Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Mexican Food Recipe: Simple Beans/Refried Beans


1# dried black/pinto beans
1/2 large (or 1 yellow)onion, sliced vertically (through the root end)
1 Tbsp kosher salt
2 cilantro sprigs (optional)

Rinse and pick over beans (sort through and make sure there are no rocks in it). Put in a LARGE pot and cover in at least 3 inches of water (so, 3 inches of water OVER the bean level. Good way to cheat doing this, stick your pointer finger in. If you're up to where your finger meets your hand, it's good.)
Add onion and bring all to rolling boil on HIGH, then drop to MED-LOW and simmer, partially covered, until cooked through. This can take as little as 75 minutes or as much as 3 hours. If they're tough after 3 hours of cooking, the beans are too old and will not cook through. Test the beans by pulling one out of the water (using a utensil) and squish against a flat surface using your finger. If it squishes with minimal force, they're done. Or you can eat one. Crunchy=not done. AFTER FULLY COOKED add salt and cilantro, cook 15 more minutes. Remove remnants of onion and herbs.
If you start running out of water while cooking, add HOT or BOILING liquid to pot.

For refried beans: Pull out 2C cooking liquid, then drain beans. Puree beans with 1 C cooking liquid and 1-2 Tbsp olive oil (optional, but tastes good).

IF YOU USE THE BLENDER - Before pureeing, Take off the center portion of the lid and pull out a clean towel folded into quarters. Pour 1/2 drained beans and 1/2C cooking liquid into the blender, put lid (with open hole) on blender and hold towel on top, then blend. If you use the blender with hot food and don't create a gap for steam to escape, it'll build up pressure and could blow the lid off the blender, as well as whatever is in the blender all over the kitchen.

Dump into bowl and blend the other 1/2.

If the beans are too thick, stir in more reserved liquid (and dump the remainder).

This also freezes well, keeps for about a year in whole bean form or 6 months in pureed form.

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