Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Easy Mexican Refried Beans

After relaxing with Ella on the beach and hearing her talk of the authentic Mexican recipes she made with her mom growing up, I've been craving Mexican food like crazy. I've had this recipe in my stash for awhile, and pulled it out for dinner last week. I can already say that I will be making this one forever, it's just that doggone good. While it was a little more of a time commitment starting with dry beans, it was completely worth it! 
I made the oven beans in the morning, and then stored them in the fridge until I was ready to cook dinner. The oven beans are very easy and the best part - they require no overnight soaking!  You can serve them as a side dish, or scoop them inside corn tortillas and add toppings. 

Easy Mexican Refried Beans
from The Wanderlust Kitchen

4 Tbsp vegetable oil or lard
1 batch oven beans (see recipe below)
1 to 1 1/2 cups water
1/2 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1 tsp Goya all-purpose seasoning
Cilantro, chopped scallions, and cotija cheese for garnish
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beans, stir well, then cover and let cook for 4-5 minutes.
  2. Once the beans are warm, begin mashing them by using the back of a wooden spoon. As you mash, the insides of the beans will come out and make the mixture quite dry. Keep the water close to the stove so you can drizzle some in as needed throughout the process. If the beans don't seem to want to mash, just put the lid back on and try again in a few minutes. Sometimes they just need to warm up a bit more. 
  3. Keep mashing away and adding water as needed until you get the consistency you prefer. If you add too much water, just keep the lid off and let the liquid cook off through the steam. Stir in the cumin, cayenne pepper, and Goya. 
  4. Serve warm, topped with cilantro, scallions, and cotija cheese. 

No-Soak Oven Beans
from The Wanderlust Kitchen

1 lb pinto beans
Seasonings (bay leaf, cumin, chili powder, minced garlic, black pepper)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Sort through beans and remove debris.
Place dry beans in a 3 quart dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid.
Add 2 tsp salt, and other seasonings as desired. 
Add enough water to cover the beans by 1 inch.
Put on the lid and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Check the beans and stir them. If they are tender, take them out of the oven. If they aren't done, put them back in the oven for 15 minute intervals. If they appear to be drying out, add 1 cup of hot water.
Store in the fridge, covered. You can also divide the cooked beans and freeze them for later use. 

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