Homemade Refried Beans and Spanish Rice

Closing out the week this Friday is another recipe from my Foodbuzz 24x24 party last month. So far I've posted the recipes for Homemade Corn Tortillas with Salsa and Con Queso, Spicy Mexican Corn Bisque, Shredded Chicken Enchiladas with White Sauce, and Black Bean Enchiladas with Red Sauce. My final recipe for churros will be up next week (and man were they delicious). But for now, let's talk beans and rice. Believe it or not, canned refried beans are actually good for you! They contain little to no added fat and are super high in fiber and nutrients. Did you know that? It's only when you go out for authentic mexican food that lard becomes a star. Being that I'm still straddling the vegetarian fence I was not down with adding pure animal fat to my own homemade refried beans. Instead, I substituted a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil, we are frying these beans, after all. They came out tasting super sweet from all the caramelized onion. If you like refried beans, I suggest you try your hand at these!

As for the spanish rice? Well, that was on just about eveyone's favorites list for the night! It had sooo much flavor, I really couldn't believe that everything in it came from a can. If you're a rice fan, (and who isn't?) then this rice is a must try! I think the addition of the boiled water in the beginning (which then gets drained out), the toasting of the rice, and the slow incorporation of the vegetable puree really gave this a stellar consistency and complex flavor. This rice does require a bit of maintenance since it's not your typical throw-it-in-a-pot-and-cover-it kind of rice. But it is well worth it, and healthy to boot!

Refried Beans

1 cup dried pinto beans, soaked in water overnight
4 cups water
1 onion, halved plus 2 onions finely chopped
8 cloves garlic, peeled plus 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 tbl vegetable oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander

Drain and rinse the pinto beans. Bring the beans, water, halved onion, and whole garlic to a boil in a large pot. Turn the heat to low and let simmer 1 1/2 hours or until tender and only a little liquid is left. Salt to taste. Using a potato masher, mash the beans to the desired consistency.

Preheat a large skillet over low heat. Add the oil, diced onions, minced garlic, cumin, and coriander. Cook until the onions have softened considerably, about 30 minutes. Add about 1/4 cup of the beans and let fry for 2-3 minutes. Using a fork or potato masher, mash into the onions. Continue this process until all the beans have been added. Cook until pastelike, another 20 minutes.

Recipe adapted from Classic Mexican Kitchen by Jane Milton

Spanish Rice

2 cups long grain rice
14 onces (about 1/2 large can) plum tomatoes
1 onion, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
4 tbl vegetable oil
3 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 tsp salt
3 ounce can fire-roasted chilies

Place the rice in a large heat-proof bowl. Boil a good amount of water in a tea-pot. Pour the boiling water over the rice to cover, stir, and let stand for 10 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh seive and rinse with cold water. Set aside to dry.

Meanwhile puree the plum tomatoes, onion, and garlic in a food processor until smooth.

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large heavy-bottomed pot. Add the rice and toast until it is slightly golden brown. Add the tomato mixture and stir continuously until all the liquid has become absorbed. Add the stock, salt, and chillies. Continue to cook uncovered until all liquid has become absorbed, stirring occassionally, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let sit 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.

Recipe adapted from Classic Mexican Kitchen by Jane Milton.

4 Response to Homemade Refried Beans and Spanish Rice

October 14, 2011 at 8:19 AM

Hi Sarah! We were on the same wavelength... we both have Mexican style food today. :) I love re-fried beans... but I have never made it myself. Thank you for showing me. I am totally digging those fire roasted tomatoes in the Spanish rice too. Yum and Yum!! Have a great weekend! ~ Ramona

October 14, 2011 at 8:31 AM

Both of these dishes sound amazing. I love that you made your own refried beans I have never even thought to go there lol. I'll have to give it a try for sure.

October 15, 2011 at 7:10 AM

mmmm refried beans are the best!! This looks great!

October 16, 2011 at 9:48 AM

I love refried beans. They used to be my go to food when I was on Weight Watchers. As you said, unless you eat out, they are low in fat and high in fiber and have protein too. A dieter's dream. Thanks for the recipe. I'll make my own from now on.

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