Sunday, October 19, 2008

Make It Yourself - Refried Beans

4 cup dried pinto beans
Soak beans overnight in water. Drain water.
6 cup water
3 chopped onions
10 chopped garlic cloves
Place water, onions, and garlic in large crock pot with beans. Cook on low for 8 hours. Add more water only if needed. When beans are soft, drain off any extra water.
4 tsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder
4 tsp parsley
Mix seasonings with beans.

Now here is where I'm unconventional. The normal method is to place a small amount of beans in a pan on the stove and mash the beans by hand while cooking on low heat to remove water. I find that by cooking the beans in the crock pot, I only need to add a very small amount of water, which is absorbed in the cooking. I use my hand held stick blender to mash up the beans right in the crock pot! It works great with no mess or splatters! I have also let the beans cool a little and mashed them in my mixer but the hand blender is certainly the easiest method! Refried beans don't need to be perfectly smooth. I like to have a little texture!

You can easily adjust the onions, garlic and seasoning. This recipe is flavorful but not very "hot" for the sake of our children. You could easily add more chili powder or red hot peppers. Sometimes I wait to add the onions and garlic until half way through the cooking time so that all the flavor isn't cooked out. I won't say that you will save tons of money by making your own refried beans, unless you eat lots of them! But dried beans are extremely cheap and they aren't hard to do! But my favorite part is the wonderful aroma they add to your house while they are cooking!

What to do with your refried beans? Use just as you would use canned refried beans. Bean burritos, chip dip, or any Mexican dish. Extras can be frozen in containers. Here is one of our family's favorite recipes using refried beans!

Baked Nachos

1 lb ground beef
1 onion,chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pepper, chopped
Fry together.
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder
salt and pepper, to taste
Stir into meat
3 cups refried beans
Spread in greased 9x13 pan.
16 oz shredded cheddar cheese
Sprinkle half cheese over beans. Spread meat, then remaining cheese.
1 pepper,diced
4-6 oz black olives, sliced and drained
2 to 3 tomatoes, diced
Sprinkle pepper, olives, tomatoes. Bake at 375 for 15 -20 minutes or till hot and bubbly. Serve with tortilla chips, salsa, and sour cream.
Wow! Good!

Recipe from one of my favorite sources for new winner recipes!

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