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.

1 comment:

heavy hedonist said...

Pretty similar to howw I make them, too, and they're good. Most restaurant beans use just onion and oil, I think, which is why they're so bland, unless you get a place that uses really fresh beans-- rare, but it works then.

Places like Taco Bell use instant beans-- cooked, dried, ground to a powder. Yuck! This recipe you have, is what I'll make tonight for my burritos: thanks!