Bean and Cheese Burritos—with homemade refried beans

Burritos topped with sour cream and salsa, garnished with fresh cilantro and served with corn and watermelon.

I got into the habit of buying canned refried beans, but tonight I set myself straight and made them from scratch. It was surprisingly easy and, not surprisingly, tasted fresh and light since I used far less oil than one finds in the canned beans.

Refried Beans

  • 1 lb. dried pinto beans
  • 2 Tbs. oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped fine
  • 3 cloves garlic, slivered, to cook with the beans
  • salt to taste
  • cumin (optional)
  • more fresh garlic, crushed, to taste (1-2 cloves)
  • cayenne (if you like it spicy)

Put the beans, 2 tsp. salt and 3 cloves of slivered garlic up to cook, covering them in 3-4 inches of water. Boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for about 2 hours, or until soft. Drain the beans, reserving 2 cups of the liquid.

Heat oil in a sturdy pan, saute onion until soft then add beans and mash them with a potato masher while cooking over a low heat. Add the reserved liquid, as needed, until the beans are the desired consistency. Taste, then add salt and 1-2 cloves crushed garlic. If you like it more spicy add cumin and cayenne to taste.

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