2 tbs trinity*
1 can black beans or pinto beans
For an easy side dish to a Mexican meal, it is hard to beat these beans. Add a small amount of oil (or bacon grease, in you're feeling indulgent) to a skillet with the trinity and sweat the veggies. When soft, add salt, pepper, cumin, and chili powder to taste. (I usually do just a couple of shakes of the spices). Drain and rinse your beans and add to the skillet with a splash of chicken stock (or water). Smash about half of the beans to create a creamy consistency. Cover and simmer on low for 10-20 minutes to develop the flavors.
*Trinity is a New Orleans cooking staple consisting of green bell pepper, celery, and onion. The French have their version, mire poix, which substitutes carrot for the bell pepper. I make a big batch, chopping all of the veggies together, and then freeze the extra, so I can use it in recipes like this (In our grocery stores, you can also buy it pre-chopped in the refrigerated section or in the frozen section). If you don't have it on hand, you can just use a small amount of chopped onion or onion and celery, or onion and a jalepeno for some spice. It adds a lot of bang for your buck--you'd be surprised the flavor even a small amount can generate