are Puerto Rican, it was lovingly termed "Puerto Rican Beans".  Nor could anyone recreate these beans like my mother and so it was one of the hottest requests made for potlucks, pic nics, and gatherings.  It was even a highlighted dish at my wedding reception.  Once you taste these beans it is difficult to believe that my mother did not have any formal training in cooking. 

While these beans are spicy, they are not hot - spciy, as there are no chilies in the recipe.  If you like garlic and pork, this recipe is right on the money.  Every time I smell these beans I can imagine my mom in her kitchen chopping, and stirring, while singing some of her favorite Spanish love songs.  She would seemlessly put this dish together and serve it up with love.

If you are afraid of gasiness from beans soak the beans overnight, or take some beano before consuming the beans.  make sure that the beano is gluten-free.

½ lb. pink beans

7 cups water

1 onion, chopped
1 head garlic, finely minced

1/2  green bell pepper, chopped


2 tbsp olive oil

6 oz. pork (We use Country Style Ribs)

1 sm. can tomato sauce

salt  and pepper to taste

*adobo for pork:
1 head garlic
1 teaspoon oregano
salt 1-2 tablespoons

1 teaspoon pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons of good quality olive oil

Cook the pink beans in water and boil over  medium heat.  Season the pork with the adobo and cook with a little olive oil until browned on all sides.  Meanwhile, add the onion, garlic, bell peper, cilantro, oregano and browned pork to the beans and continue to cook until the beans are tender.  Add tomato sauce, mix well and cook over medium heat until sauce thickens.  Season with salt and pepper.

Serve hot with white rice.  And for a very special treat serve with tostones (fried slices of green plantain)

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