Some people believe that refried beans are fried twice. They aren’t; the “re” prefix of their Spanish name (frijoles refritos) means “very”. They are simply cooked “very well” – until they are soft enough to easily mash. My refried beans aren’t even “fried” once, as I don’t see the need to add oil (and certainly not the traditional lard). And since I make them in the pressure cooker, they take, tops, half an hour instead of several hours. Healthier and faster! Here’s how I do it:
1 cup dried pinto beans
1/4 cup diced or crushed tomatoes
vegan bouillon (optional)
1 small or 1/2 medium to large onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 tsp chili powder (or more to taste; my chili powder is pretty hot and I was going for flavorful, not spicy), or some diced fresh jalapeno
1/4 tsp ground cumin
salt to taste
Soak the beans either in cold water overnight, or quick soak them by covering in plenty of water, bringing it to a boil, then covering and turning off the heat, and letting it sit for an hour. Drain, then put them in the pressure cooker with all of the other ingredients except the salt. Add water (or stock) to just cover the beans. Bring up to pressure, then reduce heat to low and cook for 6 minutes. Release the pressure, then heat over medium high heat to boil off the remaining water, salting to taste. When you reach a consistency that looks like this:
… remove from the heat and mash.
And that’s it!
Hardly harder than opening a can, right? And so much tastier.
If you don’t have a pressure cooker, they are nearly as easy; they just take much longer. Follow the same instructions, but simply cook on the stove top for three to four hours, or until done. You could probably do it on low in a crockpot as well, although I never have.
My favorite way to eat them is in a burrito. Here’s the one I ate tonight, before I rolled it up:
It also features my pickled jalapenos and homemade taco sauce, which is essentially a small can (8 oz) of tomato sauce blended with garlic, onion powder, chili powder, pickled jalapeno juice, and salt.
I leave you with Gomez thinking pensively about the typical atypicalness of DC weather in March. It was 80 degrees on Monday, 70 on Tuesday, and then last night it snowed. It melted by noon, but Gomez and I hate snow!