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Ingredient - Beans

I'm not so fond of pinto beans and prefer to use black beans, but hey, the choice is yours. Be sure to soak them overnight and change the water before you cook them. Again, bacon fat or lard is the preferred fat for frying, but if the food police have brainwashed you, use vegetable oil. “Refried” is a misnomer since the beans are only fried once, but I'm not going to quibble and call them “Recooked Beans.” Note: This recipe requires advance preparation.

Meaty, slow-cooked beans make an appearance on Latin and Caribbean plates from Little Havana to Little Haiti and everywhere in between. Some are served with rice, some are stewed with every flavorful cut of meat that fits in the pot, as in Brazilian feijoada. What most versions have in common is the richness and smoky flavor of pork. My simplified version uses bacon and ham hocks for loads of flavor with a minimal amount of fuss. Starting with dried beans takes some advance prep, but it is an easy way to achieve authentic results! Note: this recipe requires advance preparation.

This stuff freezes well, it’s hearty, and you can adjust the heat level easily up or down, simply by adding more or less fresh habanero chile. The baseline heat level of the sausage is only warm, so if you want a real kick, add at least half a habanero to the pot. This features Mulay’s Killer Hot Italian Sausage, but you can use your favorite spicy Italian sausage.

This is best when made the night before and allowed to mellow out in the fridge. Serve with chopped raw onions, crisp fried tortillas, and sour cream. Magnifico!
This thick and delicious soup from North Africa should be served as a supper dish, which is when many thick, spicy soups are traditionally served.  Even though 10 cloves of garlic sounds like a lot, the garlic mellows as it cooks.  Serve it with crusty warm bread.

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