Refried beans called as frijoles refritos in Spanish are cooked and mashed beans. The term 'refried' here is a borrowed one from Spanish and it means well fried though the prefix 're' is misleading. Refried beans is a staple dish in Mexican and Latin cuisines and is used in many dishes such as bean burritos, toastada, seven layer dip, nachos and others. Pinto beans, black beans or red (kidney) beans are used to prepare refried beans. If necessary the dry beans are soaked overnight and cooked and then mashed. The bean paste is then fried or baked with onion and garlic using a small amount of fat and seasoned with salt and spices. Epazote, a Mexican herb is also commonly used in the preparation of refried beans. Lard, bacon drippings, butter or oil can be used to cook refried beans though lard is commonly used in Mexico.
Canned beans would be an easier option if you want to cut down the prep time. Just drain the liquid from the can and rinse the beans thoroughly before using. I have used a 15 oz can of red beans here to prepare the refried beans. Usually I prepare a simple, basic version of refried beans but this time, I tried a spicier version bookmarked from food network. This was used to prepare toastada that I posted yesterday.
1 tbsp. oil / butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Serrano pepper / Chili powder to taste
One 15 oz can of pinto beans, black beans or kidney beans
1/4 cup water / stock
1/2 tsp. cumin powder
Salt to taste
Cracked black pepper to taste
* Heat oil or butter in a pan and add onion, garlic and Serrano pepper if using. Saute until onion and garlic slightly brown.
* Drain the liquid from the can and rinse the beans thoroughly. Add the beans, liquid, cumin powder and some chili powder if Serrano pepper was not used.
* Cook over medium heat, mashing the beans with a potato masher or the back of a ladle. Take care to not mash the Serrano pepper.
* The beans can be mashed to a chunky or a smooth puree. Cook until desired consistency is reached, adding more liquid if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the Serrano pepper before serving.
* If not using canned beans, soak the beans in water prior to cooking to fasten the cooking process. Kidney beans may need overnight soaking where as pinto beans and black beans can be soaked for around a couple of hours.
* Drain the water used to soak and add fresh water to cook. Pressure cooking the beans in water with a ratio of 1:2 would be the fastest and easiest way. If cooking in a suace pan, cook on medium heat, adding water intermittently as needed until the beans soften.
This is going to be a part of Blogging marathon #64 under 'Bookmarked Recipes' and check here to find out what other marathoners are cooking today.