Daily Archives: June 30, 2009

Charro Beans with Roasted Chayote and Red Chili Corn Pone

A traditional Mexican dish named for her charros (cowboys), charro beans (frijoles charros, cowboy beans) are pinto beans simmered with onions, garlic, chilies and tomatoes.  I’m adding black beans, epazote and Mexican oregano and serving it a roasted, scooped-out chayote (Aztec chayotli) squash with red chili corn pone on the side..

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Soak dried beans overnight, then drain, rinse and cook in fresh water until not quite done, about 1-1 1/2 hours.  Set aside.

For the corn pone, mix together 1 cup of white or yellow stone-ground cornmeal with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of coarse chili powder.  Add 1 teaspoon lard or bacon grease, then carefully stir in 1 cup of boiling water (filtered). Allow to stand long enough to soften and cool, then form into 1/2 inch cakes about 3 inches in diameter.  Cover with a damp towel and set aside. (this corn pone is based on a recipe by author Crescent Dragonwagon)

Meanwhile, split and seed 1 or more chayote, drizzle lightly with oil, season with S&P and roast in a 375 degree oven until charred and tender, about 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Toast whole cumin seed in a dry skillet until fragrant, about 5 minutes.  Add 1 teaspoon lard or bacon grease, minced garlic, chopped onion and diced jalapeño and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add tomatoes and oregano, beans and the scooped out, chopped flesh of the roasted chayote along with enough of the bean liquor to just cover.

Simmer until beans are tender but intact, perhaps 20-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, reheat chayote in the oven or under the broiler and fry the pones in a small amount of butter until golden brown and crispy on the edges.

Spoon bean mixture into chayote shells and serve with hot corn pones and a roasted jalapeño.

Chayote is a good source of Niacin, Vitamin B6, Pantothenic Acid, Magnesium and Potassium, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate, Zinc, Copper and Manganese.

This post is part of Real Food Wednesday at cheeseslave.com


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Nestlé Unit Denied FDA Requests

(@marionnestle)

The Wall Street Journal reports that since 2006, Nestlé has consistently refused to allow FDA investigators to look at their safety records.  The company doesn’t have to.  All those pesky regulatory requirements are voluntary.

(The potential for) Death By Chocolate takes on a whole new meaning

Nestlé Unit Denied FDA Requests

By JANE ZHANG

The Nestlé USA plant at the center of a federal probe into an E. coli outbreak involving cookie dough refused to give inspectors access to pest-control records, environmental-testing programs and other information, according to newly released inspection reports covering the past five years.

In a September 2006 visit, for example, managers at the Danville, Va., plant refused to allow a Food and Drug Administration inspector to review consumer complaints or inspect its program designed to prevent food contamination. The inspector found dirty equipment and “three live ant-like insects” on a ledge but nothing severe enough to give the plant a failing grade.

A year earlier, officials at the Nestlé plant presented another FDA inspector with a list of things it wouldn’t do. “Among these are the refusal to review the firm’s consumer complaint file, refusal to permit photography, refusal to sign affidavits or receipts and refusal to provide specific information on interstate commerce,” the inspector wrote.

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Cookie-dough production at a Nestlé USA plant was suspended last week.