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Recipe: Frijoles Pintos Picantes

frijoles pintos picantes
Courtesy of foodover50.com

This recipe is courtesy of foodover50.com.

Frijoles Pintos Picantes

Serves 8 people

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Good old rice and beans! For centuries we've known that this classic plant-based pairing not only sticks to our ribs and satisfies our hunger, but also forms a nutritious, complete protein without all the saturated fat associated with meat. That is, unless we load them up with lard! FO5O's spicy, Latin-influenced rice & beans combo relies on olive oil, not animal fat, plus the added flavor profile from lobster stock to cook the rice. It's a mostly plant-based pairing that creates a lean, complete protein and tastes great!


  • 2 cups dried pinto beans
  • water to soak beans
  • low sodium chicken stock or water to cook beans
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 2 jalapeno peppers
  • 1 Fresno chile
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp coriander
  • 1 Tbsp Mexican oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

 To Prepare

Due to the pinto bean's dappled coloring, which can hide small stones or shriveled beans, do a quick inspection against a bright white plate before soaking.

Place the pre-sorted beans into a large, heavy-bottomed pot along with enough water to cover them to a depth twice that of the beans. Let soak overnight and do not shortcut this process. Dry beans need at least an 8-hour soak.

When ready to cook, the beans should have doubled in size from the cold soak. Drain off any remaining water and replace with either chicken stock or fresh water, your choice - again thoroughly covering the beans. Partially cover the pot and start them cooking slowly over a low heat. Tender beans will take two or three hours and top ups of fluid may be required.

In a spice grinder, or mortar and pestle, combine a tablespoon each of whole cumin seed and coriander seed. If you favor a little more, don't be shy. Beans are a flavor sponge and can take plenty of seasoning. Grind to a course dust. Alternatively, you may use pre-ground spices, but they may not have as much flavor punch as freshly ground.

Prep all the fresh aromatics by mincing the garlic and chilies, then dicing the onion and bell peppers.

On the stovetop, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to a saute pan over medium heat. Add all the aromatics starting with the garlic and onion. Stir and saute ingredients until everything is gently caramelized. Add the ground spices and oregano to the sauteing vegetables to bloom their flavors as well.

Transfer the contents of the saute pan to the bean pot. Give everything a stir and let bean mixture gently simmer for 2 to 3 hours. Add a teaspoon of salt and freshly ground pepper towards the end of the cooking process. Beans should remain whole, but soft and tender when done.