Jez Higgins

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Friday 07 November 2003 Cooking with Pete: Refried Beans - Frijoles Refritos

Refried Beans! Big, hearty yummy food that's quick and easy to make. If you've got a bit of time you can go for the whole hog Mexican spread with beans, flour tortillas, guacamole, salsa, cheese, heuvos, and so and so on. Less time, or can't be arsed you can have them by themselves, or just spread on a bit of toast, or just hit some happy mid-point.

You'll need

  • some beans
  • an onion or two

So here we go

  1. Get a nice big pan, preferably with a good thick bottom, and heat up some oil.
  2. While the oil heats, chop up the onion pretty finely. Sling it in and cook it around for a few minutes until it's nice and soft, but not too brown.
  3. Add the beans a spoonful or two at a time. Stir them around a bit, then mash them up with a fork or the back of a wooden spoon. Then add some more, until they're all in. If you used tinned beans, pour off the liquid they were tinned in, but don't leave the beans really dry - you want them to be a bit wet. If you boiled your own beans, add a bit of the cooking liquid if things start looking a bit dry.
  4. Once you've added all the beans, you're more or less done. Cook it on for a minute or two - it should all start to pull together into a big mass. You can serve it up now if you like. Alternatively, you can add some chopped up coriander leaf, some chopped up fresh or pickled chillis, you could stir in some grated cheese or pieces of cream cheese, spoon some salsa or avocado slices over the top. Whatever you fancy really.
  5. Serve. Just have them in a bowl, or with as many or as few Mexican-styly trimmings as you like. Easy and fun - open up a packet of flour tortillas, stick them on plate in the microwave for a minute or two, and wrap your beans, some cucumber and tomato, and a splash of salsa and guacamole in a lovely warm tortilla. It's ace.

While pinto beans are traditional, you can use red or black kidney beans instead, or a combination. Pinto beans give a very smooth bean mash, while kidney beans are a bit heavier and more mealy. I've also used borlotti beans, which give quite a sweet end result. I use 3 or 4 tins of beans, which feeds three or four depending on your level of gutbagness.

You can also boil up dried beans instead of using tins, but that takes a while so I tend to do that at the weekend rather than in the week. Put the dry beans in a pot with a quatered onion, and cover with water. Bring to the boil. If you're using kidney beans let them boil hard for ten minutes. Knock back to a simmer. When the beans start to wrinkle, add a bit of oil. Keep on simmering, topping up the water as needed, until the beans are nice and soft right through. Stir in a good teaspoon or so of salt. Depending on the age and type of your beans, this could take anywhere between 90 minutes and three hours or more. You can eat them as they are, if you don't want to wait any more. They also freeze well, if you can wait longer.

Don't worry if you make too much, because refried beans keep and reheat really well. I believe this might be why the beans are called refried - today's beans were made by adding more beans to yesterday's leftovers.


Tagged recipe, and cooking-with-pete


Jez Higgins

Freelance software generalist
software created
extended or repaired

Older posts are available in the archive or through tags.

Feed

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My code on GitHub

Contact
About