This meal is a standby at our house because it’s simply delicious. The necessary ingredients are almost always on hand in our pantry and freezer. Monterey Beans and Cheese is also extremely flexible so we can easily use up leftover meat or vegetables. This time of year we use ripe tomatoes from our garden. Here’s our take on the recipe from the More-With-Less Cookbook (World Community Cookbook)
by Doris Janzen Longacre.
Monterey Beans and Cheese
Fry, drain, and break into pieces:
• 2 slices bacon
Set aside. Sauté in bacon fat until tender:
• 1 medium-sized onion, sliced
• 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
• bacon bits
• 2 cups cooked black beans
• 1/4-1/2 lb. shredded cheddar cheese
• 2 ripe tomatoes, diced or 3/4 c. tomato sauce
• 1/4 c. beef bouillon or tomato juice
• 1 Tablespoon chili powder
• 1/2 t. salt
• dash of pepper
Cook slowly, stirring constantly, until ingredients are blended and cheese smooth — about 5 minutes. Serve with rice.
•This dish can be made vegetarian-style leaving out the bacon altogether– we don’t make it that way, however. Even for an omnivore, this dish contains just a little meat and you get a whole lot of flavor from that.
•You can use whatever type of beans you like best. Kidney beans or white beans work well, but black beans are our favorite kind.
•The cheese used can also be varied.
•Different peppers can also replace the jalapeno. Chipotele add a smokey flavor. Green or red pepper make a less spicy dish.
We like the spicy element, however, so we tend to make Monterey Beans and Cheese on the spicy side, sometimes adding a chili pepper as well. Summer or winter, this meal is easily prepared in the 20 minutes it takes to make the accompanying rice.