Homemade Refried Beans
Refried beans have gotten a rather boring wrap in the way we eat them. Just plopped next to some tacos or layered in a dip, they are usually seen as an innocent bystander to something awesome. That is understandable, unless you make them yourself. Making them with cheese and bacon will certainly change your ideas on poor old beans There are certain things that are worth taking the time to make yourself. Puff Pastry? No. Refried beans? Yes! These are so delicious and easy to make you will never go back to the can again.
2 slices of bacon
3 cups of cooked pinto beans
2 teaspoons chile powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup of shredded cheese
First, cut the bacon into small pieces with kitchen shears. I got this tip from Linda at My Kind of Cooking. It's one of my favorite cooking tips ever! Cook the bacon over low heat in a large pot for about two minutes. The bacon doesn't need to be cooked, the beans just need a little fat to work in.
Place the beans into the pot with the bacon. I cook my own beans from dry, but you can use canned if you want. Cooking your own beans is super easy. Just place 1/2 pound of beans into a slow cooker and cover them with water. Cook the beans on low for about six hours or until the beans are tender. Then add in one packet of onion soup mix. I reserve the bean cooking liquid when I make refried beans to help smooth it out.
Cook the beans in the bacon for about fifteen minutes. They should have a nice bacon flavor after this.
Add in about 1/2 cup of either bean cooking liquid or chicken broth. This will help in the puree process. You could add in a bit more liquid if you need it.
Puree the beans using an immersion blender, blender or even a potato masher until it just has a few partially whole beans in it. You don't want to to be completely smooth, just a bit lumpy.Then add in the extra spices. Continue to cook this over low heat for about ten more minutes. Add in more liquid if it starts to get too thick.
After about ten minutes, turn off the heat and add the cheese. I never said these beans were good for you.
I like to serve this in a casserole dish as a side, or even as a dip with some tortilla chips. Regardless of what you serve these with, they will be the star!