"Refried beans were a staple in our home when I was growing up, but the dish my dad made called for crisp bacon and bacon fat," writes Michelle Martinez of Albany, New York. "Being health-conscious, I lightened up the recipe and found that it remained as tasty as I remember from my childhood.
- 8 ounces dried pinto beans, sorted and rinsed
- 2 quarts water
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Tostada shells, optional
- Toppings of your choice, optional
- Place beans in a soup kettle or Dutch oven; add water to cover by 2 in. Bring to a boil; boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 1 hour. Drain and rinse beans, discarding liquid.
- Return beans to Dutch oven; add the 2 quarts water. Add the chili powder, garlic, 1-3/4 teaspoons cumin, pepper, 3/4 teaspoon salt and pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 2-3 hours or until beans are tender.
- Drain beans, reserving 3/4 cup liquid. Place bean mixture in a bowl; coarsely mash. Gradually stir in reserved cooking liquid until mixture reaches desired consistency. Stir in the remaining cumin and salt. Serve on tostada shells with toppings of your choice if desired. Yield: 5 servings.
Originally published as Unfried Refried Beans in Light & Tasty December/January 2004, p64
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