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Monday, January 9, 2012

Homemade Refried Beans

We eat quite a bit of Mexican food in our family. My husband loves him some hot peppers! I have to say that I mostly enjoy the fact that it's all pretty much the same ingredients and you can just combine them in different ways to make a variety of meals!

I have taken to making my own refried beans.

Super easy and super tasty!

I start with 4 cups of dried pinto beans [cheap!]. I measure those into my stock pot and cover them with water. I leave this out on the counter overnight. It's really important to empty out this water and replace it with new water before boiling the beans. It cuts down on the [ahem!] gassyness...

The next day I boil the beans for 2 hours with a pinch of salt and a toss of oil to help keep the pot from foaming over. I stir every so often and check the level, making sure the beans are still covered by plenty of water.

Now the beans are softened so I let them cool a bit and then I begin blending them in my food processor. You can also use a blender, immersion blender or even just a potato masher -- just depends on how chunky you like your beans. We like them smooooooth!

I usually add a bit of the water from the pot as I am blending the beans to make them the consistency that we enjoy. I dump them in a big bowl as I am processing. I usually do about 4 labels of beans at a time and just keep repeating until finished!

To the blended beans, I add 1 tsp or two of cumin, 1 tsp or two of chili powder/flakes (whatever I have) and then the MOST IMPORTANT PART: a couple tablespoons of "Caldo con sabor Pollo" (Mexican Chicken Bouillon) --this makes the beans taste awesome!

Mix, mix, mix!

This amount of beans usually gives me two (4-cup) freezable batches.

If you make these beans, remember to use them soon after making or thawing because they don't have any preservatives in them and you need to eat 'em up!

Who's having Mexican tonight?

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