I feel very fortunate to have grown up in the southwest Mexican foods like refried beans were in our family’s meal planning since the day I was born. It never occurred to me that everyone was not eating enchiladas and tortillas. I had a rude awakening when I moved to a small town in Georgia and there was not a tortilla anywhere or even a can of refried beans. Granted this was many years ago, but I rolled up my sleeves and taught myself how to make tortillas and refried beans. It was darn good, and in the words of my Georgia born mother-in-law, ‘If I do say so myself’.
Now I have moved on from the original recipe and it turns out I have many different refried bean recipes. This one is one of my favorties and I like the way you can use the crock-pot for ease of meal preparation. Hope you can try it soon.
1 lb. bag of pinto beans
2 Tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 small onion, finely diced
1 chile pepper, finely diced
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
Pick through beans for stones and then rinse the beans.
Put the pinto beans in a large pot with water to cover, about 6 cups of water.
Let the pot set all day or overnight and the beans will plump up.
Drain the water from the beans and put the beans into a slow cooker.
Cover with fresh water by about 1 to 2 inches.
Turn on high for 3 hours.
While the beans are cooking prepare the vegetables.
In a large skillet add the olive oil and onion. Saute the onion until translucent.
I have this cool food chopper that works fantastically for chopping vegetables that need to be 'finely chopped'.
The price varies widely but if you want to take a look at a quality Pampered Chef chopper click here Food Chopper.
Add the garlic and chili pepper. Cook 2 more minutes.
Add all the spices to the pan. Cook another minute stirring occasionally. Set aside.
When the beans are done mash in the crock pot with a potato masher .
Add the onion mixture and mix well.
If it is too dry you can add a some more water.
Turn the slow cooker back on to the low setting.
Cook 1 hour.
That's it! The best refried beans and so much healthier than the canned beans.
If you need to add more liquid at the last hour of the final cooking process you can add some tomato juice or diced tomatoes. It is also a yummy variation. Even a little salsa can be added if your family likes the extra spices.
If freezing - Put in a freezer container as defined in my article http://veganinthefreezer.com/preparing-food-for-the-freezer
TO PREPARE AFTER FREEZING:
Remove from the freezer and put in the refrigerator overnight because it is a pretty solid mass and will take longer to defrost. Heat, covered, in a microwave or in a saucepan. Add a little more liquid if it seems to dry.
An interesting link to traditional Aztec food is here: http://www.aztec-history.com/aztec-food.html. It talks about maize and chocolate too.