Party for a Pirate – Beans and Bread, Tex-Mex Cuisine

Ahoy, maties.

Beans and bread, two staples of what Pirates ate during the Golden Age of Pirates, 1650-1725.

What Pirate today hasn’t enjoyed these two warm and wonderful foods together? Delicious and nutritious. Good, healthy comfort food. In fact, they are a staple all over the world for Paupers, Pirates, Painters, and Politicos. Beans: lentils, pintos, hericot vert… And breads: roti, tortilla, baguette. A wide array of breads and beans of many names, shapes, forms, tastes, colors, textures.

Remember now, thar be Pirates in the western shores of the Gulf of Mexico. These be two of the best Tex-Mex recipes that I love together: me favorite charro black bean recipe paired with me best cast iron cornbread recipe.

Tex-Mex Cuisine

I love the Tex-Mex Cuisine. Many modern chefs in Texas have refined this old fusion to a high art. Tex-Mex always seems to have cumin, which isn’t in Mexican food. Also, cheddar, montery jack, pepper jack is used instead of white cheeses from Mexico. Tacos are different. Tortillas are different: flour vs corn. And many times, Tex-Mex will add more spices, ground beef, and a wider array of chili peppers found in the US.

I believe Tex-Mex will continue to evolve to a more universal Tex-Latin Cuisine, incorporating herbs, spices, ingredients from Cuban and Caribbean, Central American and Brazilian traditions.

Rich in taste and texture Charro Black Beans and slightly sweet, decidedly Southern Skillet Cornbread slathered with warm butter….. mmmmm this be such a satisfying, quick and easy meal to prepare.

Easy Healthy Food – Comfort Food Recipes

I choose healthy ingredients that are grown sustainably, selected carefully, and then take the time to cook them with attention. Everything about that is just better. Organic, non-GMO, no nitrates, no herbicides, pesticides, insecticides, no growth hormones. I control the ingredients, the nutrients, the utensils, the cookware, my health, my tastes, the way to cook, my satisfaction.

Most of my cooking is done on the weekends, preparing it with care and cooking it slow… sometimes it takes 2 days to have a finished meal. Most times, though, I prepare something from my easy healthy comfort food recipes.

Now rest assured, these are comfort food recipes. And to be easy, we’re going to make charro beans using canned beans. And the cornbread is easy and fun to prepare and dazzling to present.

Charro Black Beans – From Best Tex-Mex Recipes

Pinto beans are the traditional bean for charro beans. However, black beans are similar and substitue well. Black beans are popular all over Latin America and the Caribbean. Pinto beans are popular in northern Mexico and the US. In fact Pinto beans are the most popular bean in the US.

Charro Black Beans – Perhaps the most delicious of the Best Tex-Mex Recipes you can find.

Black beans do have slightly fewer carbs and calories, but overall both are low in carbs and fat, and high in vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber. The main difference is the color and size. Although they taste quite similar, I think black beans are sweeter.

This is a fast and easy charro beans recipe. It’s dark and delicious. The chipotle and fire roasted tomatoes enhance the smoky bacon and onion base of this dish. The serrano chili peppers are hotter than jalepenos, which adds to the depth and array of tastes. These charro black beans are substantial enough to be a perfect stand-alone meal complemented with hot buttery golden cornbread. And they go well as a side to steaks, grilled seafood, pulled pork. So satisfying.


  • 4 16 oz cans Black beans
  • 6 ounces smoky Bacon, diced
  • 1 large Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 4 fresh Serrano chili peppers, some sliced, some diced
  • 2 tsp ground Chipotle chili pepper
  • 1 tsp dried Mexican Oregano
  • 2 tsp ground Cumin
  • 2 T chopped Garlic (about 4 large cloves)
  • 2 tsp Pink Himalayan Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 2 14-ounce cans Fire-Roasted Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 T Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 Bay Leaf

For serving: garnish with fresh chopped cilantro, diced jalapenos, sliced green onions, and bacon bits


  1. Heat a large pot or 4-qt dutch oven over medium heat. Add diced bacon and cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and bacon is starting to crisp.
  2. Add the onions and serranos. Cook for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions become translucent and begin to soften. Add chipotle, oregano, and cumin, stir and cook for 2 minutes. stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, until it’s fragrant.
  3. Add the tomatoes with the juice, the bay leaf, and vinegar. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, scraping up the brown bits at the bottom of the pot, until the mixture begins to bubble and thicken.
  4. Add beans with the liquid, 2 C chicken broth, salt and black pepper. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook until the beans are heated through, about 15 minutes.
  5. Uncover the pot and continue cooking for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want the liquid reduced and thickened.
  6. Taste and season with more salt or pepper as necessary. Serve with chopped fresh cilantro, jalapenos, bacon bits, and sliced green onions.

Cast-Iron Skillet Cornbread

This is absolutely the best cast-iron skillet cornbread recipe for this meal. It’s really a Southern staple. It tastes so good with warm butter, and it’s impressive to set on the table in the skillet. People can’t help but comment. This slightly sweet skillet cornbread is easy comfort food at it’s finest. This has no chilis or cheese as it will balance the heat from the beans. This is just for hot butter!

Ingredients – have all at room temperature

  • 1 C Yellow Cornmeal (preferably stone-ground)

    The Best Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread Recipe – A celebration of sizzle, crackle, and taste. That’s a party for a Pirate right there.

  • 1 C Unbleached Whole Wheat White Flour
  • 1 T Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Pink Himalayan Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 3 T Honey
  • 2 T melted unsalted Butter
  • 1 1/4 C Milk
  • 1/4 C unsalted Butter


  1. Put your cast-iron skillet in the oven and preheat to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a large glass bowl.
  3. In another glass bowl, beat the 2 T of melted butter with the honey. Then beat in the eggs. Then stir in the milk until combined.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix in as few strokes as it takes to just make the batter come together. Let it stand and rest. This cornbread batter is thicker than other batters, so resist the urge to add more milk.
  5. Meanwhile, pull the skillet out of the oven after it’s pre-heated, put the 1/4 C of butter into the skillet and let it melt in the oven so it heats up again to 375 degrees. Remove the skillet, swirl the butter over the bottom and up its sides.
  6. Pour the batter immediately into the pan, smoothing the top. Then put it back into the oven for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown and pulled away from the sides of the pan.
  7. Cut into wedges and serve with soft butter.


I love the aromas that float through the house as these foods cook. These are some of the best Tex-Mex recipes to make. There’s nothing like making a pot of these easy charro beans and the iron skillet cornbread sizzling hot from the oven slathered with warm butter. The presentation and aromas are alive. Comida con vida. This is perfect on a cold and rainy Saturday night with just a few friendly folks. These are easy healthy comfort food recipes, healthy Tex-Mex recipes at their finest.

Note the use of hot and spicy fresh and ground peppers, onion and garlic, oregano, bay leaf, and cumin and the extra amounts used. These are healthy for the blood, circulation, arteries, heart, and brain. Good for physical heath, mental heath, emotional health.

Note for the cornbread, this is easy as all dry ingredients go in one bowl, all wet ingredients go in another. And pour the liquid into the dry. Then into the hot cast-iron skillet. Easy.

This to me is the way to cook. Aromatic. Visually Appealing. With layered textures. Spicy. Delicious. The food dazzles. It comes to you. When it goes into your mouth the smoky chewy bacon, nutty beans, rich broth and picante from the spices just pops with flavor. And for many, perhaps a new experience in how easy making healthy comfort food can be.

Please leave your comments. Let me know your thoughts on these recipes. And please stop back by to let me know if you served these to your folks… and how they liked them. Thank you.

Also, I invite you to review my other recipes. Especially my fellow Pirates who love the good life of spicy food, spicier company and libations.

Cooking for Pirates, where every meal is a party for a Pirate.



  1. Thanks for this great post!

    I have to admit, when I read the title, I thought this was a mixed meal (i.e. bean incorporated into the cornbread, etc.).  I’m a little odd when it comes to eating.  I like to scoop up much of my food with my bread.  It can be beans, mashed potatoes, etc.  It’s so good when combined.

    The beans sound great but I’ll be honest here.  Bread is where it’s at for me.  That cornbread sounds amazing.  I have a couple of cast iron skillets here and I’ll be whipping up a batch this coming weekend I think.

    LOL, you’re comments on the aromas is making my hungry!

    Thanks for the great recipes,


    • Hey, Scott.

      I appreciate your comments.

      When I was in South India, most people ate with their fingers. I used a paratha, which is a soft unleavened bread, like a tortilla wrap. I just visited my friend’s family in Houston and 15 years in the states, they still eat with their fingers. I used utensils.

      This cornbread can be modified to suit yer mood. Add 1 tsp Chipotle chili powder and 1/2 C Pepper Jack Cheese. Or 1/2 C diced fresh jalepenos and 1/2 C extra sharp cheddar cheese.

      Thanks again for your comments…. and let me know how these turned out for you.

      Enjoy all the best.

      Pirate Mike – Pirate Foodie

  2. Hi Pirate Mike,

    These are nutritious and delicious comfort food.

     I love beans because they are rich in protein and minerals and easy to cook, as well. You are right, Charo black beans could be a stand alone meal by itself. Aside from being nutritious, it is very filling, too.

    And the corn bread, I haven’t cooked it but my sister has, and it really smelled so good and very delicious as well.

    I will try to cook both of them one of these days.

    By the way, your site is very interesting.


    • Marita, thank you so much for leaving a such a woderful comment.

      I can tell you’re a foodie, too. Anyone who knows what’s best about beans is a foodie.

      Corn bread, hot out of the oven, slathered with warm butter… Mmmmmm. You need to try some.

      And thank you for the comment on my site. It’s been a labor of love.

      Let me know when you do cook these.

      Pirate Mike – Pirate Foodie

  3. Hi Mike,
    Great Post , I enjoy cooking myself a lot , thanks for these ideas for Tex-Mex recipes , I love the black beans and I prefer them better then Pinto beans . your Charro Black Beans recipe is really great and I am gonna try it myself , 
    thank you for this one , I hope I will not mess it up , and it will be Delicious as it sounds .
    Maybe I’ll share later how it went 🙂

    • Hi Alex.

      Aha, you know about black beans, too! They make really good Charro Beans.

      The Charro Beans also go good at BBQ with steak or burgers.

      When you do make them, you will love them…. and please, let me know how you did. 🙂

      Pirate Mike – Pirate Foodie

  4. Wow creative post here! Who doesn’t enjoy beans and bread indeed. I always like a good pirate story. Charro black bean sounds excellent. Was black beard’s crew the first to make this one? Haha. Organic and non-gmo are definitely the way to go and I appreciate you including healthy ingredients. Also that cornbread looks out of this world. I wouldn’t have thought to use cast-iron, brilliant. Your post made me hungry. I’m looking forward to reading more of them matey!

    • I am sure that Black Beard was indeed the first to make Charro Black Beans. 🙂

      Foodies have such a good time with life.

      And healthy comfort food has been my way for a long time now.

      I’ve made corn bread in muffin tins, small steel pans, glass brownie pans, clay pans, and truly the cast iron make the best presentation. Not only do you get the awesome visual, you get the alurring aroma, the taste of hot cornbread and warm butter, and the sizzle. It’s a dazzler. 

      Thank you for your taking the time to leave a comment…. I appreciate that.

      Please do stop back by for more Pirate Food Recipes.

      Mike – Pirate Foodie.

  5. Love these recipes. I love Mexican and Tex-Mex foods anyway. I learned a few things here though. I didn’t know that cumin isn’t really used in Mexico. 

    It’s wonderful you pointed out sustainable and organic foods. Love it.

    It’s actually pretty neat to think of eating foods that were eaten 200-300 years ago. It adds to the ‘comfort food’ idea. 

    Nice meal idea and recipes. Looks delicious. 😀

    • Thank you for taking the time to leave a note. 

      I too love to cook Mex and Tex-Mex. Great flavors. And the ingredients can all be very clean, organic, healthy.

      Again, thanks.

      Pirate Mike – Foodie

  6. OK, now I’m just STARVING for these two dishes and I want them RIGHT NOW!!!  LOL

    I love your writing style.  With your descriptions I can almost taste and smell the food wafting from the page!  The advertising is unobtrusive but very useful if you are just getting started and do not have a cast iron pan or some of the ingredients.

    There really is no better way to cook corn bread, in my experience than in a cast iron skillet and your method of heating the pan and then the butter is the absolute best method..  It adds a crispiness to the bottom and sides of the bread that is so scrumptious!  I will be trying these recipes very soon – especially the corn bread.

    I can’t wait to try this!

    • Thank you for your encouraging words about my writing. I have fun. And want to make it fun for others.

      And, yes, corn bread crispened by a cast iron skillet is something extra that’s fun, too.

      Best of all to you.

      Pirate Mike – Foodie

  7. You have some excellent recipes. I sent the URL for your black beans & cornbread to my husband so he can cook them tonight for dinner. He loves to spice up his southern and Spanish food.

    I especially like the way you publish an article with the food. That really makes your site stand out with personality.

    And I love how you weave the pirate theme all through the articles I’ve read so far. Will you please let me know as you publish more recipes?
    RL will love this web site. You have some
    interesting ideas here.

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