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Pinto Bean Flameado – My own recipe
The traditional recipe is known as Queso Flameado (Flaming Cheese) and is doused with brandy and torched before serving. If your smoke detector is as sensitive as mine is, you may want to pass on the fire business. The alarm forgave me for charring the chiles (see below), but I always risk the howl from Hell when things get a little too hot in my kitchen.
1 cup assorted chile peppers, charred, skinned and diced* (I used poblano, jalapeños, and Hatch, in addition to sweet red and yellow bell peppers.)
2 generous cups cooked pinto beans
1/3 cup sliced ripe black olives (not the cured, salted Mediterranean type)
1 tablespoon dried epazote (or Mexican or Italian oregano)
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 teaspoon black pepper
3 cups assorted shredded soft Mexican or Mexican-style cheeses (I used Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Queso Quesadilla and Asadero.)
A few fresh cilantro leaves
6 warmed tortillas (white, wheat or corn)
Using long-handled metal tongs, hold each pepper on an open flame, turning frequently, until all surfaces of its skin are blistered and charred. Place the charred peppers immediately in a brown paper bag, folding over the bag to seal. Set aside for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Meantime, combine beans, olives, epazote, salt and pepper in a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl. Remove peppers from paper bag to a cutting board. Peel off and discard their skins, then cut off and discard the stems before scrapping out the seeds and softened membranes. If you like extra heat, retain the jalapeño seeds; otherwise, discard all seeds with the membranes. Dice peppers and add to the bean mixture. Adjust salt if necessary. Microwave mixture to heat through (1 minute), then divide into one or more oven-proof casserole dishes (depending on how you will serve it). Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbling. Carefully remove hot dish/es from oven. Scatter with cilantro leaves. Serve immediately with warmed tortillas. Serves 3-4 as a starter or 2 as a light, but hearty meal. --
This recipe is for Apu of Annarasa, hosting MLLA 12 for June. Apu has a charming round-up coming very soon. Please have a look at all the lovely legume recipes she's been collecting this past month from around the world. Apu will also be announcing the winner of a stylish set of kitchen textiles guaranteed to complement any decor as well as earn its keep.
I'll be returning tomorrow with another MLLA-related post. See you then!