Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Homemade refried beans

It all starts with the crock pot. I usually make a pot of some sort of beans each week, and also use the rice cooker to cook up a big pot of brown rice. This week, I chose red beans. My other favorites are black, pinto, and navy. We also eat a lot of lentils, but there's no need to use the crock pot for those. There's no science to cooking beans in the crock pot. I don't use a recipe when I made them. Here's how it's done.

1 16 ounce package of red beans, rinsed and sorted
Fill large crock pot 3/4 full of water
Add salt, cumin, garlic powder, and red pepper to taste
1/2 onion, finely chopped
4 tbsp cilantro, minced
1 can of petite diced tomatoes-with or without green chiles, your choice
It takes my crock pot 4-5 hours to cook the beans to the right texture

Saute the other half onion in olive oil until soft
Place 4 cups of beans in your frying pan (I use a cast iron skillet)
Mash with potato masher
Add enough water or bean juice to make creamy
Add more cumin, red pepper, onion powder, salt to taste
Meanwhile, saute two cloves of fresh garlic (peeled and crushed) in a different pan until you smell that delicious garlic smell. Then, mix in with the beans

Yes, it's easier to just buy refried vegetarian beans in a can. However, believe me when I tell you that these homemade refried beans are better. Quite a bit better, in fact! Great for huevos rancheros, tacos, burritos, or on their own. The picture of the refried beans, on the other hand, not so attractive. (Also, wanted to point out that what you see in the lower right corner of the picture is a wooden spoon protruding from the refried beans. )That's two posts in a row of things best left without being photographed. I'll have to chose a more attractive dish to blog about next time!

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