Thursday, March 26, 2009

Austin and basic black beans

Now that SXSW is over and my non-Texan friends who attended the conference are back on the East Coast, all I hear from them is, “Where can I get a breakfast taco?” or “Who has the best queso?”

Austin food is addictive, isn’t it?

One of the things I love the most about Texas is its size. Because it spans across several geographical, topographical and climatic zones, naturally there are going to be variations in what people eat in each area. While I would say that the trinity of Texan food—Southern dishes, barbecue and Tex-Mex—is the same throughout the state, how each region within the state interprets these cuisines differs.

Take Austin and Tex-Mex. After spending years in the Dallas area and Houston, I was already aware that differences could exist between the two Texan cities’ cuisines, so I wasn’t that surprised when I arrived in Austin to see that it, too, did things just a bit differently than other places in the state.

The first thing I noticed was migas. I’ve written about migas before—Austin’s signature breakfast dish of scrambled eggs with cheese, chips and peppers. Every place in Austin serves migas, yet when you leave Austin you rarely see them, if at all.

Black beans are another Austin Tex-Mex distinction. It was in Austin that I first saw black beans served alongside your tacos or your enchiladas, instead of the more typical refried pinto beans. This isn’t to say that you can’t find refried pinto beans in Austin, because there are many fine, fine examples of this noble dish. But, I found that Austin’s Tex-Mex could be a little quirky and so black beans would be on offer more often than I’d see them in Houston or Dallas.

I wasn’t a stranger to black beans. My mom fed me all sorts of beans when I was growing up in Houston and black beans graced our table probably once a week. But there was something about black beans that made me feel they were more upscale. Perhaps it was the color of the bean (black is always stylish!) or perhaps it was its more diminutive size, but I adored black beans just as much as my beloved pintos.

I know I’ve written a lot about beans lately—and if you’re not a bean eater, I apologize. I reckon you could say it’s the grim economy that has me returning to beans so frequently—they are, after all, such a healthy, inexpensive protein. But as beans have been a staple of my diet my whole life, I also just really enjoy cooking and eating them. And since they’re what I had for dinner last night, I thought I’d share them with you.

This is my basic black bean recipe. It takes little effort and has a rich smoky flavor that comes from chipotles instead of the usual ham hocks or bacon. And, of course, if you’re bored by black beans at least now I have something to point to when I write in the future about really fun things, such as black-bean salsa, corn and black-bean salad or that Austin late-night staple, Mag mud.

Basic black beans
16 oz. dried black beans
1 tablespoon of lard, bacon grease, peanut oil or canola oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 carrot, diced
4 chipotles in adobo, chopped
1 tablespoon of epazote or 2 sprigs fresh
1/2 teaspoon of cumin
1/2 cup cilantro. chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup lime juice
Six cups of water
Two cups of chicken or vegetable broth
Salt to taste

Soak the beans covered in water—either overnight or the quick soak method in which you place the beans in a pot, cover with water, bring to a boil, cover and remove from heat and let sit for one hour.

Drain the soaked beans.

In the pot you’re going to cook the beans, sauté the onions and carrots in your preferred fat for 10 minutes and then add the garlic for one minute. Add the beans, chipotles, epazote and half the cilantro.

Cover beans with water and chicken broth, bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to low (liquid may still be moving and all the ingredients may still be jumping around the pot, just not as vigorously as when the heat is high. That's fine.). Stir occasionally.

After 1 1/2 hours, add the cumin, tomato paste, lime juice, salt and remaining cilantro and cook for 30 more minutes or until beans are tender. At this point, smash a few against the side of the pot with a spoon to thicken the broth a bit, stir the pot and serve.

Feeds six or four hungry people.

Notes: If you don’t want to serve the beans with the carrots, onions and garlic—leave them whole and then remove when beans are done. And if your store doesn't stock either dried or fresh epazote, you can order it from Penzey's or you can just omit it from the recipe. Though it is supposed to help with the beans' tendency to cause intestinal issues, so omit at your own risk!

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88 comments:

lisaiscooking said...

Hooray for an Austin tribute! I have to politely disagree with anonymous as I could go on all day about what great things to order where in Austin. And, I do like black beans. Yours look delicious!

Chris said...

Okay I have to know, what the heck is Mag Mud and how do you make it? Also, I love beans, keep the bean recipes coming!

Rapunzel210 said...

I love black beans too (and your recipe looks awesome!). BTW, the overnight soaking method works a lot better than the quick soak for digestibility, especially when you add a tablespoon or two of something acidic like lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. Also, for those of us with no access to epazote (like here in the Florida panhandle), an inch-long piece of kombu really helps to eliminate most of those gas issues.

Thanks for your pictures, recipes, and reminiscences. My mama was a Texan and we grew up eating Texas food, and your recipes and stories take me back to my childhood.

noble pig said...

This sounds delicious. I love black beans and this would really hit the spot.

I've never been to Austin but it's about time I make a trip there.

Deanna said...

Yay for the Austin shout-out. I love the Texas version of fresh-mex we often have going too. Thanks for the recipe!

CraftyCanadian said...

ahhh Austin! Hubby and I got back from our yearly SXSW/anniversary trek to the great city of Austin on Monday night and I am lamenting that we weren't able to fit in all of our favorite places to eat. A colleague is heading there for a conference next week and I looked over our "Austin food guide" before sending it to him - it's 4 pages long!!

We are seriously considering buying property there while the market is down... gotta plan for that retirement ;)

Kelly said...

Austin is a great food town. They have upscale all the way to taco trucks. It is a fun town to eat in, and it is fun to explore.

Kate said...

I loved your post about Austin! I grew up mainly in San Antonio (and Austin, Fort Worth, and Houston), and went to UT for college, so I'm all too familiar with the wonderful, wonderful food of Austin! I was wondering, have you ever had the Tex-Mex in San Antonio? I think it is by far the best in the entire state, though I may be more than a little biased! And the recipe looks fabulous, I can't wait to try it tonight!

I've moved to California and I just want to say that reading your posts has helped with my serious case of homesickness (as well as my despair at not finding a decent rendition of Tex-Mex here). Keep them coming!!

Melissa said...

There is nothing better than black beans and lime. The combo is fabulous. Being that I grew up in the rice fields of East Texas-Rice with Black Beans are a must!

Sara said...

Woot woot! Yay for Austin! These look delish. Thanks for sharing.

Helene said...

I've never been to Austin, hopefully some day. This is a great meal.

Lady Jane said...

If we could get Magnolia's Mug recipe....I don't think I would ever leave the house...

Someone please post it! ha ha

idyll hands said...

I just got back from Austin last week. I try to make it there once a year, but this time it had been almost 2 years! Eeeek. I miss miss miss the food in that town with every meal I eat. I'm almost sorry I ever moved away (what was I thinking).

radish said...

I love beans so keep 'em coming! I will make them one of these days! :) You're right I had migas everywhere when I was in Austin - and I wish there was a place that served them close by in our hood. :)

Anonymous said...

"And since they’re what I had for dinner last night, I thought I’d share them with you." You ARE a very funny person!

Seriously, a local vaguely Southwest-y restaurant in Charlotte NC has stumbled across a very popular breakfast dish, black beans 'n' grits. Bowl of grits, black beans on top. I have become a fan.

Bratique Helene said...

The first places I remember eating black beans in Dallas (as a side dish to the entree) were Zuzu's - across from SMU and Javier's - in Highland Park.

Honestly I usually make black beans as a side dish to anything mexicanish I cook. I can flavor them so much better than the regular re-fried pintos.

Olivia said...

I got so used to refried pinto beans in Dallas and H-town, but here in DC, like Austin, they seem to prefer serving Black Beans.

lorijo said...

I learned to love black beans when I lived in Austin! Black beans and rice or black bean soup was a staple- one that I have brought with me when I moved to Michigan.

Lynda said...

Thanks for posting this recipe for black beans. I buy the canned black beans all the time, but was wanting a good recipe for the dried ones. They look so good!

skye said...

The thing I really love about Austin and Tex-Mex food is that you could eat it everyday for a month and never eat at the same place twice.

Anonymous said...

The economy has me turning to beans a lot more lately too. They're also my go-to meal for Lenten Fridays...

But what's this about migas being an Austin dish? I've never lived in Austin (grew up in South Texas and lived 8 years in Houston) and always considered migas a Texas breakfast staple!

TexasDeb said...

Here y'all go- from the Magnolia Cafe text-only version of their menu:

Mag Queso, Chips & Hot Sauce 6.95
Queso, avocado & pico de gallo.

Mag Mud, Chips & Hot Sauce 6.95
Black beans, queso, avocado & pico de gallo.

Kineslaw said...

Austin is an underrated food town. It is definitely the cheapest good food town I've been in.

Everyone has their own list, but the three foods I most associate with Austin are breakfast tacos, Amy's ice cream and Mexican Martinis.

Anonymous said...

I live in the Dallas area, but I would move to Austin in a heartbeat if I could. Probably will, when I finish school.

And as far as breakfast, what about Juan in a Million? Talk about a breakfast burrito...

Anonymous said...

Homesick Texan,

found your site via it's inclusion in London Times '50 Best Food Blogs' list -

fabulous recipes. we live in Texas and you're doin' us all proud

cbl,
round rock

Emily said...

I just stumbled upon your blog and found this pretty good recipe. I love the black beans.

tbsamsel said...

There's no reason to apologize to non-bean eaters. Perhaps they are Pythagoreans, who felt the gas from legumes was the "spirit" of the "bean". Or something else New Age-y..

But black beans are great.. as are salvadorean red beans (frijoles de seda/ silk beans). I'd think the reason that black beans are so prevalent in DC is because the Salvadorean & Guate population is so large..

I've been seeing frijoles bayos (pale tan) and frijoles mayocobas from Valle Verde in the Richmond Food Lions, BTW. Interesting beans, these. There's a law suit over the genetic material in mayocobas, BTW.

Ted

Anonymous said...

Gosh i am homesick..for the food and entertainment! Born in Austin over a UT semester *l* and lived in San Antonio and the Hill contry for years. Am a Tex-Mex foodie (sob.. I live in Chicagoland now). Since I grew up in San Antonio my opinion is slanted. It is very Dif from Austin's we call Austin the Haute Tex-Mex. My first taste of it was when Guerra's opened the chilie on the tables was even so dif. I had my first stuffed Jalepeno at another resturantin Austin. San Antonio Tex-mex is the roots of Tex-mex. As a child I remember on Sundays we could buy the whole cows head for Barbacoa. Miga's is one dish for Breakfast but the best is the chorizo Con Huevo plate. Here in chicagoland they serve it with rice and beans! how can I explain to them that you must have small papita's on the side not rice with the beans. Black beans are too woodsy for me except for soup. Refrito's and boracho pinto beans forever I say. I think we need to have the Texas flag adopt an image of the Pinto! I remember working downtown San Antonio for a bit..after getting out of the car, in the am you were bowled over with the smell of Mexican Food cooking in the resturants for the day. Ahhh..

John said...

Man great post. Another Austinite here that loves this black bean phenomenon going on. It doesn't get much better than El Chile's black beans mixed with their cilantro lime rice. Yum.

And for those wanting Mag Mud, i don't have a physical recipe but it's queso over black beans topped with pico and avocado. Mix it all up and it's the best mud you've ever tasted.

I think Austin's Tex-mex can't really be singled out, there's enough restaurants here with different styles to rival everything from Dallas to interior Mexico.

Speaking of Austin, black beans and interior Mexico...if you've never had the avocado margaritas at Curra's, paired with their carnitas and black beans, life isn't complete. :)

ByE Photos said...

Love Breakfast Taco's - haven't had them in a loooong time. I'll be heading to Texas for a wedding this May and can't wait. I want them every day.

Thank you for the black bean recipe - I may just have to make them this weekend!

Chris said...

Thank you TexasDeb! I will have to try and whip up my own version of Mag Mud.

rooth said...

Thanks for the post on Austin - I dream about the migas from Trudy's.

Surprisingly you can find places that have migas now in Dallas and in Houston, mainly served for brunch on Sundays.

Jocelyn said...

Can't wait to try Mag Mud, sounds delectable, plus I've never had it! Never got to spend enough time in Austin, I guess. News flash: I'm seeing Migas alot more, in Seabrook, TX at the Classic Cafe were the best I've tried so far (besides mine:)!

Anonymous said...

Indeed. When I lived in Austin, I recall many a late night eating black beans at Kerby Lane, or the Magnolia Cafe. I have always preferred Pintos and still do. But when in Rome.....

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

I would much rather have black beans... that must make me Austininian!

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

LisaisCooking--Thank you!

Chris--I see the question has been answered already, but Mag Mud is awesome!

Rapunzel210--I did not know that!

Noble Pig--You should definitely go to Austin. You would love it!

Deanna--You're welcome--I love Austin food, too!

CraftyCanadian--You need to do what I do when I visit Texas, I eat about 6 meals a day to get it all in!

Kelly--It is indeed a good eating town

Kate--I haven't been to SA in a loooooong time, but definitely plan on going next time I'm back in Texas.

Melissa--Isn't it a fabulous combination? And pairing it with Texas rice is a definite must!

Sara--You're very welcome!

Helene--You need to go!

Lady Jane--I corresponded with the owner a while back, I should ask her.

Idyll Hands--That's the question I ask myself as well--hence this blog!

Radish--On 8th and 20th (I believe) there's a Korean on the east side of the street that has a mini-Mexican cafe inside. They have chilaquiles, which are NOT the same thing, but are will suffice.

Anon--Glad I made you laugh! And grits and black beans? I'm SO there!

Bratique Helene--Is Zuzu still around? That was some good fast food.

Olivia--Very interesting, I did not know that.

Lorijo--I'm a big fan of black bean soup.

Lynda--Canned ones are good in a pinch, but they have so little flavor.

Skye--That is so true.

Anon--I've been corrected!

Texas Deb--Thanks for this! Good to know.

Kineslaw--You definitely don't see Mexican martinis in Manhattan.

Anon--Love Juan in a Million!

Anon--Thanks for stopping by and I'm glad I'm keeping my fellow Texans happy.

Emily--Thanks!

TBSamsel--Ah, so it's a population issue--that makes sense.

Anon--What a great sensory memory--the smell of Mexican food in downtown San Antonio. Thanks for sharing!

John--Yep, that sounds like the way to do it. And avocado margarita? Do tell!

Bye Photos--Yes! You must eat breakfast tacos every day! And you're very welcome.

Chris--Hope it works out for you.

Rooth--See, obviously I've lived outside of Texas for too long.

Jocelyn--Another town outside Austin with migas. Sounds like they are now a state-wide staple.

Anon--When in Rome, indeed. Ha!

Sandi--Yep, that makes you an Austininian!

Diane said...

I’m making refried beans and cheese enchiladas tomorrow and came to your blog to see where I was going wrong with my refried beans. Bacon grease! I didn't know that! I lived my first 32 years in SA and this Texan (now living in NC) misses her Mexican food and chicken fried steak the most! I made your chicken fried steak recipe, btw, and it was soooo good! Tip: put plastic wrap over the steak when pounding it out unless you really just want the whole experience! I really appreciate this blog. The food pictures, recipes and Texas stories really take me back. Thank you!

Kasey said...

I definitely enjoyed my first trip to Austin--and all of that BBQ! Did you attend any of the interactive panels? I loved the food panel with Kalyn and Cathy...

tStas said...

Helluva job... You've cornered the homesick Texan market, and you've done it well. Keep up the good work!

laura said...

As a seriously homesick Austinite, you hit the nail on the head. Austin's tex-mex is like no other. My husband and I affectionately refer to it as aus-mex. Now if only someone out here in California could replicate it.

Jumper said...

I thought I noticed an odd thing about black beans: acidic additions such as lime juice or vinegar will turn the beans a bit redder. No sour flavorings and they will tend to stay dark black. This intrigued me and one day I had a little red wine in the bottom of a glass and I added a pinch of baking soda (to neutralize the slight acidity in the wine) and watched as the red color of the wine turned dark, into the color of black beans.

JO said...

I love black beans - but pintos are still my favorite. Of course here in NE, they are both foreign foods.
Missing Texas - thanks for the smile.

JO

www.teensandtriplets.blogspot.com

Bratique Helene said...

Homesick Texan - Zuzu's by SMU is now a Chick-fil-A, a fancy college Chick-fil-A (no drive thru or kiddos area), but there is one in our neck of the woods - Mockingbird & Abrams - Lakewood.

Rhillian said...

Oddly enough, I knew about migas from some place other than Austin. The IHOP in Lubbock, TX serves migas, and a friend used to always order them for dinner/breakfast/midnight meal/whatever when we'd go there to study or hang out over some greasy diner food since it was one of the few places open at 2AM.

deceiverofmen said...

Migas are not a special dish of austin. They serve them everywhere in Houston, even diners (house of pies!). Sometimes they are called chilaquiles...which i know you'll say "that's not the same thing", but i had this issue with your migas post too.

I've recently noticed we don't seem to care too much about semantics in texas. Any place that's not a taqueria serves chilaquiles that are clearly not chilaquiles, they are migas. I would say 9 times out of 10 chilaquiles in texas are migas.

Just like 5 times out 10 kolaches in texas are klobasnek.

chelseachip said...

I just threw some black beans into a pot and decided to come to your site to see if you have any recipes and you just posted one. I totally have good timing.

janna said...

Migas only in Austin? Drive 70 miles south to San Antonio and look around -- migas are everywhere! Black beans have been slower to take hold in SA, but they're not uncommon. And thanks for the recipe!

Wading Thru said...

Made the black beans today for a gathering tomorrow. They are great. I tried to double the recipe. Got a bit spicy with the chipoltes. See how the group likes them tomorrow. Live in DC, but was in Austin last month about the time you were in Texas. Made the round from Dallas to San Anton to Austin to Roscoe (west of Abilene) and back to Dallas. 1,200 Texas miles. Too bad it rained so much. Good food but missed the real Austin scene.

Keep the good stuff coming.

What happened to the CFS post?

lunettes said...

As an Austinite for six years, I can't imagine what I would do if I moved away. Trudy's got me hooked on refried black beans, and now I always have a few bowls of black in the freezer for quick lunches.

There's a house concert going on in Hyde Park right now, it's so hilariously bad. I can hear it through my fireplace vent. What a place!

Jeb said...

Migas are the best!

Jesse said...

I'm staying in San Francisco for 4 months, but I live in Austin and am so so so very homesick for the food. I'll be home next weekend for a few days and am going out for breakfast tacos, queso and margaritas for almost every meal. I planned my eating schedule a month ago!

crtex said...

Okay. You've got me stymied. I grew up in Austin and lived there half my life. I went to college at UT, and worked at Chuy's and San Miguels. And I have no idea what Mag mud is. What is it?!

John said...

I thought for sure you've been clued in on the Curra's avocado margarita! It's hard to explain but it cannot be passed up. It's kind of like a lime, avocado, cilantro and tequila milkshake. Sounds weird, but you seriously have to force yourself to stop ordering them.

Put Curra's on your list for your next Austin visit.

Marcie M. said...

Just dropping by to say thanks SO SO much for your blog. I'm living outside of Texas for the first time ever (NYC, YIKES) and just reading about my beloved Austin makes me feel so much better. I have to say, you have it pegged pretty well...I would KILL for some Trudy's Migas and Black Beans right now...and a Mexican Martini along side wouldn't be too bad either. Thanks again from a fellow homesick Texan.

Marcie

Tommy said...

We so desperately need a taco truck in Toronto.

I get so jealous when you write posts about Tex Mex food and wonder if we could send a few City of Toronto administrators down to Texas for a little education on street eats.

Grovite said...

I love your blog! I too am a Homesick Texan and I've only been away from Dallas for six months.

Also good to see that there are others here in the DC area with the craving. Thank God I worked in a ton of Tex-Mex joint so I can satisfy that itch (with the help of a monthly care package assembled at HEB) anytime.

Ginger in Virginia said...

Wow. All this discussion about migas in Austin and no one has mentioned CISCO's on East 6th Street??? My memories of Austin always include breakfast at Cisco's next to frequent customers Walter Cronkite and Cactus Pryor....yummy memories!

Love the blog and also a displaced Texan living outside of DC!

Giff said...

love the black bean recipe. quite different from my normal, more cuban method, and I look forward to trying!

twobarkingdogs said...

Is there anything that you can substitute for epazote?

suburban housefrau said...

yeah we really don't have migas here in Dallas. But I did have black beans and rice for dinner last night. ;)

We've really been hitting the beans and eggs and haven't been eating meat nearly as much. Our grocery bill has been celebrating, as well as our waistlines...

annie said...

Always, always wanted to go to Austin...this is making it worse. I'm wondering if you really get the same flavor using canola instead of lard. I guess I'll be forced to conduct an experiment, and plan a looooong walk after the lard trial.

ranchand said...

I find that a few sprigs of fresh thyme really brighten up the flavor of black beans either with or without the epazote. Great post, now that SXSW is over I might have to run down to Austin from Wise county to get my migas fix.

LeeLee said...

Another starving DC area resident here. I won't get back to Texas until this summer. I'll be in San Marcos, so I know I'll go on an eating tour of Austin. We used to live in Belton and would drive to Austin just to eat. I'm going to go hug my black beans and cry now.

On my edge sun said...

I'm not a fan of beans and I've no ties to Texas but on this occasion I think my hearts ruling my head. That looks nom.

Marc @ NoRecipes said...

Nice job at the panel today! These beans look great. I love that you've used epazote. It's a spice that's not used enough IMHO.

tbsamsel said...

You guys in DC should be able to get decent Mexican groceries if you aren't averse to going into the Kensington area, near Takoma Park and a couple of other 'hoods in Prince Georges. Manassas is another good area in VA for tiendas. Look for a chain called Americana.

http://www.americanagrocery.com/

When I moved up to Richmond over 20 years ago, I had to go to DC & the 'burbs to find stuff to make decent comida. Now Richmond has decent tiendas..

And I keep wanting to go to a place called La Gringada on the Bawlmer/DC Turnpike just past Beltsville, but I'm usually trying to get to Bawlmer on time.

ARLENE said...

Had black bean soup for lunch, but would really have liked some of THAT! You've been tagged. Please visit The Food of Love for details. Your blog is awesome.

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Diane—Yep, bacon grease is key! And you’re very welcome, I’m glad you’re enjoying the recipes.

Kasey—Sadly, I wasn’t at SXSW this year, so I did not attend the food panel.

TStas—Thanks!

Laura—I love the term Aus-Mex!

Jumper—What a fascinating observation!

JO—I’m sorry to hear their foreign foods in NE—it’s not that far from the West. They don’t know what they’re missing.

Bratique Helene---Good to know. I have a friend who lives in Lakewood so I’ll have to swing by next time I’m in town.

Rhillian—See, I’m learning via the comments (and revealing just how long it’s been since I lived in Texas) that migas are now everywhere. Cool!

DeceiverofMen—Yep, that’s what I’m hearing!

Chelseachip—Love it when that happens!

Janna—Yay! Migas are now everywhere!

Wading Thru—I don’t know what you’re talking about, last time I checked the chicken-fried post was still here. Hmmmmm...

Lunettes—I love Hyde Park, such an eclectic and beautiful neighborhood.

Jeb—Aren’t they?

Jesse—You sound like me!

CrTx—It’s queso with black beans and avocado slices sold at Magnolia Cafe.

John’s—Sounds creamy and decadent. I’ll have to try it sometime.

Marcie M—You’re very welcome!

Tommy—What’s up with the Toronto city gov’t not giving a taco truck a license to serve? That’s a shame.

Grovite—Ah, the care package—a must if you’re a homesick Texan.

Ginger in Virginia—Cisco’s is definitely renown for its migas.

Giff—Enjoy!

TwobarkingDogs—Not really, it’s a pretty unique taste. But if you can’t get your hands on it I wouldn’t worry too much; the beans flavor won’t suffer without it.

Surburban Housefra—Yep, those are my proteins of choice these days, too.

Annie—You must go! You can use canola, it will be fine.

Ranchand—Thanks for the tipe!

LeeLee—There sure are a lot of you in DC. I would have thought with the last administration that the Tex-Mex situation would have improved.

On my edge sun—That’s high praise—thanks!

Marc—Thanks and it was good to see you there, even if we didn’t have a chance to talk.

TBSamsel—Thanks for the tips!

Arlene—Thanks for the tag!

Laura said...

These look fabulous. I am bean obsessed and these are getting made pronto. Most "basic" bean recipes I have seen are too basic--I love beans, but to me they are a blank canvas that needs paint, they need flavor. The chipotle and lime juice esp look terrific. Thanks for sharing.

We are the Guerra's! said...

I second John on Curra's and the avocado margarita... they basically throw in a few avocado slices to the frozen margarita that gives it a nice mellow flavor that complements the tangy lime so well. I was really hesitant to try it, but the bartender told me if I didn't like it, he'd get me something else on the house...well, that is one bet I am glad I lost and you will too!

As a native Austinite (I remember trick or treating on Bergstrom Air Force Base, now the airport), I'm glad you wrote up something on our unique cuisine! Hooray for black beans! And I know your post was about black beans and everyone keeps posting on Mag mud, but don't forget the Kerbey Queso either!

punkrawkchef said...

*I* am making your beans right now... my house smells amazing! Im a upstate NYer living in Dallas, I love your blog! I have learned so much from you! Thank you!

Westex BBQ said...

Hi and hello to Lisa,
Made a skillet of migas this morning for the first time at home.
Thanks to your recipe for inspiration, I have a new bullet in my bandolero.
Had not had them in a long time and gotta admit, brought back fond memories of my days in the Lone Star State.
Best regards,
Wes

bennett said...

Mag Mud was the first time that I'd ever really loved queso. As a lactose-intolerant Texan (poor me!) I'd managed to avoid most queso-esque dishes, but Mag Mud is addictive. Especially at 3am.

Why is it that Austin is the only city that has damn good food 24/7/365? At 2 different amazing restaurants? I haven't even gotten to talking about the gingerbread pancakes at Kerbey Lane...

Bee said...

I've just seen this post . . . because, well, I think that I was in Austin at the time!

You are SO right about Austin black beans. When I moved there, in 1991, I was amazed to discover that they were the standard accompaniment to any Tex-Mexish dish.

Back in September, when the banks started crashing, I posted my black bean soup recipe. Great minds and all that: it's good recession food.

Brenda said...

I just made these today and they are amazing! A little spicy, but nothing that a little sour cream can't cure ;)

sonia said...

man, thanks for this recipe. i'm a texan living in london and want to cook this up for 50 peeps. you rule!

Anonymous said...

I was born in Mexico City and Lived in Dallas for 25 years...married a German/Bavarian man...went on roadtrips with my hubby to Austin many many times...moved to bavaria...homesick for good tex-mex and auth. mexican...THANK YOU for feeding my soul de todo corazon! xoxo, Lis Halo von Deutschland!!!

Texas Lisa said...

OMG! This is the coolest site ever! A friend of mine just sent me the link and I am now truly homesick! I lived in Texas all my life until 11 years ago when I moved to Chicago! Lived in Austin for 12 years before I moved here. Another Homesick Texan named Lisa? What are the odds? The first article I saw was about black-eyed-peas for New Years! I made a crock pot full and man, were they yummy! Our recipies are almost identical; (I've never heard anyone else use Rotel! YUMMY!) Several years ago, I started adding "Li'l Smokies" sausages (cut into 3-4 pieces each). And I love to slow cook em for over 12 hours. I also make a killer Mexican Cornbread that goes with BEPs better than anything! I'll check back later and if I don't see the recipe on your site, I will share!
Love your site! Can't wait to check back!

ashley said...

Question about the cilantro -- you add it in at two different times. Is it 1/2 the first time and 1/2 the second time?

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Ashley--Clearly, I need an editor! Yes, do half the cilantro in the beginning and the other half later.

Julie said...

AWESOME. thanks.

David said...

I have made the beans 3 times and they are fabulous. Everyone loves them but they take a bit of time and care to make....well worth it. Never been to Austin but I know this will be my future hometown.

Sam said...

Moved to Austin 10 years ago, then moved back to NE a few years later. Mag Mud is my one must have when I go back and visit. I miss the town and the food so much! Can't wait to move back some day.

Anonymous said...

Yep, here in Austin, cooking and eating black beans today with the (small) extended family. I turned up your site a while back searching for black beans/epazote. Thanks for the recipe. Discovered chipotle in adobo recently and have been adding it to everything from eggs to my (Pace's) Chicken & Black Bean Enchilada recipe.
2 true black bean stories: Raised on pintos, my first BB experience was Black Bean Nachos at Fonda San Miguel's. Wow! I've been trying to get them right ever since.
Recently tried a BB side from the Galaxy Cafe - I believe they are perfect. Going back for more soon.
I hope you'll try them both when you get to Austin. Happy New Year 2012. agv

Sarah said...

Woo hoo! My fist time soaking and making black beans. (I live in Vermont, where Tex Mex is hard to come by.) I was blown away by this recipe! The adobo chilies, lime, and cilantro were just right on. I did use kombu instead of epazote, since I couldn't find it in the store.

Awesome, awesome recipe. I'll be making it again and again. Thanks!

Rachel - Firebird said...

I'm just making these for the second time - they've been a big hit in our house. Here in the England decent tex-mex is so difficult to get, especially outside the cities. I've had to be a little creative with some ingredients (I use a mixture of cayenne and smoked paprika instead of chipolte and oregano and bay instead of epazote - both of which I have found impossible to get) but we love it none the less

Sarah Bales said...

I made these in my pressure cooker and just finished eating some. They are fantastic! After soaking one pound of soaked black beans overnight, I cooked them in 3 cups low sodium chicken broth.

Michellanne Deutsch said...

I just made these beans yesterday, and they were a hit! I grew up close to Austin and always used to order the black beans at Guero's. It took me back.

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