Refried Black Beans

Do you ever had trouble with leftovers? Do you find containers in your refrigerator that have been pushed into a corner, only to be found months later, covered with green mold?

It’s my experience that when there is only two of you (sometimes three or four when my stepdaughter and grandson come over to eat), you can end up with several containers a week of leftover food.

Luckily, we don’t have that problem at our house. I’m a real stickler for not wasting food.

A good case in point was the other night. I had fixed a smoked chicken that we bought from the Forest River Hutterite Colony a few days earlier. With just Therese and I eating that night, there was quite a bit of meat left over, even after using some of the fowl on a couple of homemade buns for lunch.

So, I decided to make some chicken burritos, using a packaged mix and a little water. With a little salsa, lettuce and grated cheese, it was a quick and nutritious dish. 

The coup de grace for the meal was the homemade refried black beans. All the recipe called for was two 15½-ounce cans of black beans, an onion, a little seasoning and some water. (I cut the recipe in half.) They were ready in less than 15 minutes.

I found the recipe on the Internet, courtesy of the Food Network. It was credited to Sara Moulton, the executive chef of Gourmet magazine and a cookbook author. She was the host of the cooking shows including "Sara’s Secrets" and "Cooking Live" during the early days of the Food Network in the mid-1990s.

So, if you find yourself with some leftover chicken, try making your own burritos, and don’t forget the refried beans.

Refried Black Beans
2 32-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups water
3 tablespoons lard or vegetable oil
1 large onion, diced
1½ teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon cumin
Puree 2 cans of black beans in 2 cups water in food processor. Heat the lard or other fat in a large saucepan over medium heat. Saute the onions with the salt and cumin until golden, about 10 minutes. Add the beans and continue cooking over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the liquid evaporates and the beans form a creamy mass that pulls away from the bottom and sides of the pan, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately
Yield: Serves 4 to 6.

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