Reader Request: Pork Mango Picadillo & Refried Beans
Last week I got a reader request from my friend Brooke. Here's the request:
"We're running out of new ideas at home... I have a little brother with the most obscure food allergies so if you are feeling up for a challenge sometime here it is. He is allergic to: wheat, potatoes (just white, sweet potatoes are okay), milk (cheese is okay), turkey, shrimp, cod, carrots, chocolate, soy is also bad. So if you have any ideas different ideas that would be great!"
Her brother is 13, likes Mexican & Asian food and is a pretty adventurous eater! Pretty crazy allergies right?! I had to do some research...but here's what I came up with: Pork Mango Picadillo & Refried Beans.
I know this is supposed to be crockpot Monday...and in a way it is...but this is more, "I used my crockpot late Sunday night and threw everything together Monday night"
First I started the beans. Here's the original recipe. I followed it pretty closely.
- 3 cups dry pinto beans (I used a bag...I think it was closer to two cups)
- 8 1/2 cups water
- 1 onion, diced
- 1/2 jalapeno pepper, de-seeded and minced (I used a whole small jalapeno with the seeds in)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp cumin (I used about one tsp)
- 2 tsp salt (I used about 1 tsp)
- 1/2 tsp black pepper (I forgot about this!)
Drain most of the liquid and smash everything together and put them in the fridge until you get home. Well, when I woke up....mine looked like this:
And there wasn't really any liquid to drain off...so I just sorta skipped that step and started mashing. Then I put them in the fridge:
This might be a good time to mention that refried beans are right up there with mashed potatoes on the list of things that make me gag....so I don't really have much experience with them. To me they looked not very well mashed and a little watery. When I got home, they had firmed up but I still put some in the food processor and blended them up to see what happened...but they didn't really look right then either. I consulted the hubby- who LOVES refried beans and he told me that they were fine either way but he preferred them somewhat "beany"...so I left the rest of them the way they were.
Moving on, I also cooked the pork on Sunday night. Again, I'm no meat expert, but I picked up this at the store:
I decided to kind of combine two recipes here so I started off following this one.
I trimmed a bunch of the fat off the meat, cut it into big cubes and threw it in my dutch oven with some onion and garlic.
Then I added a jar of medium chunky salsa and a quart of veggie broth.
I brought it to a boil. Then I turned down the heat and let it simmer for 3 hours. Then I scooped out the pork, tossed the liquid and stuck the meat in the fridge.
Here's where I started using this recipe...I just basically subbed in the pork for ground pork...and I didn't mess around with the spices or anything.
When I got home from volleyball tonight, I threw some onion and garlic in a pan, chopped the pork into smaller pieces and sauteed it all for a few minutes.
Then I added some mango. I'll spare you the details of how horribly I mangled the mango. Here are some mango cutting instructions with you need them.
Finally, I added a jar of mild salsa and let everything heat through. Serve over brown rice with the beans.
The verdict? Pretty good! I'm sure it would be good with the spices and stuff from the original recipe as well. It was simple and the sweet mango was a nice contrast to the salsa. You could use hotter salsa for an extra cook. Hubby liked the beans. He said he couldn't really taste the jalapeno and that they needed more salt :)
And today in Lindsay's Lunchbox:
Leftover pancakes and apples with peanut butter! Yummmmmm :)