Today I had another little cooking session and used it as an excuse to make pupusas again. I thought I would go one step further and make the refried beans from scratch – rather than use the can of refried beans I have, they are not so easy to buy here in France. But making them from a can of kidney beans is so easy. And my kids love homemade refried beans, especially with fajitas.
When you buy refried beans in a can, they are generally pureed. They are good but I do making them myself which have a bit more texture. Rather than using a blender, I just mash them in the pan with the back of a wooden spoon or with a fork – you could even use a potato masher. Incidentally, the name is a bit of poor translation as frijoles refritos actually means recooked beans.
Half an onion
One fresh tomato
A clove of garlic
Some chilli – could be fresh, dried flakes, smoked paprika or skip it if you prefer
A can of kidney beans or pinto beans
A splash of water
Heat a little olive oil in a pan and soften the finely chopped onion over a medium heat, then add the crushed garlic, stir for a minute.
Half the tomato and then grate the tomato directly in the pan, discarding the skin. Add whatever chilli you would like, if any. Cook for a couple of minutes.
Drain and rinse your beans and then add them to the pan. Heat them through while mashing them into a lumpy texture. You made need a splash of water to get a better texture – you don’t want your beans to be too dry. Serve them hot with fajitas, pupusas or as a side to any Mexican dish. Or try breakfast El Salvadorean style – tortillas, scrambled eggs, refried beans and fried plantain. It may sound like a weird combination but it is really good.
If you prefer the smooth texture that you find in the canned refried beans then just tip the mixture into a food processor and whizz until you have the consistency that you want. You will have to add a little water as you go.
And there you have it, refried beans – relatively quick and easy, the way you want them.