It has seriously been tortilla city at our place! A couple of Friday nights ago Cass felt like making tortillas with some ingredients we had around the house, and I had already decided to make tortillas with some friends that were coming up Saturday, and we had leftovers Sunday! Tortillas are lots of fun to make with a crowd as you can get everyone on a job and all enjoy the cooking process together.
The beans are easily frozen in a plastic container so you can make many, and enjoy again when it’s convenient. We also made tortillas, which we cooked, and then froze the leftovers. These were good to heat up again in the oven next time.
The chillies used can be bought from Mexican food stores. Chile Mojo is a Mexican food store that is in Adelaide (near us) and we have bought dried chillies, tomatillos, masa flour and our press from there.
beans (if soaking beans begin the night before)
vegan, vegetarian and gluten free (check tortillas or masa flour packaging as some may contain traces of gluten but it is naturally gluten free)
about 6-8 serves
The beans are not spicy, the ancho chilli used tastes like sweet capsicum, however, if you like heat, replacements are offered in the ingredients list immediately below.
Just over 1 cup (or two 400 g cans) of dried pinto beans (you could also use kidney beans)
1-2 (2 if on smaller side) brown onions. Roughly chopped (½cm)
About 2-3 tbs olive oil
1-2 garlic cloves. Roughly chopped.
½ – ¾ tbs sweet or mild paprika (or hot if you are feeling like heat)
1 tbs ground cumin
1 tbs ground coriander
1 stick of cinnamon
2 cans of whole peeled tomatoes
1 whole dried ancho chilli – not hot (or 1 whole dried chipotle or 4-6 whole dried redchillies for heat)
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
preparing dried beans
The night before soak the beans (fill the water to about 3-4 cm above the beans) in a covered sauce pan.
When you are ready to make the beans (at least an hour before you want to eat), drain them, refill with water and bring to the boil on your stove top.
Once they are boiled, turn off and drain again. Rinse the bins and the pot with cold water. This will make the beans less starchy.
Then add the beans to the pot, re-fill the pot with water, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove any beans that float to the top, and skim the foam off of the surface. They don’t need to be tender as they will cook longer with the sauce. Drain when 20 minutes is up.
Putting it all together
Roughly chop the onions. Heat the olive oil in a large sauce pan on med-high, add the onions after about a minute or two. Add a pinch of salt to help them break down quicker. You want them to gently become translucent, not caramelise, so keep on a medium heat.
When the onions are translucent, add the garlic, paprika, cumin, coriander, chilli(s), cinnamon and pepper. Heat until the spices become aromatic (about a minute or two).
Add the tomatoes and the beans (can or from dried). Add a small amount of water to the tomato cans and give a swish to get all the tomato from the sides and add this to the pot too. Bring to the boil and then simmer on medium until beans are tender – you may need to add a little water here if the liquid reduces too much. If using a dried chipotle, I have found that if you take this out and finely slice and put back in while the beans are cooking, there is more heat. Taste for salt and pepper (you will need to add more salt from the pinch that went in with the onions, pepper depends on how much you put in with the other spices.)