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Homemade refried beans are the easiest in the world to make, and are toward the top of the list of “Things That are SO Worth Making From Scratch Because They Taste So Much Better Than The Storebought Stuff.” Use them to make burritos, nachos, or just top with cheese and serve alongside tacos, quesadillas, or enchiladas.
First make a batch of my homemade pinto beans:
4 cups dried pinto beans
4 slices thick cut bacon, sliced into 1 inch pieces
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
Rinse the beans under cool water. If you see any little strange looking bits in there, pick them out and discard. Put the beans in a Dutch oven (or similarly large pot) and fill with water until 2 inches above the beans.
Throw the bacon in the pot, and bring everything to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer for about two hours until nice and thick. Add 1 teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons black pepper. Next, if you want to spice up your refried beans, add any of the optional ingredients listed above.
Now, spoon the cooked beans into a mixing bowl. Allow a little of the cooking liquid in there, too. If you like your refried beans a bit soupy, add a little more liquid. Then, with a potato masher, simply mash away!
Next throw in some fat like shortening, lard, bacon grease or even a few tablespoons of butter. You can certainly omit this step if you’re trying to cut down on fat but it really contributes to the smooth consistency, and in the case of the bacon grease and butter, the flavor of the refried beans. Now continue mashing until the mixture reaches desired consistency. You can leave them quite lumpy or make them super smooth – it all depends on how much you mash. Then, go ahead and season them to taste. Even if the cooked beans were seasoned, the mashed version might need a little more salt.
If you prefer to actually fry the refried beans, you can do the mashing in a large skillet over medium-low heat but you don’t have to.
I am a Mexican food fiend and nothing makes me happier than a big bowl of pico de gallo and chips. This is such an easy recipe and you can make it mild, medium or spicy depending on what you prefer. I like spicy, so jalapeno peppers are for me, but you could add habanero peppers if you like a lot of heat!
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!