Since I met Billy, I have been on the bean bandwagon. Make all the jokes you want but beans are easy to cook, taste great, can be eaten any time of day and, bonus, are very healthy! In El Salvador, like much of Latin America, beans are a staple food. Beans and rice together form a complete protein which is a great substitute for lots of people who cannot afford meat. So, down there, its normal for everyone to eat beans every day, sometimes at more than one meal. When I'm there, I have beans at every breakfast and sometimes at dinner, too. When in Rome...
Anyway, today's post is specifically about refried beans. This is one of the two ways they typically eat beans in ES, the other being a pan fried bean and rice combo called casamiento. I had never had refried beans before going to ES so I didn't know how to cook them myself. We tried to get the recipe when we were down there but things got lost in translation and I was not able to really understand the steps. Google to the rescue. I found this recipe on my favorite recipe site, Allrecipes, and its so easy even a caveman can do it. You should probably go get your crock pot out now. This will only take a second.
Not Really Refried Beans
3 cups dried back or small red beans
1 onion, peeled and cut into quarters
4-6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 small jalapeno, seeded and roughly chopped
5 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
9 cups liquid - any combination of water, chicken stock or vegetable stock will do.
Put everything in the crock pot. Set to high for 8 hours but check periodically to make sure that you haven't run out of liquid. Add more if necessary. When 8 hours is up, pour away any remaining liquid on top and reserve. Mash beans with a potato masher or put in food processor for a smoother consistency. Use reserved liquid to achieve desired texture.
Here are some great uses for refried beans:
Grilled beans and cheese
Beans and eggs
Rice, beans and veggie bowl
Pupusas (see recipe next Friday!)
Bean and avocado quesadilla