Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Being Domestic

I don't cook. I don't really know how... per say. I can follow a recipe and it usually turns out just fine, but I can't open up my fridge and throw some things together and call it a meal. Unless it involves opening up a Lean Cuisine/Healthy Choice/Smart Start and throwing it in the microwave, because I am a pro at that.

Today, I decided to cook my mom's world-famous beans and rice. I did it for the first time a couple of months ago and it turned out fabulous, so I thought I'd go super big and do two full slow cookers chock full of yummy Colombian goodness (my parents left theirs at my house a few weeks ago - mom had cooked the beans and rice for us and brought it down when we euthanized Gypsy... and now I have stolen their slow cooker). Mind you, I've been eating this meal for my entire life - nothing suits my fancy better than Colombian food. My mom is a wonderful cook, but I seem to lack the culinary gene, so last time I cooked this, I had her walk me through it, step by step, over the phone. This involved something like 6 phone calls and it ended up tasting really good. The only problem is there isn't a specific recipe for it and that little fact makes me nervous. Last time, she told me 3-4 tomatoes - this time she told me 5, etc. I only called her once, just to make sure I had all of the ingredients and then I ventured into the kitchen alone to begin my big cooking adventure.

Beans and Rice, Momma P Style
4-5 big tomatoes
5-7 green onions
1 bunch cilantro (or more if you love it as much as I do)
Garlic (maybe... 7 or 8 cloves? - I used about 1/4 cup of minced garlic in the jar... I'm lazy)
Lawry's Seasoning Salt - to taste - 2-3 tablespoons? probably more.
Cumin - to taste - 2-3 tablespoons? probably more.
Salt/Pepper - to taste.

1-1.5 lbs ground beef or ground turkey
6-7 medium red potatoes
1 can dark kidney beans, drained
1 can light kidney beans, drained
16 oz chicken stock (low sodium if you wish to be healthier)
3 cups water

First of all, if you have a food processor, use it. If you don't, get one :) Or spend a lot of time chopping tomoatoes into tiny pieces. So, first chop the tomatoes into chunks and put them in the food processor for about 10 seconds - it should look pureed, there should still be bits of tomato, but you want it to be mostly liquid. Pour into a large frying pan.

Chop cilantro and green onions - I used the food processor for this too because it is much faster. You want it to be sufficiently chopped up - I don't like big leaves of cilantro in my food, so I do it pretty tiny. Add to tomotoes in frying pan.

Add seasoning salt, cumin, garlic, salt, and pepper - be generous with your spices! But you can always add more later.

Heat at high medium heat. This part takes a little while - you want it to lose some of the moisture and turn thicker. It is okay for it to retain a little bit of liquid, so do this for about 20 minutes or so.

Meanwhile, start browning the ground beef/turkey (I use turkey because it is healthier). Peel your potatoes and cube them - put in slow cooker. Rinse/drain the kidney beans - add to slow cooker. Once ground beef/turkey is done, add to slow cooker. Add chicken stock and water.

Once the tomato mixture is good to go - add to slow cooker. Mix it all up - add some more seasoning salt, cumin, salt/pepper (because you didn't put enough in the first time) and stir it some more. Turn slow cooker on high. If you feel the need to stir and you are home, do so every 30 minutes or so.

After a few hours, it should be ready to go. Make some rice. Taste the concoction in the slow cooker - add appropriate spices. Add rice to bean/meat slow cooker goodness and you are good to go.

Last, add tabasco sauce and fresh cilantro - it makes it yummy. If you can't handle spicy foods, avoid tabasco sauce, but I promise you, it is delicious.

I'll let you know how it turns out - so far, it smells GREAT!

EDIT: It tastes amazing. I'm still eating it.

If this was confusing - only add beans/meat to rice when ready to eat - don't just dump the rice into the beans/meat and let it sit like that :)


  1. hmmm sounds yummy I think I will try it, one questions is this a recipe for two slow cookers full or just one? :)

  2. This is the one slow cooker version of the recipe - it turned out GREAT (my only change from my mom's real recipe is the chicken stock and it makes it super yummy)!!! Let me know if you like it!