Appetizers · Sides

Refried Beans (for Birthday Nachos)

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Regarding birthdays: “I expect chocolate for breakfast. If you don’t feel sick by mid-morning, you’re not doing it right.” — The Doctor

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My kids’ birthdays are coming up, which got me thinking about birthday dinners. It’s a long-standing tradition in my family that you get to choose the dinner menu on your birthday. Nearly anything goes, so long as you have something from each of the 4 major food groups (No, I don’t mean chocolate, bacon, coffee and beer…although maybe that’s worth a try next year?) It just so happened that my son brought me back some real Cadbury’s from across the pond for my birthday last summer. So, that covered breakfast. What else do you eat on your birthday? Mine fell on a Monday. Meatless wasn’t a hardship, since I’d had a craving for nachos. I decided we’d have nachos with refried beans & guacamole for dinner. We’ve often gone to El Loco for my birthday dinner, but I really didn’t feel like driving all the way up to the city. (Yes, New York City-ites, “Smallbany” is a real city. Sort of. Even though a 15-mile drive here rarely takes more than 20 minutes.) It wasn’t a fancy meal, but it was fun to make & I loved it! I bought the tortilla chips, cheese, and jalapeños (mine weren’t ready yet in the garden) and made some Guacamole and refried beans. Below is my recipe for the beans (printer-friendly version at the bottom of this page).

What do you like to eat on your birthday? Let me know in the comments!

Refried Beans:
Ingredients:

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½ lb dried beans (You could substitute a can of pintos, if you prefer, but the nutrition info will change.)

1 tsp olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 fresh jalapeño, minced

½ tsp kosher salt

Preparation:

1.) The night before, pick over the beans to remove any debris; rinse. Place the beans in a pot, and cover with about 3 times their volume of water. Leave out to soak overnight.

2.) The next day, place the pot on the stove & bring to a boil for about 10 minutes, taking care not to let them boil over. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about an hour, until beans are just tender. Keep an eye on them, and add more water as necessary to keep them covered. Remove from heat; strain, reserving broth.

3.) Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet. Add onion, and sauté on medium-high until just turning translucent with a little browning.

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4.) Add the beans to the pan, along with some of their broth.

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5.) Add the minced garlic & jalapeño, and the salt.

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6.) Using a wooden spoon, or whatever mashing tool you have handy (mine was originally intended for breaking up ground meat as it cooked), smash the beans up a bit. How much is up to you – some people like their refrieds smooth, others prefer to leave some of the beans nearly intact. Have fun with it! Add more broth as needed to keep the mixture from drying out. You can freeze any leftover broth to use later for thickening soups or sauces. Add salt & pepper to taste.

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7.) Now you can spread this yummy stuff on tortilla chips, top with grated cheese (I like cheddar, others prefer jack) and sliced jalapeños. Bake at 300°F for about 10-15 minutes, until cheese is bubbly. Serve with guacamole. Happy Birthday!

nutritionlabel

Refried Beans


Ingredients


½ lb dried beans (may substitute a can of pintos)
1 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 fresh jalapeño, minced
½ tsp kosher salt

Directions


1.) The night before, pick over the beans to remove any debris; rinse. Place the beans in a pot, and cover with about 3 times their volume of water. Leave out to soak overnight.
2.) The next day, place the pot on the stove & bring to a boil for about 10 minutes, taking care not to let them boil over. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about an hour, until beans are just tender. Keep an eye on them, and add more water as necessary to keep them covered. Remove from heat; strain, reserving broth.
3.) Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet. Add onion, and sauté on medium-high until just turning translucent with a little browning.
4.) Add the beans to the pan, along with some of their broth.
5.) Add the minced garlic & jalapeño, and the salt.
6.) 6.) Using a wooden spoon, or whatever mashing tool you have handy (mine was originally intended for breaking up ground meat as it cooked), smash the beans up a bit. How much is up to you – some people like their refrieds smooth, others prefer to leave some of the beans intact. Have fun with it! Add more broth as needed to keep the mixture from drying out. You can freeze any leftover broth to use later for thickening soups or sauces. Add salt & pepper to taste.
7.) Now you can spread this yummy stuff on tortilla chips, top with grated cheese (I like cheddar, others prefer jack) and sliced jalapeños. Bake at 300°F for about 10-15 minutes, until cheese is bubbly. Serve with Guacamole.

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