Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Semi-Homemade Refried Beans

Mexican food is a weakness of mine.  I mean, I think I could eat it every. single. day and never get tired of it.  Give me some thin, crispy chips, cold salsa and some cheese dip and I'll be beyond happy.  Add a meal to the mix and hey, that's an added bonus. 
Now when Spencer, Tucker and I frequent our "regular" Mexican restaurant, Tucker gets his trusty cheese quesadilla and Spencer and I typically split a meal.  We rarely stray from our norm which is either mixed fajitas (with a side of shredded cheese) or a sizzling bowl full of fajita chicken, steak cooked to perfection, assorted veggies, grilled pineapple and grilled cheese sticks.  Yum!  Both of these things, along with pretty much every other menu item is served with beans of some sort and rice. 

Refried beans are a staple when it comes to Mexican food fare.  I've tried various recipes for homemade refried beans and they've all been delicious, but several of them are somewhat time consuming.  I think this recipe has to be at the top of my list right now, not only because because it's quick, but it's simple, requires few ingredients and it's got bacon flavor too! 
These beans call for a few basic ingredients, all of which are typically in my pantry on a regular basis.  There are no special ingredients or techniques required, meaning you can have a delicious and tasty side of refried beans in a matter of minutes.  Another thing I love about these beans is you can customize the texture to your liking; if you like them a bit chunky then simply mash a little less, if you want them a bit more smooth then mash them a little more to get a smoother and somewhat creamy consistency.  This recipe is easily adaptable to customize to your own taste.  These beans are amazing and full of flavor and perfect side for any Mexican inspired meal you can dream up!

Semi-Homemade Refried Beans

3 Tbsp bacon drippings
1/4 Cup diced onion
3 Cloves garlic
2 (15oz) Cans pinto beans
Salt and pepper, to taste


Place bacon drippings in a large skillet and place over medium heat.  Add onion and saute until translucent, about 2 minutes.  Add garlic and saute until fragarent, about 30-45 seconds.  Add the beans, and their liquid, and stir to combine.  Once the beans have become slightly tender, after about 2 minutes of cooking, then begin to smash with a potato smasher (or fork or wooden spoon).  Continue stirring and mashing until desired consistency is achieved.  Season with salt and pepper.  Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Recipe source: adapted from Pinch My Salt, originally from Mexican Made Easy by Rick Bayless

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