Frijoles and Frybread

Hey y’all! Jennie from Garlic, My Soul here. This week, I whipped up a breakfast inspired by The Saguaro in beautiful Scottsdale, Arizona. This hotel is vibrant and steeped in the cultural heritage of the area, featuring amazing art from local artists—and the building itself shows off the colors of local desert flowers.

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Now, when I think of the culinary traditions of Arizona, I think of the crossroads of Mexican and Native American cooking. So I decided that I’d meld the two with some frybread (with mesquite honey, of course), a healthy serving of frijoles de la olla (bean stew), and prickly pear cactus juice. I added a side of figs to balance this rich meal, but you can use whichever fruit you’re keeping in your fridge this time of year.

Frijoles de la Olla (serves 4)

• 1/2 cup pinto beans (dried)
• 1/8 cup onion, diced
• salt to taste

Directions:

1. Measure out your dried beans. Dump them onto a cookie sheet or flat surface, and remove any broken or shriveled beans.

2. Rinse your beans well in cold water, then put into a pot, covered by at least two inches of water.

3. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then turn heat down and cover. Simmer for two to three hours until beans are tender. About 45 minutes before the beans are done, add two pinches of salt, diced onion, and stir well.

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Frybread (serves 2)

• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 pinch salt
• 1/3 cup warm water
• sunflower seed oil
• extra flour for rolling out dough
• mesquite honey for topping

Directions:

1. Mix together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add water and mix until dough forms.

2. Knead into a ball. If the dough is too sticky, add small amounts of flour until you can handle the dough. If the dough isn’t wet enough, add small amounts of water until all flour is incorporated.

3. Let dough rest for 30 minutes.

4. After 30 minutes, take your ball of dough and break into two pieces, or for smaller fry dough, four pieces. Sprinkle your work surface with flour, then roll dough into rounds with a rolling pin.

5. Heat oil of choice (I used sunflower seed oil) about an inch deep until it’s 400 degrees.

6. Add two fry doughs at a time, frying until brown on each side, about one minute per side.

7. Drain onto a plate with a paper towel to absorb extra oil. Serve warm with mesquite honey.

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