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Healthy Charro Beans

Charro beans are a tasty side dish served in just about every Austin Tex-Mex restaurant. They will also make a satisfying main dish served with warm corn tortillas or even cornbread.
  • 1/2 pound bacon (see Note)
  • 1 medium (baseball size) yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 ripe Roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 poblano pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped (optional, but recommended)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 15- or 16-ounce cans pinto or red beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Fry bacon; remove and drain on paper towels. Drain all but 2 tablespoons drippings from skillet.

Over medium-low heat, sauté onion and tomatoes in pan drippings until onion is transparent. Add the poblano and minced garlic and cook another 3 minutes. Add beans to pan, mixing well. Add chicken broth and simmer for 15 minutes.

Before serving, add the chopped cilantro. (If you want your beans to be soupier, add a little more chicken broth.) Makes 6 servings.

Note: If you want your Charro beans to be completely meatless, omit the bacon and sauté the vegetables in 2 tablespoons of olive or canola oil.

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