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Refried Beans

Dried Pinto Beans

Mexican cuisine is casual, distinctive and is based on corn, beans and chiles. Turning hard cold beans into a dish with a creamy consistency is very satisfying. Refried beans are not actually fried, but cooked twice. Large batches are made at the beginning of the week to be reheated later. Beans are high in fiber and vegetable protein. They are perfect for serving with tortilla chips at a party or as a side dish with Spanish rice and enchiladas. Beans must be soaked for 24 hours.

    2 cups (16-ounces) dried pinto beans
    6 cups cold water, for soaking
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 gallon cold water, for boiling
    2 tablespoons corn oil
    1 cups chopped yellow onion
    4 cups water
    1 tablespoon chicken or beef base
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    1 teaspoon garlic salt
    Pinch sweet paprika
    Pinch white pepper
    2 cups shredded Mexican-style cheeses


1.  Soaking: Rinse beans in a colander. Place in a plastic        
     container with a lid. Soak in 6 cups water for at least
     24 hours.

2.  Boiling: Drain the beans in a colander. Place the beans,
     1 gallon water and salt in 12-quart heavy based stock pot.
     Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium/low and simmer for
     2 hours. Drain beans in a colander.

3.  Heat oil in a 6-quart Dutch oven. Fry onions until they    
     become translucent. Add beans, 4 cups water, chicken base,
     oregano, garlic salt, paprika and pepper. Bring to a boil and
     lower heat to medium/low and keep at a simmer for 1 hour.  
     Keep the lid tilted so steam can escape. Stir occasionally.

4.  Cool the beans for 20 minutes. Measure cups of warm beans
     into a blender and process until smooth. Overfilling the
     blender can cause splattering.

5.  Pour the processed beans into a large bowl, then back into
     pot. Heat over low heat until thick and creamy or about 15          
     minutes. Top with cheese, cover and cook for 2 minutes.

     Hint: This may be frozen in smaller portions or in aluminum          
     foil containers for reheating later.

     Makes 8 servings


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