My husband had his turn to host a poker party at our house. He and his buddies have been holding a poker party almost every month for about 12 years. They play nickel, dime, quarter stakes, so the most he loses is $10. None of them are good at poker, but they all have a blast. I love when we host because I get to cook fun things that his friends seem to love.
This party I made Chili Verde, Spanish Rice, and Refried Beans. The weird part about refried beans is that they really aren’t fried at all. These were easy and yet tasted SO MUCH better than canned refried beans. These had a personality!
Homemade Refried Beans
1 pound of dry pinto beans or black beans
3 quarts of water (12 cups)
2 Tablespoons bacon fat or vegetable oil
1⁄2 cup chopped onion
1 clove of minced garlic
1⁄4 cup of your favorite salsa
2 teaspoon cumin
1⁄2 teaspoon chili powder, or to taste
1⁄4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
Water or Bean broth for texture
Salt to taste
Shredded Cheese of choice
To prepare the dry beans, put the beans into a strainer and thoroughly rinse the beans in water and sort through them to remove any small stones or bad beans. Put the cleaned beans into a large pot and cover beans with the 3 quarts of water. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to a simmer, covered for about 3 hours. Check often to make sure they still have water, add water if needed. You could also put into a slow cooker for 7-8 hours. The beans are done when they are completely soft and the skins are beginning to break open.
In a Dutch oven pan add the oil and cook the onions until they are soft. Add the garlic and the salsa. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until soft. Add the spices.
Strain the beans from the cooking water, BUT keep the cooking water. Add the beans to the salsa mixture. Smash the beans with a potato masher, immersion blender, or use the food processor to your desired consistency. They will be dry so add some of the saved bean broth, water, or chicken broth until desired consistency. Add salt to taste.
Put the hot beans into a heat proof dish and top with shredded cheese. Heat in microwave or oven until cheese is melted. **I love to shred some Heber Valley Artisan Cheese, Queso Fresco/Verde. That cheese makes it spectacular!
I froze the leftovers in bags of 1 cup portions. To heat them I add about 2 Tablespoons of water to a pan, add the frozen beans and simmer until done. I add water as need for the right texture. I love to eat these with tortilla chips with additional salsa and sour cream. I also love bean burritos! Wait! Seven Layer Dip with these would be awesome too!
*Gluten Free as written, vegetarian use vegetable oil.
Hope you are ready for school to start!