Not Dominican Beans
but I am getting closer.
Once a year or so I try. And I am never right.
But this time, closer than ever.
I know, I know, I could just use canned beans, buy a jar of sofrito, and be all set.
Instead, do I use a recipe? I should. But no. I remember (almost), I read a few recipes, and then I improvise. Here are the improvisations:
Soaked beans 4 hours. Everyone says overnight. I figure 4 hours is close enough.
Boiled beans in a mix, 50% water, 50% low salt chicken broth (Trader Joes).
Sliced a yam into the boiling beans (think I remember thinking that I once saw yam in some beans. Makes sense, tasty thickener.) Turned out ok, but maybe I could have gone for smaller pieces.
Sofrito: used yellow onion. used a head of garlic (recipes called for wimpy 3-4 cloves). Should have chopped pepper a bit finer. Three stalks of celery (seemed about right). Mixed parsley and cilantro (not sure if this was right). Substituted canned crushed tomatoes for tomato paste – this changed the quantity significantly, and brought in more liquid than I had planned for.
So it was not too tasty, then I went for some more sazon (flavored salt) and it got damned close. I think there was too much sofrito for the pound of beans I’d cooked.
Served completely non-traditionally: over toasted barley (I’m no good at rice).
Anyone have words of wisdom?