Cooking Chipotle Beans with Sammy Bananas

And watch as Sammy faces the banana lightning round!

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Jan 14 2014, 9:00pm

In my years in the music game, I have found DJs to be amongst the most discriminating food connoisseurs. This is no coincidence. When travelling, you're being taken to pre-gig meals, usually at a local flagship. When throwing parties in your own town, you're taking guests to dinner or hunting for late night eats. When home relaxing, you're making up for all the gut-buster airport tour food by whipping up some good home cooking. And of course, you're instagramming it all.

In this space, I'll be bringing you recipes and food stories from the globe's most cookin-est DJs, paired with carefully selected music for culinary enhancement.

Today, Brooklyn DJ and producer Sammy Bananas goes against type and rocks a quick and easy Chipotle Bean concoction for the budget-conscious cook. Best known for his knocking house edits and his collaborative projects Telephoned and Fifteenth, the sax-playing Fool's Gold Records mainstay let me in on some spendthrift cooking tips.  Read on as Sammy and I discuss the Bluth Frozen Banana and tips for keeping food out of your moustache.

Sammy Bananas' new EP Flexin' features 4 90's tinged house cuts. It is now available on vinyl from Fool's Gold!  It will be available digitally on January 21st. @sammybananas

THUMP: Before we get started, let's do the banana lightning round.  Name your five favorite banana dishes. Go!
Sammy Bananas
: Banana—you can't beat the au natural peel-back goodness. Maduros—fried sweet plantains… banana-related at least! Strawberry banana smoothie—a classic. Corn Flakes with bananas coins. Original frozen banana—a Bluth family favorite.

Four out of five. Plantains are not permitted. Still a strong score. So, tell us a bit about your food-and-tunes credentials.
I'm a member of the Fool's Gold family and have released a whole slew of different projects through the label over the past six years. I started the Food Gold series on the Fool's Gold blog and am an avid culinary experimenter, occasionally doing things like making pretzels in the form of record label logos. You might know me from my work with Maggie Horn as Telephoned, or with LA's (thee) Mike B as Fifteenth, and possibly from my solo work through remixes and my bootlegs series.

So you and I both are known for our moustaches. I constantly have moustache-related eating problems—like just getting food all over my face and needing 90 napkins. Do you have any tips for me?
Funny enough, I don't really have this problem.  I always assumed that having a moustache would lead to this type of impediment, but aside from a few times, my 'stache stays clean.  Perhaps this is a product of having one so neatly trimmed and well groomed.

OK, so what are we cooking right now?  What's so great about it?
We are cooking Chipotle Beans—an absolute standard in my repertoire. The recipe is totally simple, very economical, but so delicious. They just have a magical sweet, spicy and hearty combination. If I had to choose between never listening to music again and eating these beans for the rest of my living days, I would choose the latter. When I first moved to NYC seven years ago I pretty much lived off this recipe, but I still make them every other week or so. 

How did you discover this recipe?
This is a Ma Bananas special. I remember being smitten when she first cooked this.

Do I have to be a genius to make this?  What's the trick to making the dish work?
The best part about this dish, other than how awesome it tastes, is how simple it is. I've become very interested in simple recipes, but sometimes these require either very specific techniques or superbly sourced ingredients to work right.  The nice part about these beans is that they're pretty much foolproof. Most of the main ingredients are canned and you're pretty much just throwing everything in the pot and cooking it down a bit.

What should we be listening to while we cook this?
Clipse - We Got It 4 Cheap Vol. 2

Ingredients:
1 medium onion, diced
2 tbps vegetable oil
1/2 cup canned whole tomatoes
Chipotle in adobo, finely chopped into paste
1 cup Orange Juice
2 15 oz cans of Black or Pinto beans
1 Avocado
1 Lime
Salt to taste
1 cup cooked white rice and/or several corn tortillas (if you like)

Directions:
1. Dice the onion and add to heated oil in a large saucepan. Add a pinch of salt and cook over medium low heat until the onion is translucent, about six minutes.
2. While the onion cooks, remove one chipotle chili (two if you want it extra spicy) from a can of chipotle in Adobo. If you've never heard of this, it will be right near all of the Goya stuff in your local bodega/convenience store/supermarket/etc. Slice the chili lengthwise to remove and discard the seeds. Finely chop the chili so that it mixes with the packing sauce to become a paste.
3. Add the chili paste to the pot and cook along with the onions for a one minute.
4. Open the cans of beans, wash under cold water in a colander, and add to the pot. After a few stirs, add the tomatoes and orange juice. Allow the mixture to come to a boil, and then turn down the heat to simmer uncovered until almost all of the liquid is absorbed.
5. Slice the avocado into chunks, place in a small bowl and squeeze lime juice on top, adding some salt to taste.
6. Serve the beans over topped with cheese and avocado—either over rice, with tortillas, or both.

Michael Fichman is a DJ, producer and BBQ enthusiast living in Philadelphia. Follow him on twitter at @djaptone.

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