Saturday, May 23, 2009

Refried Beans

I've always loved refried beans - they're filling and they're tasty - what can be bad about that, right?

As it turns out, refried beans are called refried because they are first cooked, then mashed and fried in lard/fat to give them their characteristically smooth, creamy texture.

Tell me the thought of that doesn't just totally skeeze you out. Beans frying in lard - not my idea of tasty fudz.

I decided that if I was ever going to eat refried beans again I had to develop my own method of making them. Turns out it's so easy that I'm pretty sure a trained monkey could actually do it.

Seriously, no exaggeration needed.

So, next time you've got a hankering for some tasty refried beans to add to your bean burrito, nachos, taco salad, etc. try this instead of loading up at your favorite Mexican joint.

Your arteries will thank you.

Refried Beans

Makes 4 Servings (1/2 cup/100 g)

1 (14 oz) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 small yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
kosher salt

Process the onion and garlic in a food chopper/processor until nearly pureed. If you don't have a food processor/chopper, throw on some sunglasses and chop until they're a super fine mince. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a 2 qt. saucepan until it begins to shimmer. Add the onion and garlic mixture and cook until softened, about two minutes. Add the chili powder and cumin, mixing until evenly distributed. Add the drained, rinsed pinto beans and add enough water to cover the beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer uncovered until water has decreased by half. Mash beans with a potato masher until they resemble your desired level "refried-ness." If still too thin for your liking, let sit over med-low heat, stirring occasionally, until they are as thick as you like. Serve immediately, or store in refrigerator with plastic wrap pressed directly on surface of beans so as not to form a skin.

Nutritional Estimate

This is a nutritional estimate, I do not claim it to be exact - although it is pretty close.

1 serving - 1/2 cup/100 g

Calories: 81
Fat: 1.5
Protein: 5g


katie said...

I have been very tentatively dipping my toes into the refried bean pool lately. Husband always makes them, he stirs in a little butter at the end, I guess to give it the "fried in fat" taste. Thanks for the nutritional estimate, will we be seeing more of those?

Kristin @ Going Country said...

Oh, come on. Be not afraid of the lard. It's better for you than fake butter. All the experts say so.

I like to make refried beans with black beans. Nummy.

A Feast for the Eyes said...

Since I'm half Mexican, I love beans! I won't by refried in the cans, because I think they are disgusting. However, canned beans are fine and make a great shortcut if I don't have time to soak and cook my own-- that I cook with lots of garlic and onion and SOME bacon. Anyway, your version sounds great. Cotija cheese is my favorite garnish, along with cilantro. Good job!

Sweet Bird said...

Katie - I am going to start trying to include nutritional estimates for all of my recipes. It's something I enjoy seeing when I look at recipes so I decided that I should start doing it myself. For me, the caloric content of a recipe is a huge deciding factor on whether or not I want to make it - I assume this is also true for many other people - so why not make the process just a little bit easier by providing with the post, eh?

Kristin - Just the thought of lard makes me go ick. I'll use butter or natural fats any day of the week over the fake crap they've got for sale now, but I prefer to "spend" most of my fat intake on mono- and polyunsaturated fats like olive and nut oils.

Debby - I too love cotija - I just didn't have any in the house!