- 1 pound dried pinto beans, rinsed and picked over
- 2 ancho chilesstemmed, seeded and coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 slices of bacon, minced
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 pound extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, grated (2 cups)
- 1/2 cup drained sliced pickled jalapeños
- Tortilla chips or warm flour tortillas
- In a large saucepan, combine the beans, anchos and 2 quarts of water and bring to a boil over moderate heat. Lower the heat, cover partially and simmer until the beans are very tender, about 2 hours. Add a little water if necessary to keep the beans just covered as they cook; let cool. Working in batches, puree the beans and their liquid in a food processor.
- Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet. Add the bacon and cook over moderately high heat without browning until the fat is rendered, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until deep golden brown, about 10 minutes. Lower the heat to moderate, add the pureed beans and stir until thick and creamy, about 5 minutes; if the beans become dry, stir in a little water. Season with salt.
- Spread half of the beans in a large ovenproof skillet or baking dish and sprinkle with half of the grated cheese. Cover with the remaining beans and cheese and then the sliced jalapeños.
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Bake the beans for about 20 minutes, or until they are heated through and the cheese is melted. Serve with tortilla chips or tortillas.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.