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Friday, October 21, 2011

Random Food Fridays - Refried Beans

My second favorite eating utensil is corn chips. (The first, of course, being my hands.) However, I do have to be careful. Portion control is a must. I've learned from painful experience that if I sit down with a bag of corn chips I'm liable to go unconscious and wake up with something resembling a brick of scrapple in my belly and an empty bag of chips on my lap. For some reason potato chips do not affect me in the same way.

This dinner was eaten with corn chips. Mmmmm. When I was a Girl Scout, we did something like this and called it broken tacos. Really, it's more like a seven layer dip. For this meal, I had the beans hot and everything else cold. I packed the same thing with cold beans for lunch the next day and enjoyed it just as much.

I made the refried beans out of cranberry beans. They are a lot like pinto beans, but create a deeper mahogany liqueur and are a little larger. I set the beans to cook in the crock pot in the morning and did the rest when I got home from work. I layered the flavorful beans with garden tomatoes, lettuce, avocado, cheese, Greek yogurt, cilantro and Tapatio hot sauce. These refried beans are way more interesting than any you will get out of a can. Even if you start with canned beans, I hope you will consider doctoring them up as I have done these. They are delicioso!

Refried Beans
2 cups dried beans
2 tbsp. oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 7 oz. can diced green chiles
Salt and Pepper to taste

Sort and wash the beans. Place them in a container and cover them with water and allow to soak overnight. (As an alternative method, you can do a quick soak by bringing the washed beans to a boil in plenty of water. Turn off the heat and let them stand at least 1 hour. I think over night soaking makes for a more tender bean.)

The next morning, drain and rinse the beans. Place the beans in a crock pot and cover with water. Use enough water to cover the beans by at least two inches. Set the crock pot on low for 8 hours.

When the beans are nice and tender. Drain them, reserving 1/2 cup of the liquid. Set aside.

In a large skillet, saute the onions, garlic, spices and about 1 tsp. salt in the oil until the onions are translucent and the spices are fragrant. Add the green chiles and the beans and stir to combine. Add enough of the reserved bean liquid to get the consistency you find most pleasing. Simmer for about 5 minutes and adjust seasoning.

I didn't measure my end product, but this makes quite a bit, probably about 6 cups. Leftovers can be frozen for another day. Enjoy!

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