Wednesday, April 18, 2012

beans, beans, fritos, and cheeese

this is a non-commercial blog. i do not monetize it. granted,  i do sell stuff off of my zazzle panel over there to the right, but what you see is the height of aggressiveness in my marketing.

but hey, they're my own designs, and if i'm going to keep a blog for my words and a podcast for my music and photo galleries, i may as well let you see my designs for zazzle. i'm already out there showing off.

i do not run advertising here. i am not morally opposed to paid advertising on blogs. if both of you made enough click impressions to warrant it, i might use advertising even though i think it spoils the look of the place.

what i promise you, though, is that you are never going to see a post here in which i pretend to be all breathless and excited about a commercial product and pretend it's not advertising.

i only mention it because i'm about to drop a whole lot of brand names for absolutely no reason than these are the ones i use in my kitchen without fail. if i do not have these particular items in these brands, i do not make this dish. yes, it does make a difference.

often when i write to you about what's in my kitchen i am writing about some precious little thing i am making from scratch using fresh ingredients. and yah, boo, that's most of what i eat here.

but sometimes, yah, i WANT beans, beans, fritos, and cheese. i make no apologies for it. one time a long time ago a waiter at  the moosewood restaurant told me there's no such thing as junk food. even twinkies have their place on the table.

and if you are wondering why a waiter at the restaurant should dare to talk about menu and nutrition, the moosewood is a labor collective, so the guy who waits your table on monday might be head cook on tuesday. they KNOW about food.

uh, anyway. last week i got me a hankerin' to eat beans, beans, fritos, and cheese.

no, it's not the same as beans, fritos, and cheese.

because there are two different kinds of beans.

start with original fritos corn chips. no newfangled sizes, shapes or flavors will do. pour a half bag of those suckers into your baking dish (you probably should use MY baking dish for best results) and shake them down to settle them a little.

on top of those pour in a can of goya coloradas guidsadas (that's kidney beans with sauce). si es goya, tiene que ser bueno. yes, pour in all the sauce.

yeah, shake it down a little, because the pan is looking kind of full and you still have stuff to put in there.

next cheese. i use white american cheese from the cabot creamery and although i buy cabot products whenever i can this is actually the least fussy of the brand names. any real american cheese will do. that is, any pasteurized processed cheese, as opposed to any pastuerized processed cheese food product, because you want to be using something made with actual cheese instead of an oil emulsion.

but i use cabot cheese because it it made locally and i can go see the place and even though cabot creamery is now accepting milk from away (read: western massachusetts), it's still pretty local and pretty clean.

so i lay in three or four slices of cheese and then on top of that i put in a can of old el paso refried beans. i use the vegetarian ones, but any flavor will be just fine. i have tried other brands, but do not like them as well.

then when i get it smoothed in (it will not look nice, no matter how smooth. it will still look like dog food, and not quality dog food at that) i lay over it another three or four slices of cheese and pop it in a 350° oven until the cheese is all melty and starts to bubble and maybe even brown a little, about forty minutes.

then i let it sit for ten or fifteen minutes to get its bearings before i cut into it to put it in the plates. there is no way to make it look good in the plates, either. it looks like slop.

i pour two taco sauces over it, because that's how i like it. i use both old el paso medium and ortega medium because the two of them together give me the taste i want on this dish.

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