Mexican Sides - Zucchini and Onions, Refried Beans, Pineapple Salsa

Mexican Sides

Mexican GP dinner was definitely a few of my favorite things. Tacos, fresh fruit salsa, veggies, and of course margaritas. 

Zucchini and Onions

Zucchini and Onions

1 Tblsp light olive oil
4-6 small zucchini and/or crookneck summer squash, sliced
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 - 1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cumin
2 sprigs fresh oregano finely chopped (or 1/2 tsp dried)
Freshly cracked pepper (optional)

Heat cast iron or heavy bottomed frying pan on medium high. Add olive oil until shimmering. 

Add chopped onion, stir to lightly cover in oil, then let cook undisturbed until lightly browned, flip and continue to cook 2-4 minutes. 

Add garlic, zucchini and squash, sprinkle salt, cumin, and oregano on top. Continue to let vegetables brown on pan slipping occasionally. 

Cook until desired texture. Add salt and pepper to taste. 


Black Beans

Refried Beans

From Serious Eats - for other options including pinto beans and different herbs/ fats check out the recipe and article

1/2 pound dried black beans
2 sprigs fresh oregano
1 medium yellow onion, 1/2 minced, 1/2 left whole
2 medium cloves garlic
Kosher salt
6 tablespoons bacon drippings (or vegetable oil for vegetarian version)

1. In a large pot, cover the beans with cold water by at least 2 inches. Add herb sprigs, the whole onion half, and garlic cloves and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to simmer and cook until beans are very tender, about 1 to 2 hours.

2. Season with salt. Drain beans, reserving bean-cooking liquid. Discard herb sprigs, onion, and garlic.

3. In a large skillet, heat bacon drippings or vegetable oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add minced onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent and lightly golden, about 7 minutes.

4. Stir in beans and cook for 2 minutes.

5. Add 1 cup of reserved bean-cooking liquid. Using bean masher, potato masher, or back of a wooden spoon, smash the beans to form a chunky purée; alternatively, use a stick blender to make a smoother purée.

6. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring, until desired consistency is reached; if refried beans are too dry, add more bean-cooking liquid, 1 tablespoon at a time, as needed.

7. Season with salt and serve.


Pineapple Salsa

Pineapple Salsa

Adapted from Saveur

1 cup finely chopped fresh pineapple
1⁄4 cup finely chopped cilantro
3 tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 tbsp. fresh orange juice
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 jalapeños, stemmed and minced
1/2 small red onion, minced

Mix together all ingredients, serve. 

One of my favorite go-to throw together recipes is a fruit salsa. If you have fruit, onion, any kind of pepper, almost any kind of fresh herb, and a sharp knife, you are set. It fixes almost any boring meal: chicken, fish, pork, tacos, quesadillas, beans, you name it. 

Fresh Fruit Salsa "Recipe"

Chopped fruit: Mango, Pineapple, Strawberries, Plums, Nectarines, finely chopped
Onion: red or white, diced
Pepper: bell pepper, jalapeno, habanero, diced
Herb: Cilantro, Mint, Parsley, Oregano, finely chopped
Lime juice (or orange or lemon)
Olive oil (optional)

Chop, Toss, Eat