Monday, July 30, 2012

Unexpected Bonus Recipe: Refried Beans

Even though I'm not in full posting mode, I have a few spare minutes this evening, and I thought I'd offer this little dish. I posted it in response to a bean discussion on a cooking bulletin board I frequent. (I've actually posted it there several times.) My mother discovered this recipe years ago in a Southwest cookbook. I don't know the name, but I'll find out and add the appropriate credit when I do.

This recipe is noteworthy because it is so much more than the pinto bean paste that we normally associate with refried beans. (You know, those refried beans that you get at every Mexican restaurant that you swear must come from a Central Bean Processing Commissary, because they are exactly the same everywhere.) I like this dish because It has some interesting seasonings that you wouldn't expect. They don't overpower the dish and turn it into anything other than really good refried beans. Use it as a side with rice (I especially love saffron rice) or use as a base for vegetarian tacos, burritos, tostadas. and the like. Or, you could actually use it as a bean dip with tortilla chips.

Refried Beans

5 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp ground chili powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 cans (16 oz each) undrained pinto beans
     (or 3 cups freshly cooked pinto beans with liquid)

Heat oil over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic until tender. Add seasonings. Add beans with 1/2 cup liquid and mash with potato masher. Cook 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more liquid/water if needed.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

News Break

I realized yesterday that it has been a long time since I've posted. I have several post topics half-written in my head, it's just been difficult to have free slots to actually commit pixels to screen. As an interim measure, here's a list of some of the topics I'll be posting on soon:
  • The passing of Marion Cunningham, James Beard protege and author of the 1980's revision of one of my favorite basic American cookbooks, The Fannie Farmer Cookbook.
  • The JC100 celebration, which is organized by Alfred Knopf to commemorate the 100th birthday of Julia Child, coming up in August. (I've already mentioned this in the post about quiche.)
  • Tomato jam. (Yes, you read that correctly ...)
  • Homemade ginger ale.
  • Homemade fudgesicles. Oh yes, oh yum.
 In addition, here's a list of what has gotten in the way of posting this last month:
  • The shingles. On my face. Very painful, and 2 months after experiencing the first symptoms, still giving me some trouble, although visually barely noticible.
  • The medication for the shingles, which makes me lethargic and even groggy & sleepy sometimes.
  • Ending my job of 8 years and starting a new one in a completely different type of organization.
  • The record heat. OK, not really a reason for not blogging, but it doesn't help with the lethargy.
  • The Olympics, OMG the Olympics are on how can I not just spend every hour avidly watching TV???
So, stay tuned; I'm booked up this week but I hope to put up a new post next weekend! Which will it be, which will it be? Don't let the suspense get to you! *grin*