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Como Hacer Buenos Frijoles / Rules for Making Good Beans (1969)

January 27, 2014
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Mexican Cookbook for American Homes (1969) by Josefina Velazquez de Leon and Irene Goldstein. UTSA Libraries Special Collections

Mexican Cookbook for American Homes (1969) by Josefina Velázquez de León and Irene Goldstein. UTSA Libraries Special Collections

Velázquez de León, Josefina, and Irene Goldstein.  Mexican Cook Book for American Homes: Authentic Recipes from Every Region of the Mexican Republic; Adapted for Use in the United States, Central and South America. Mexico City, Mexico: s.n., 1969. [TX725.M49 D45 1969]


Cooking instructor and author Josefina Velázquez de León published dozens of Spanish-language cookbooks focusing on everything from traditional cuisine to convenience foods. In Mexican Cook Book for American Homes she partners with Irene Goldstein to offer bilingual culinary instruction in the art of Mexican cooking.

We’ll feature a variety of recipes from this cookbook in the weeks to come, but today we start with something basic and fundamental – how to make good beans.


Frijoles / Beans (155-156)

En México no es completa una comida si no se toman en ella los frijoles. Se acostumbra servirlos al final de la comida, antes del postre. In Mexico no meal is complete without a dish of beans. They are customarily served at the end of the meal, just before the dessert.

Hay gran variedad de frijoles; blancos, negros, pero el que más se usa es el Bayo Gordo que se suple en Estados Unidos con el Pink Bean. Beans are found in a wide variety of color and size, but the most frequently used are the Bayo Gordo, twin brother to the Pink Bean available in the United States.

Se guisan de diferentes maneras pero como más acostumbra son refritos, formando rollo y adornándose con pedazos de tortilla frita, queso rallado y tiritas de aguacate. This highly nutritious legume is prepared in many ways, but is most popularly served mashed, rolled and garnished with a triangle of fried tortilla, some grated cheese and avocado strips.


Como Hacer Buenos Frijoles / Rules for Making Good Beans

  • Se limpian los frijoles quitándoles las basuritas ypiedras que siepre traen y se lavan bien. Clean beans, removing all foreign matter, and wash them well. 
  • Se remojaen agua fría 8 horas antes de cocerse. Soak in cold water 8 hours before cooking. 
  • Se ponen a cocer en una olla, de preferencia de barro, con agua y cebolla. Cook in an earthenware pot with water to cover and onion. 
  • Deben de cocerse a fuego lento y con la olla tapada. Beans should simmer slowly in a covered pot over a low flame. 
  • Cuando empiezan a arrugarse los frijoes se les pone a manteca. When their skins begin to wrinkle, add fat. 
  • Si les falta agua se les pone agua caliente, nunca fría. As liquid is absorbed, add more water – always hot, never cold. 
  • La sal no se les pone hasta que ya están casi cocidos; deján dolos hervir media hora más para que se sazonen. Add salt only when beans are almost done; then cook another 1/2 hour to season evenly. 
  • Tardan en cocer más o menos cuatro horas. Total cooking time is about 4 hours.

Frijoles Estilo Mexicano / Mexican Style Beans

  • 225 gramos de frijol / 1/2 lb. beans
  • 4 litros de agua / 4 qts. water
  • 1 cebolla / 1 onion
  • 2 cucharadas de manteca / 2 tablespoons lard

Los frijoles ya limpios y remojados se ponen a cocer en agua con la cebolla; cuando se arrugan se les pone una cucharada de manteca. Cuando ya están casi cocidos se les agrega la sal, dejándose en el fuego hasta que estén muy suaves, entonces se muelen 3 cucharadas de estos frijoles con el caldo en que se cocieron y se pasan por el colador. En la cucharda de mantecarestante se fríen los frijoles. Estando bien fritos, se agrega el caldo con los frijoles molidos; se sazona de sal y se dejan hervir hasta que el caldo está nuy espeso. Se sirven muy calientes.

Put the cleaned and soaked beans to boil with the onion. When their skins wrinkle, add 1 tablespoonful lard. When almost done, add salt to taste and continue cooking until the beans are very soft. Pour the broth off into another receptacle. Mash 3 tablespoons of the cooked beans and integrate with the broth, then strain. Cook the remaining beans in 1 tablespoon lard, add the bean stock, season and let simmer until very thick. Serve hot.

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