Friday, July 29, 2011

Homemade refried beans



Today I made homemade refried beans. It was easy, cheap and I had all the ingredients on hand (with some substitutions, of course).

When I made my plum tart two weeks ago, it was getting late and I didn't have pie weights so I ran out to Target for some pinto beans to weigh the tart shell down while I was blind baking it. However, I only used half of them. So when I was going through the cupboard this morning making our grocery list for the farmer's market this morning, I pulled out the dried pinto beans and looked at the recipes on the back: one for rehydrating the beans and the other for vegetarian refried beans. So I thought, what the heck?

Here's what you'll need:
1/2 lb. of dried pinto beans
1 tsp salt, divided
3 tbps olive oil
1 medium onion (from the farmer's market)
1 jalapeno pepper (I used half a green bell pepper--again from the farmer's market)
1 medium tomato (I used 1/3 of a 28 oz can of diced tomatoes)
1 clove garlic
1 tsp cumin
pinch cayenne pepper (I used a teaspoon of red pepper flakes)

Here's the instructions:

1. Rinse and remove any foreign material from the beans (I've seen small stones in them before, but nothing worse).
2. Put 4 cups of water and 1/2 pound of beans in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer two minutes.
3. Remove from heat, cover and let stand 1 hour. Then drain the beans.
4. Bring 3 cups of water and the beans to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer over low for 1.5 hours or until beans are tender.
5. Don't drain the beans. Take them off the heat and, using a potato masher, mash the beans. 
6. Add 1/2 tsp of salt and simmer on low while you cook the vegetables.
7. Heat oil in large skillet. Add onion, peppers and remaining 1/2 tsp of salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until tender.
8. Add remaining ingredients. Cook another 3 minutes, until tomato has softened.
9. Add beans to skillet, mix well. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring often.

I used some leftover brown rice, whole wheat tortillas (which admittedly, I had to run out and buy) and shredded cheese to make burritos. I'll throw them in the freezer and eat them for lunch next week with some salsa that we had leftover from D&D a couple of weeks ago. I had a fresh one for dinner tonight and after 45 seconds in the microwave, it was piping hot and ready to go.



Yum!
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