How do I even begin to explain my love affair with beans. I have no idea when or where it started…most probably when I was a young girl growing up in the coalfields of Southern West Virginia eating a lot of pintos because they were cheap, filling, and healthy…some kids would have turned up their nose as an adult, my love affair with beans continued and eventually grew into a fantasy with all kinds and types of beans and legumes! These ‘Spicy Anasazi Beans’ are a Bohemian adventure into the world of the Anasazi Indians who dwelt in the ‘four corners’ of the U.S.~~Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. For me, that’s what fooding is all about~~traveling to different cultures, places, ethnic groups, etc. and indulging in their beautiful foods~~if I can’t physically travel there, I can, at least, experience some of their glorious cultures through their food!
Here’s a little story on the beans…it’s always good to know some history behind what’s going into your tummy! Thank you Adobe Milling from Dove Creek, CO! The Anasazi were Indians who lived in the four corners area (now Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico) dating back to 130 A.D. The are best identified with their substantial architectural achievements known today as “cliff dwellings”. Mesa Verde National Park, Hovenweep, Canyon de Chelly and many other dwelling that dot the arid countryside, represent these structures. “Anasazi” is a Navajo word perhaps best translated as “the ancient ones”. Anasazi Beans® were one of the few crops cultivated by the Anasazi. They were found in the ruins by settlers to the four corners area in the early 1900′s. Presently they are grown at 7,000 ft. elevation on the same land the Anasazi inhabited. Anasazi Beans® are considered an unusually tasty baking bean, very scrumptious with ham and flavorful in Mexican dishes. This sweeter and mealier bean will allow many culinary delights! They also contain 75% less of the gas-causing carbohydrates compared to pinto beans!
What you need:
1 bag (16 oz) Anasazi beans (dry)
1 ham hock (you can substitute 2-3 slices of bacon or omit the pork altogether and add a can of condensed mushroom soup after the beans have cooked for a while)
32 oz organic chicken broth
4 garlic cloves sliced thin
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp coarse ground pepper
1 tsp sweet paprika
¾ tsp ancho chili powder
1 can (appx. 14oz) Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes with Green chilies
Water (add as needed)
What you do:
Wash and drain the beans. Put in a heavy large pot. Add half of the chicken broth, one cup of water and the ham hock. Bring to boil for about 20-30 minutes. Add the remaining chicken broth, garlic, salt, pepper, paprika and ancho chili powder. Cover, reduce heat to medium low and let simmer for a couple of hours. Check carefully, stir and add water as needed.
After about 2 hours, add the tomatoes and water as needed. Continue to simmer until beans are tender.
©Alice D’Antoni Phillips Ally’s Kitchen