Refried beans

Welcome to our recipe pages as we teach you how to cook authentic Mexican foods. Our first recipe to share with you is Refried beans.
How can it not be? Such a simple and economical recipe, one that is a basis for so many meals.

Today, let's add another flavor dimension to a standby.

Olive Oil (or lard)
Beans (whole and cooked in advance, or from a can)
Chile de arbol
Salt to taste

My preference is Golden Olive Oil for it's flavor. It's a matter of taste. If you want flavorful food, use flavorful ingredients. Oil counts!
Heat a pan and add oil to cover the bottom. Add 2-5 chiles de arbol and let them roast in the oil.

Move the oil around them so that the oil absorbs the flavor of the chiles. This is not meant to burn your tongue, it's meant to add another dimension to the flavor of the beans. Trust me, it's really good. If you don't want a lot, try just a couple.

See the difference between the chiles cooked in oil? NOT BLACK. Just browned.

There are two useful things to reduce splatter:
1. Add a bit of salt to the oil before adding the beans.

2. Add a scoop of beans and cover with a lid while the oil cooks them. Listen for less popping and uncover to add more beans. The oil is going to sizzle, this is just a way to reduce messy clean up after.

Warming the beans makes them easier to mash. Take your masher and start in. Be systematic. I start along one side and work my way around the pan, working the oil in through the beans. We like lumps, just like our potatoes.

It's easier if you start with a smaller amount of beans, mash, and add some more.

As the beans cool, they will start to thicken. If it's too much, you can always add more water.

This batch looks really wet. When you turn off the heat, the moisture will continue to absorb into the beans and they will become drier. Really.

Heat a tortilla, or pull out some tortilla chips and enjoy!

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