Saturday, January 31, 2015

Refritos Colorados and Cheddar Nacho Sauce with Heirloom Hopi Blue Tortilla Chips

     Southwestern Style Chips n' Dip!
     Today's recipe is a chip and dip style nacho platter that is perfect for a Super Bowl Sunday.  A platter like this is also great for a sunset sangria party.  

     Gourmet exotic beans have become a recent food trend.  Red beans are not exactly exotic, but they are an old time favorite.  Red Beans are great for making refritos.  Red beans translate to Frijoles Colorados in Spanish.  

     Ever since GMO corn came into the picture, consumers have become aware of why modified food has been banned in many foreign countries.  Studies show that GMO food poses a health risk and an environmental threat.  American consumer protection is not always what it should be, so smart consumers trust their own judgement when deciding what is not safe to eat.  
     Savvy shoppers trust organic food.  Heirloom seed or natural hybrid seed grain is non GMO.  Because of corporate payola in America, it is against the law to label GMO products or state that a product is non GMO.  There are ways to get around this law, as can be seen in the picture of the bag of Hopi Blue Corn Tortilla Chips.  Stating that a product's origin was from a farm that is a member of the Non GMO Project Organization is a way to bypass the GMO labeling laws. 
     By public demand, non GMO labeling does take place, in one way or another.  Non GMO product labeling is currently done in subtle ways.  Understanding the lingo and definitions of key words on food labels is more important now than ever before, especially as far as snack food is concerned.  

     Red Beans:
     This recipe yields about 2 1/3 cups of beans!
     Step 1:  Soak 1 1/2 cups of dried red beans in water overnight in a refrigerator.
     Drain off the soaking water and rinse the black beans under cold running water.
     Step 2:  Place the red beans in a sauce pot.
     Add 1 cup of chicken broth or pork broth.
     Add enough water to cover the beans with 2" of extra liquid.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of cider vinegar.
     Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil or lard.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of onion powder.
     Add 1 pinch of Mexican oregano.
     Add 1 teaspoon of minced epazote.
     Step 3:  Bring the liquid to a boil over medium high heat for 17 minutes.
     Step 4:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Add sea salt and black pepper.
     Simmer the beans, till they become tender.  Add water as necessary to keep the beans covered with 1/2" of liquid.
     Step 5:  Simmer and reduce the liquid, till the level of liquid becomes slightly lower than the beans.
     Keep the red beans warm over low heat.

     Refritos Colorados:
     This recipe yields about 2 3/4 cups. 
     Step 1:  Place 2 cups of pre-cooked red beans and the red bean simmering juice in a sauce pot over low heat.
     Add 2 tablespoons of lard or vegetable oil.
     Add 1 pinch of garlic powder.
     Add 1 pinch of paprika.
     Add 2 pinches of ground chile ancho.
     Add 1 pinch of ground chile pequin.
     Simmer for 10 minutes, till the flavors combine. 
     Step 2:  The beans can be pureed with an electric blending wand, a food processor or they can be mashed by hand with a potato masher.  Mash and puree the beans till they become smooth.
     Step 3:  Return the mashed beans to the sauce pot.
     Adjust the consistency.  The refritos colorados should be thick enough to cling to a spoon.  Adjust the consistency by adding water, if the refritos are too thick.  If the refritos negros are too thin, then simmer and reduce, while stirring occasionally.
     Step 4:  Simmer over very low heat and stir often for about 10 minutes.  Be sure that the refritos colorados do not scorch on the bottom of the pan.
     Taste the refritos colorados and adjust the seasoning with salt and black pepper if necessary.
     Keep the refritos colorados warm over very low heat.  Add water if the refritos become too thick.

    Cheddar Cheese Nacho Sauce:
     This recipe yields about 2 1/4 cups of sauce.  Any extra sauce can be used to make other recipes or more nachos!
     Step 1:  Heat a sauce pot over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 1 1/2 ounces of unsalted butter.
     Add an equal amount of flour, while stirring with a whisk, to create a roux.
     Cook the roux, while stirring, till it is well combined and it becomes a white color.
     Step 2:  Add about 2 1/2 cups of milk, while whisking.
     Stir till the sauce occasionally as it heats and thicken to a very thin sauce consistency.
     Step 3:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Add sea salt and white pepper.
     Add 1 pinch of cayenne pepper.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of achiote paste.
     Add 1 pinch of garlic powder.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of onion powder.
     Stir the sauce.
     Simmer and reduce the sauce till it becomes a thin cream sauce consistency.
     Step 4:  Add 1 cup of grated sharp cheddar cheese while stirring with a whisk.
     Stir till the cheese melts into the sauce.
     Keep the nacho cheese sauce warm over very low heat.
     Stir occasionally.  Add milk if the sauce becomes too thick.

     Refritos Colorados and Cheddar Nacho Sauce with Heirloom Hopi Blue Tortilla Chips:
     Mound about a 1 1/3 cup portion of the refritos colorados on the center of a 8" wide shallow casserole dish.
     Pour the cheddar nacho sauce around the refritos.
     Sprinkle thin bias sliced green onion slivers over the dip.
     Garnish with 2 pickled chile guero.  (yellow chile caribe)
     Garnish with a cilantro sprig or a curly leaf parsley sprig.
     Line a serving platter with paper doilies.
     Place the casserole dish of dip on the center of the platter.
     Place some organic heirloom Hopi blue corn tortilla chips on the platter.
     Dip dip and dip!  This is a nice casual southwestern snack food platter! 

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