As I said last week after giving you the AMAZING Chilie Verde recipe, if you want a TRULY fantastic fiesta, you need to finish it off with sides- rice, tortillas, salsa… and refried beans.
Most of you probably just pictured THIS
and do I blame you? No. Honestly, canned is good in a pinch. I remember catering my friend’s son’s 2nd birthday and after spending a LONG time making fresh refried beans, Camo picked up the tray the wrong way and the whole thing dumped out. Making more was out of the question. Luckily, my friend is forgiving and she sent her hubby to go buy some beans.
I learned something from that experience- use a cookie sheet under flimsy trays of heavy beans. I was embarrassed, but, like I said, canned came through when I needed it.
However, if you have the time, the difference is HUGE and you’ll be happy. Trust me.
2 cups dried pinto beans, soaked overnight w/ water to cover by about 2 in. (if you forget this step, you can do a quick soak by covering the beans with HOT water, letting it come to a rapid boil for 2 minutes, removing it from the heat, and letting it sit for about 1 hour. When its doen, empty the water, rinse, and follow the recipe as usual.)
1 bay leaf
3/4 c bacon fat or lard
2 c yellow onions, chopped
1 1/2 tbsp garlic, minced
1 1/2 tbsp seeded and minced jalapeno
1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp coriander
salt to taste
Combine beans, bay leaf, and enough water to cover by 1-2 inches. Bring to a boil and then reduce it to a simmer UNCOVERED (unless you like to clean your stove up. Just sayin’), stirring occasionally until the beans are tender. Very tender. Maybe you like your pasta to be al dente, but generally, refried beans don’t have any bite. Anyways, this could take anywhere from 1 1/2 -2 1/2 hours (maybe even longer if you only did the quick soak). Add water as necessary to keep the beans covered. When the beans are nice and soft, mash ‘em up with a tator masher. Remove the pot from the heat.
In a med. skillet, heat the bacon fat/lard over med./ hi heat. Add the onions and cook about 4-6 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and cook 1 minute. Add to the beans and stir to combine.
Cook about 15-20 minutes more over med. heat, adding a little water as necessary to keep the beans from drying out. Taste it to see if you need to add salt. If not, you’re done.
These are so tasty you might just decide its a meal by itself. If you’re having a hard time justifying that, just ask me and I’ll be happy to help you find a way.
Add some cheese, maybe some scallions- yum. Use for your Mexican fiesta as a side dish, or use it to top a tostada shell (they sell ‘em in the Mexican aisle in the market). Add some thinly chopped lettuce, tomato, and cheese and you’ve got a quick dinner- and I should know- I did this a few nights in a row when we were swamped with things to do around here.
Next week, I’ll give you a great recipe for Spanish rice. The recipe is from my late grampa-in-law who said it was over 100 years old. If THAT’S not enough to get you to come back, well, its also a WONDERFUL addition to the Chili Verde meal.
Yeah- that’s what I thought. I’ll see you next week.