PW’s Spicy Beans

My sister visited this summer – and while that was awesome, she made it even more memorable by making these amazing beans! This will forever be my go-to recipe for pinto beans and the whole family enjoys them – so much that I made them three times in one month. Don’t let the “spicy” deter you, these are easily modified. Two teaspoons of pepper is too much for our palettes, so I only add 1 or 1 1/2 teaspoons. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Spicy Beans – adapted from The Pioneer Woman

  • 4 cups Dry Pinto Beans
  • 1 whole Ham Hock
  • 2 quarts of water (this is the perfect amount for me)
  • 1 whole Onion, Diced
  • 4 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 whole Jalapenos, Sliced
  • 2 teaspoons Salt, More To Taste
  • 2 Tablespoons Chili Powder
  • 1 – 1 1/2  teaspoons Black Pepper

Directions –

Sort through the beans, making sure to pick out all the weird looking and broken beans and rocks. Dump the sorted beans in a large colander and rinse thoroughly with cold water.

Place beans in a stock pot with the ham hock and cover with water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover the pot and simmer for 2 hours, checking occasionally to make sure the water level is fine. Add more water as needed.

Then throw in diced onion, red bell pepper, garlic and jalapeno. Cover and continue cooking for another hour or two, remembering to check the water level.

Add salt, chili powder (if desired) and pepper, then cover and cook for another 20 to 30 minutes, or until beans are lovely and tender.

Homemade Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup…(yes, I am a bit of a food snob)

Why make this when you can just buy it, you ask? I’ll tell you why – after reading the ingredient list does it sound appetizing? Nope – so why not give your family the very best and make it at home? It’s quick, easy and cheap!

I’m using this for a crock pot meal that only has three ingredients and one of them is pork chops. I thought why not up the flavor and make sure I’m not giving my family something with way too much salt and chemicals. That thought inspired me to make the other two ingredients at home. This ranch mix smells fresh and this condensed soup tastes great and I can’t wait to try the end result. I used fresh onion and garlic for this which requires a little more cooking, but it will equal lots of fresh flavor. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Yield: 3 cups (about 2 cans)

Ingredients – adapted from Tammy’s Recipes
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth*
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder**
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder***
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
  • 1/4 teaspoon parsley
  • dash of paprika
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup flour
Instructions:

1. In medium-sized saucepan, boil chicken broth, 1/2 cup of the milk, and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).

2. In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens.

Additional Notes:

*I use the broth from my oven-roasted chicken. Refrigerate broth and then take fat off the top. If you’re using chicken bouillon + water for your broth, you may want to add a little extra seasonings, such as lemon pepper, extra garlic, or seasoned salt, since my broth normally has bits of those in it. You can also add bits of chicken, but if you have good rich chicken broth, you probably won’t need any chicken in it.

**Or, diced onions (boil with broth for a few minutes)

***Or, fresh minced garlic (boil with broth for a few minutes)