Prior to trying this recipe, my only experience in cooking with dry beans has been to make New England style baked beans. Inspired by a large bag of pinto beans in my cabinet, I searched for ideas, and found a crock pot recipe using whole garlic cloves, a whole jalapeno pepper, and a couple of slices of bacon at www.myhomecooking.net.
I cooked the beans in the crock pot as directed, and then transferred the entire crock to the fridge to let the flavors mellow for a couple of days. Today when I removed the crock pot from the fridge, I skimmed off the bacon fat and removed the bacon slices so what remained was a smoky garlic flavor with just a hint of spice. These beans paired nicely with Maui-Mex Rice, a recipe that can be found in the Maui Tacos Cookbook.