my mirepoix... onion, garlic and jalapeno.

my first recipe posting πŸ™‚ i figured something simple, since a lot of my friends have been asking for good, simple recipes. this mexican-ish black bean and corn concoction is one of my staples. 1) because its so simple 2) because i almost always have the ingredients on hand and 3) its sooo versatile. when i first made this, i literally just threw a bunch of stuff in the saucepan and kept tasting along the way. when it was finished, i ate half of it right out of the pot. ive used it as a dip, over mexican rice, in quesadillas, stuffed in peppers, you name it. Β then came seamlessweb. no more! the enchiladas today were yummier than most mexican dishes ive had in the city.

i need to invest in a good 8″ wusthof chef’s knife. too bad it’s bad luck to get a knife as a present, otherwise i would ask my mom or siblings for an early birthday present πŸ™‚

my pink kitchenaid just isnt cutting it anymore (pun intended).Β  i even got that samurai shark thing from the infomercials, doesnt work so great! or maybe i just dont know how to use it properly.

for now, it gets the job done. just gotta push a little harder to cut things nicely.

i really am trying with the food photography =/

i really am trying with the food photography =/

i started off by chopping some garlic, half a yellow onion (i actually only put a little more than 1/4 onion in the pot) and some jalapeno. my mirepoix πŸ™‚

in emeril's words, before it gets "happy"

then i coated my trusty (and somehow now dented!) green saucepan over medium heat with some olive oil and a bit of butter. i like to put a little bit of butter in with the oil whenver i cook with garlic because somehow i always end up slightly burning the garlic 😦 which sometimes, when intentional, is yummy (mm garlic chips. but thats another time). but in this case, i just wanted the stuff to get nice and soft all together. the butter keeps everything from burning too quickly. im not sure of the exact chemistry about the smoking points behind it, but just trust me! it works.

...and now its "happy"

added some taco seasoning (i could add the spices seperately, but if its in a yellow paper can thing all ready for you, whats the point?), a little extra cumin, and some cayenne to the onions, garlic and jalapeno. the seasoning has a good amount of salt in it, so i didn’t add any.

then, i opened a can of black beans and drained off that smelly liquid that it comes in. i hate that part. plopped the whole mess into the saucepan, and added MORE taco seasoning, a bit more cumin and cayenne and a hefty pinch of kosher salt. mash it all a bit with a wooden spoon (or paddle looking thing, as i have here). i got this mashing technique from my mom when she makes chole πŸ™‚ it makes the texture less like a salsa and more like a, um, spread?

i get it from my momma πŸ™‚

here, it starts looking pretty delish on its own. you can taste test and stop here if you’d like, but i like to go further and add some corn to the mix πŸ™‚ i used to just throw some frozen corn into it (never canned if i can avoid it. canned corn = gummy. frozen corn = yummy) but now since ive tried trader joe’s frozen ROASTED corn, its all i use. ahh, the geniuses at trader joes. worth standing for an hour in line and getting pushed by old ladies in the union square location, aka the ONLY trader joe’s in manhattan!

who needs a grill?

stir in. adjust seasonings as needed.

the puddle is garlic chipotle salsa. in case you were wondering.

put in a few big spoonfuls of your favorite salsa, getting as much of the liquidy part as you can (you know what im talking about, the stuff at the top)

just let it cook for a bit to make sure the flavors all meld together nicely. then you are free to do what you want with it!

snug as some bugs in a rug

last night, i made enchiladas. extremely simple! just took some tortillas (whole wheat. after all, it is the new year! isnt everyone trying to eat healthier?), cheese, the leftover chopped onion and a can of enchilada sauce and threw it all together and pushed it in a 375 oven till the cheese was all melty. made some of that goya mexican rice to eat on the side, and had a fiesta πŸ™‚ well, really i just told my friend from upstairs to eat with me and watch some big love. but i guess that can be a fiesta.

the rice was so colorful, had to make that the front point of the pic. sorry, enchilada!

i used reduced fat cheese … but if you’re wise and use real fatty cheese then itll come out bubblier and more melty than this. it was still good though πŸ™‚ and healthy!

happy new year!

recipe for black bean and corn concoction

1/2 yellow onion

1 jalapeno (use more or less to taste)

3 medium to large cloves garlic (again, to taste. i love garlic so i use a lot)

olive oil to coat bottom of the pan

1/2 tablespoon butter (or less)

4-5 tablespoons taco seasoning, divided

2-3 teaspoons cumin, divided

cayenne to taste

1 can black beans, drained

kosher salt

1/2 – 3/4 cup frozen corn

about 3-4 tablespoons salsa

1) heat the oil and butter over medium heat. saute the onion, garlic and jalapeno until it gets soft and fragrant. add about 2 tablespoons taco seasoning, 1-2 teaspoons cumin, dash of cayenne.

2) add the drained black beans to the pot, mashing with a wooden spoon as it heats through. throw in a bit more seasoning, cumin, cayenne if desired. taste and add kosher salt if needed.

3) stir in frozen corn, salsa. taste and adjust seasoning.

4) eat! mmm.

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