Growing up so close to the Mexican boarder, I thought refried beans were a staple in everyone's home. We had them in one dish or another almost every day. Our favorite way to eat them was in the form of what my mom called quesorritos (pictured above): a cross between a bean burrito and a quesadilla. We loved them. My kids categorize them as a comfort food now, too. Add a dollop of creme fraiche and your favorite salsa and/or some guacamole on top and you've got yourself a pretty tasty meal, I tell you.
Making your own refried beans (consequently, this recipe never fries the beans) is too simple for words. So skip the phytic acid-layden, BPA-contaminated, bad-salt-filled, canned beans and make a batch of these. Besides the many health benefits and superior flavor, making your own is so much cheaper. Also, they freeze well, so why not stock up?
Soaked, Refried Beans
Yields 4 quarts
4 cups dried black or pinto beans
Warm, filtered water
4 Tablespoons whey or lemon juice
1 onion, chopped
1 sweet pepper (like bell), chopped
1 jalapeno or Anaheim chili, chopped, or several drops tabasco sauce (optional)
3 cloves garlic, seeded & minced
1 1/2 Tablespoon Celtic sea salt
- Place beans in a large bowl. Add whey or lemon juice and fill with filtered water. The beans will greatly expand, so be sure to use plenty of water. Stir, cover, and let soak 12-24 hours.
- When you're ready to make the refried beans, the beans should be nice and plump, some of them splitting apart, from soaking. Goodbye phytic acid, hello, phtase, the happy enzyme that helps us digest and absorb the nutrients! Drain and thoroughly rinse the beans. Place them in a large pot and add filtered water; just enough to cover the top of the beans. You can always add water if needed, but too much water will give you soupy beans.
- Place lid over beans and bring to a boil. Remove lid and skim off any foam. Now, you can either saute onions, pepper, & chili in some butter or oil (it will yield a yummier flavor), or just add the onions, pepper, and chili straight into the beans if you're short on time (like I usually am 90% of the time).
- Stir, cover, and simmer for 2-4 hours. You'll know the beans are ready when they start to fall apart (as seen in picture number three, below).
- If there is still too much water, you can skim some off. Add garlic and salt. Then, either use a potato masher or a hand-held blender to turn them into refried beans. I store them in wide-mouthed, quart-sized mason jars and use these handy dandy lids. Be sure not to over-fill the jars if you plan to freeze them. I've done this... more than once, and you'll end up with a cracked jar.