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Old 11-29-2006, 04:45 AM   #11
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As some have said, the bacon fat won't spoil but will go rancid--and that tastes awful. You'll be able to smell the "off" odor.
Not to say that cooking beans from scratch isn't great, but for this use, canned beans would work very well also.
The large amount of fat is pretty traditional in Mexican cooking, but that amount can be cut down--to basically none, if desired.
Skilletlikker, I'm not choosing sides or anything, 'cause it doesn't matter to me, but I'm not sure what Michael said that was so offensive to you. I hope it was a total misunderstanding.

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Old 11-29-2006, 08:13 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Michael in FtW
... Let me know what I left out in this addendum, skilletlicker.
I have a lower opinion of the original recipe than you do, although the difference is not as great as it seemed after reading your first post. Finding myself in disagreement with some, occasionally even all, does not bother me.

It was the exclamation that this is peasant food, not haute cuisine, that irked me. I inferred that you considered the topic unworthy of consideration or discussion, even though you might not have intended the implication.

Please accept my apology.

"'Eat food, not too much, mostly plants." - Michael Pollan

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Old 11-29-2006, 06:05 PM   #13
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Skilletlicker:(And Michael, if you want!)

Sometimes we tend to bristle at terms or labels we put on things, even though they might be true.

As a "Brit" (although I prefer to be known as an Englishman), I often express things more bluntly than you "Americans" - that's just culture difference.

Whether the recipe was/is a "peasant" dish or not, is really irrelevant. Some of the most delicious dishes in the world ( and I drool as I think of an Indian peasant dish " Bazaar Potatoes"!!!) are so ridiculously simple, no-one can believe it. And the "peasants" invented them.

I'd venture a wild guess and say a Hamburger is a peasant dish.
Yorkshire Pudding is definitely a peasant dish.
An exotic "Sancocho de Pescado" is - a peasant dish.

One of my big complaints over here in Venezuela is the affinity to drown things in fat. A cup of fat - a little bit of onion,....It is a common denominator across the continent, unfortunately. The answer is to use less. I often eat a freshly deep-fried cornmeal empanada when I go to the market - and attach 4 or 5 serviettes to the bottom to drain off the fat. Grungy, but good.

Recipes are what you make of them. Hey, I never use dried garlic powder or dried onion powder; but that's just me. I use minimal amounts of oil and salt - everyone to their own. I very, very rarely use margarine, because I prefer butter.

So to sum up - I often do what you do. I look at a recipe and snarl, steam comes out of my ears... but then I think, hey, if I did that with this, that or the other ingredient, it might taste just right - and it usually does. What's more, I can add a fancy "foreign" name and no-one will know the difference! Does it matter? No! Only if the food tastes bad.

Oh - and I never follow a recipe exactly, unless it's mine!
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Old 11-29-2006, 11:12 PM   #14
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No apology necessary, skilletlicker.

Originally Posted by skilletlicker
It was the exclamation that this is peasant food, not haute cuisine, that irked me. I inferred that you considered the topic unworthy of consideration or discussion, even though you might not have intended the implication.
If you took what I said the wrong way then I obviously was at fault for not stating what I ment the right way. bubba_sybo had stated that "I found this recipe, but it seems like something is missing?" and "Seems like a pretty good recipe, but just too generic." - those were the points I was addressing when I said it was simple peasant food, not haute cuisine. It's a simple dish without complex methods originated by people with limited cooking equipment and ingredients who didn't need a culinary degrees from Le Cordon Bleu. I thought you, cookmex and others had covered everything else ... I was just trying to add that it's a simple dish, nothing fancy at all.

Now, when it comes to peasant food - you'll never find a bigger fan than me, or anyone less likely to demean a food because of it's peasant roots. I go out of my way to try to find original peasant recipes. Such classics as Coq au Vin is a French peasant dish, Colcannon came from the Irish, and I could go on and on.

I just hope my explanation hasn't made things worse!
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain
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Old 11-30-2006, 06:20 AM   #15
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Peasant food is the BEST!! They know how to make simple things taste wonderful. Think about our American pulled pork BBQ. It's origins are in the cheapest toughest cuts of pork because that is what poor folk could afford. Then they learned to cook it to elevate it to its current sublime state.
Cassoulet of Southwestern France is "peasant" food--you use almost anything to make the dish. Paella is another. Artisanal breads are peasant food.
There is nothing perjorative about calling something that, in my opinion. It is something of a compliment.
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Old 01-03-2007, 08:25 PM   #16
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I pretty much don't eat anything but peasant food...:-)

We make borracho beans here around San Antonio. Starting with two pounds of dry pinto beans, I was taught to wash them well, cover with water and soak overnight. Drain off that water - don't reuse it. Cover with fresh water containing two tablespoons of salt and bring the beans to a boil then reduce to a low simmer. Should cook for at least three hours this way (or until tender). While the beans are cooking, cut up 4 slices of bacon and lightly brown in a separate pan. Remove the bacon to the bean pot but retain the drippings in the pan. Using the pan, saute one large onion, a large tomato and two jalapeno peppers (all chopped). When the onion is translucent, deglaze the pan with a little beer and scrape everything into the bean pot. Add a teaspoon of ground cumin, 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, 1 teaspoon of black pepper and a teaspoon of sugar. If you haven't already finished the beer, pour it into the bean pot. Adjust salt and black pepper to taste before serving.

I prefer whole beans to refrieds for any meal but if you still want to make some, mash the beans and fry in a small amount of bacon fat or lard but be sparing with the grease since you aren't really doing much except warming them.
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Old 01-04-2007, 03:32 PM   #17
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Just to add some stuff. You can use crisco instead of the lard, both of these seem better than using vegetable oil. Perhaps the crisco/lard burns hotter or whatever. Dont some refried bean recipes use a little flour in the heated lard?? Cant remember.

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