Two things you should know about me upfront:
1. I was born in New Mexico and was raised, even in utero, on Mexican food. I *love* it.
2. I try to be humble.
That being said, I think this recipe is one of the best Frijoles Refritos (aka, refried beans) I have ever tasted. Recipes like this convince me that I could go vegetarian, if only it weren't for my undying love of bacon. :) I made these beans with some brown rice and Tomatillo Dip and we feasted like kings.
A couple reasons I developed this recipe--first, my boys *love* refried beans. Second, canned refried beans are pretty high in salt. Third, it came to me the other day...refried beans would be a very easy place to hide more vegetables.
This recipe uses dried pinto beans that you soak overnight. Why did I use dried beans? After reading Amy's Super Healthy Kids blog, I was inspired. If you aren't inspired to do so, canned work just as well.
No Can-Opener Needed Frijoles Refritos
2 t vegetable oil
1/2 c onion, minced
1 t garlic, minced
1 T jalepeno, minced (remove seeds if you don't want it too spicy)
1/2 of a roasted red pepper (about 1/3 cup)
1 tomato, diced
2/3 c dried pinto beans, soaked overnight (alternatively, use a 15oz can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed)
1 1/2 t chili powder
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t salt
1/4 t ground cayenne
1/2 c - 1 c water
In a large skillet, heat the oil to medium high and add the onion and garlic. Cook 4-5 minutes or until the onion begins to get translucent. Add the jalepeno, roasted red pepper and tomato, cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add the pinto beans, spices and 1/2 c water. Cover and let simmer for about 5-10 minutes. Remove the lid and let simmer while you mash the beans with the back of a big fork or spoon, potato masher or pastry blender (or, if you really want them "mashed," whip some up in your food processor).
**These beans only get better the longer you cook them...I made my last batch during the preparation of some other food. They simmered for about 20-30 minutes and needed additional water added. If you are mashing the beans and they seem too thick, add a bit more water.**