Refried Beans

This recipe has nothing to do with anything, except I wanted some.   It is a good Lenten dish however. I have been thinking about refried beans for days. Do you ever do that, get something on your mind that will not go away? During the big storm a couple of nights ago I woke and decided to soak the beans and be ready to start refried beans the next morning.

You can make spicy warm dips and smear the beans on warmed tortillas with chilies for appetizers, use as a side dish, or my favorite, eat right out of the skillet. Refried beans are healthy and versatile. The best ones you make at home, this is an easy process.

Refried Beans
serving: depends on how you use them
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1 pound pinto beans
7-8 cups water
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
Salt- add at end of cooking

Cover beans in a large pot with water to cover by at least 2 inches. Soak overnight or at least 8 hours.

Drain and place back in pot and cover with 7-8 cups water. Add remaining ingredients, except salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until soft but not mushy. Stir now and then with a wooden spoon. Stir in salt during the last few minutes of cooking. Cool and refrigerate overnight for flavors to mellow. You may eat the beans now without refrying them. Serve with a little bean liquid, topped with grated cheddar or jack cheese.

<em>To make refried beans</em>, measure out about 3/4 cup of cooked beans per person. To make four servings, melt 3 tablespoons bacon drippings or lard in a frying pan. Add the beans, with a little liquid. Mash the beans with a fork or potato masher as they cook. You want a little texture, not a slick smooth paste. Top with grated jack or cheddar cheese before serving. The favored pan for frying beans is cast iron.