Drunken Beans with Faux-Rizo

Part 2 of the seitan chorizo experiment…

After letting the sausages chill overnight, I took out 3 to use in the Drunken Beans with Seitan Chorizo recipe from Viva Vegan.  It is basically pinto beans cooked with onions, roasted serranos, spices, beer and diced tomatoes.

As I do most times when I make pinto beans, I remember after I make them that I should only make 1/2 lb instead of the full recipe. That is a lot of beans and one can only make so many dinners out of the musical fruit in a week.

I wanted to make something else that I knew the kids would eat, since they are both pretty leery of recipes with spices in them.  I attribute it to the fact that they were both conceived in Minnesota and that somehow ensured that they receive the MN-bland taste buds.  In the spirit of bland-ness, I made plain rice with our new rice cooker that I absolutely love.

I also decided to try my hand at making corn tortillas. In college I actually worked for 2 years in a Cereal Quality Lab where the students and professors tested the quality of various cereal grains from around the state and country.  One of the tests of corn quality was to bake it into a tortilla and then use all kinds of fancy and pricey instruments to test attributes of the tortilla.  So you could say I’ve watched more tortillas being made than the average person.  I have never actually made them by hand though.  I figured that a couple of food science degrees should mean that I have a reasonable chance at making something with 3 ingredients (corn meal, water and salt) and that countless home cooks with much more rudimentary kitchens than I have can turn out daily.  It was actually quite easy.  So easy, in fact, that a child can do it*:

* And by ‘do it’ I mean she could shape the tortillas.  I handled the cooking part.  She is only 5 and I’m giving her at least 2 years before she is in charge of making family dinners.  I kid.

The beans and tortillas cooked side by side like the natural partners they are:

And dinner was served.

The verdict?  Good, but I didn’t think the sausages added much.  The beans were delicious and I will be making them again, but without the seitan chorizo.  For the amount of work (and cost of the ingredients), the chorizo didn’t come through.  I have 3 more in the freezer that I’ll try in another recipe or application, but I’m not rushing to make another batch.  The texture was a bit spongy.

The corn tortillas were great and my little girl loved making them.  In the spirit of transparency, the kids had a dinner of rice, corn tortillas, shredded cheese and fruit.  Nary a bean or chorizo touched their lips.

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