Thursday, March 05, 2009

Mexican refried beans

Refried beans have the most confusing name a dish can have, ever. The first time I heard " frijoles refritos", as they are called in Mexico, I got a picture of beans that have been fried twice, with lots of oil (deep-frying amount of oil) involved. Makes no sense, I know.

And their English translation, refried beans, did not make it any easier neither. But one day after watching how they were being prepared everything became more clear. In short, refried beans are not re-fried and have nothing to do with deep-frying. Their name is just a result of another linguistic mess up.

Beans are first cooked in water until soft, like you would usually do with beans, then they are mashed, and then fried in a small amount of corn oil or lard (2-3 tbsp) with some onion and garlic. And when done you have the most delicious Mexican refried beans.

Frijoles refritos
serves 2
2 dl pinto beans, soaked overnight
1 small onion
1 garlic clove
2 tbsp corn oil

Drain and rinse the soaked beans. Cover with water and and simmer until soft. Do not add salt as salt hinders beans from becoming soft. Takes about 1 hour.
When done drain, but save about 2 dl liquid. In a pan fry the onion and garlic on a low heat until soft and translucent, add beans, bit of the liquid and mash everything until you have a paste. Add more of bean-liquid if necessary. Serve with totopos (corn tortillas wedges).

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