So what is a Cuban girl to do when she craves frijoles colorados????? Improvise of course! So here is my receta for quick and easy dire straits frijoles colorados that somewhat resemble real Cuban Red Beans. Here is what you will need:
- one can Goya Small Red Beans
- one small Yellow onion
- 1/4 green bell pepper (depends on size)
- 1 bay leave
- 4 cloves of garlic
- half and Idaho potato dice to preference
- half a small can of Hunts/Goya tomato sauce
- cubed ham
- sliced/ground chorizo español (as previously mentioned I use Portuguese Linguica which is a VERY good substitute)
- Adobo sin pimienta
- Olive oil
Ah yes, there is that no tomato again. Here it is for a different reason. Where I live, produce goes by seasons. So in Winter tomatoes are very expensive and I don’t usually have them at home when the craving hits. I use tomato sauce instead.
Start by chopping the onion and the green pepper, and mince the garlic. Your ratio of onions to peppers should look something like this:
Those are flan (or custard) pyrex which I believe measure close to a cup. Basically you need a ratio of 4:1 of chopped onion and chopped red green peppers. I smash the garlic first (some people call it “bruising” – Hi Vivi!) and then mince it. Once you have these ready, set aside.
Next cube about a quarter of the ham steak and have the same amount of ground Linguica. If you have access to chorizo español use two of the small ones sliced into quarter inch slices.
Heat over medium heat LESS than a tablespoon of EVO (extra virgin olive oil). Add the ham and the chorizo/linguica stirring frequently. As soon as the ham se dore and the chorizo/linguica starts oozing a bit of fat, then add in the following order the onion, peppers and garlic. Stir and add some adobo and stir again. Sofreir for about 3-5 minutes being careful that neither the onion nor the garlic gets burnt. Add the tomato sauce, the bay leave and the potato.
Open the can of beans and pour into sofrito (including the water that comes with it). Fill the empty can halfway with water, and with a spoon still to make sure there is nothing left in the can. Pour into the cazuela too. Keep it over medium heat and stirring occasionally until it starts to soft boil.
Once it starts bubbling, turn down the heat to simmer. Stir once more and cover with aluminum foil and the lid so it creates a tight seal (I swear we Cubans must keep the aluminum foil paper business going singlehandedly!).
Let simmer for about 20 minutes and serve! (Hint: it goes over white rice and goes very well with pollo grillé!). Now because there is no calabaza and I used canned small red beans, the color will be a bit redder than usual. Don’t freak, this is normal; they still taste good and that is what matters.