Thursday, March 29, 2012
Crock Pot Refried Beans
You know I always thought that refried beans were one of those mysterious foods that just came in a can. Nobody really knew how to make refried beans, right. They were sort of like Spam. Or Skittles. Or margarine. I didn't actually even know exactly which type of bean was used for refried beans--that's how very much I'd thought about their origin. Which isn't to say I never ate them. Once upon a time when I was in college I ate them pretty much every other day and thanked them for keeping me alive. So, yeah, we go way back. It's just that I'd really never taken the time to get to know them for who they really were. A sad story really--those wild college days of using helpless beans for my own selfish purposes.
Anyway, turns out that who they really were/are is the humble pinto bean, and that refried beans are pretty much the easiest thing in the entire universe to make from scratch. Okay, probably lots of you knew that. If you're of hispanic descent maybe you're even weeping onto your keyboard right now. Just forgive me and know that I've changed.
Although I still like refried beans. Only now I like them even better. Oh and from scratch they cost half as much, which considering they're a bean is pretty much almost nothing. And now I can check them off on my little whole foods check list. I have Lisa at 100 Days of Real Food to thank for that.
Crock Pot Refried Beans
from 100 Days of Real Food
Makes several cups
Prep time: 3 minutes
Cook time: at least 8 hours
onion: .15, beans: .20
1 onion, peeled and halved
2 C dry pinto beans, rinsed
several shakes of chile powder or an actual hot pepper if you've got one (we didn't, so we went with the powder)
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
6 C water
Put everything in your crock pot and cook on high for at least 8 hours.
When you're done, take out some or all of the onion and drain off the water (don't forget that--I sort of did and realized it halfway through mashing and then things were a lot messier, though all was redeemed in the end). Then mash the beans until they look like refried beans. Lisa recommends a potato masher, but (after I'd remembered to drain the water) I realized I was not patient enough for that and put mine in a blender. I blended till smooth, though you can leave some chunks in it if that's your thing.
When you're done, taste for seasonings (I thought the seasonings were perfect just as they were) and eat with nachos for a fun Spring Break lunch or on burritos or, heck, out of the pot.