Sunday, October 04, 2009

A Week's Worth Of Lunches and a Few Dinners (Meatless Refried Beans)

Oh look, beans. I wonder what she's going to do with those?

There's no point cooking a small pot of beans. For the same energy and water use, it makes better sense to cook in quantity. What's more, beans freeze well.

Mr. Eat The Blog enjoys beans (that sounds like the start of a fart joke) and I enjoy preparing them. After dinner this evening, I assembled a week's worth of burritos with brown rice, refried beans and cheese that I wrapped and froze. He can grab one in the morning and it will be thawed by lunchtime.Yeah, I can't roll a burrito worth a damn.
Ready to freeze for future lunches.

I don't think I've ever used the same recipe twice for refried beans, but here's the one I used tonight-the boys said it was quite good.

You Will Need:
1 lb. dried pinto beans, sorted, rinsed and soaked overnight, then cooked. Reserve cooking liquid.

A generous splash of cooking oil (I used corn for this)
1 large onion, chopped
6 large cattots, finely diced
6-8 cloves garlic, smashed and roughly chopped
2 red bell peppers, finely chopped
3 bay leaves
Extra water

Spice Mix:
4 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons ground coriander
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
1 heaping tablespoon (or more) chili powder (use whatever type you like)
2 teaspoons dried epazote
1 teaspoon dried thyme

In a large, heavy pot heat the oil and add the onion, carrots, garlic, bay leaves and red peppers. Cook until carrots are softened. Add the beans without the cooking liquid and mix well. Stir in the spice mix and coat well. If you need more oil to keep it from sticking, add it now. After a couple minutes to coat the beans, slowly add the cooking liquid until you have covered the beans by about two inches. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a steady but not hard boil and cook until reduced to a thick soup. Add more bean water again (or regular water if it has all been used). You will need to stir as it reduces and use a long spoon because it will splatter. You'll need to clean the stove, but it will be worth it. Reduce beans a total of three times. The beans will thicken considerably as they sit, and we prefer our beans on the soupy-side, so do keep that in mind as you cook.

I served the beans with baked sweet potatoes, brown rice, cheddar cheese and sour cream. When beans have cooled, you can assemble the burritos. I wrap them first in waxed paper and then tightly in cling-film. Then, Mr. Eat the blog need only remove the cling film to microwave the burrito at work. Normally cheese doesn't freeze well, but in these it works fine.


Janice said...

I had already planned to cook pintos tomorrow. We aren't vegetarian so a good old Ham hock will be going in my bean pot. Anyhow, thanks for posting your recipe for re-fried, this will be put to use in my kitchen this weekend!

Goody said...

I hope you like it. The most important part of the recipe is taking your time-the longer they cook, the better they are.