Several weeks ago, we had a Mexican dinner consisting of chicken enchiladas, Mexican rice and refried beans. All of the recipes were first-timers from the Allrecipes site, with some adaptations, of course! Everything was absolutely incredible. What stuck in my mind the most were the refried beans, which I decided to make again.
The ingredients included dried pinto beans, onion, fresh jalapeno pepper, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, chicken broth and water. A number of the reviews of the original recipe indicated that it called for way too much salt. Since I was using chicken broth rather than water, I started with a teaspoon of salt rather than over a tablespoon called for in the recipe.
The recipe from the Allrecipes site did not indicate whether or not the beans needed to be soaked, and called for cooking them in a slow cooker. I thought the beans should be soaked, and used a pressure cooker instead.
Rather than soak the beans overnight, I used the quick soak method whereby the beans were boiled for two minutes in water, covered, let stand for an hour.
After an hour, I drained the beans, and rinsed them. I then put them into my pressure cooker, and added all of the remaining ingredients.
I didn’t bother chopping the onion, but did chop the jalapeno and minced the garlic. The reason that the onion didn’t need chopping is that it pretty much disintegrates during the cooking and processing.
I brought the pressure cooker up to high pressure, lowered the heat to maintain the pressure, and cooked the beans for an hour. After an hour, the beans were perfectly cooked. However, there was a lot of liquid relative to the beans in the pot.
Using a soup ladle, I removed about 3 cups of the liquid. I figured that I could always add some back in, but once I processed the beans, I wouldn’t be able to take any out.
Using my immersion blender, I processed the beans until they were smooth. As it turns out, the removal of 3 cups of the liquid resulted in a perfect consistency.
[print_this]Refried Beans (Adapted from the Allrecipes Refried Beans without the Refry)
2 cups (1 pound) dry pinto beans, rinsed
½ large onion, peeled and halved
½ fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 to 1¼ teaspoons Kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
Soak the beans over night in 2 quarts of water, or use the quick soak method*.
Drain the beans; rinse well. Place beans and all remaining ingredients into pressure cooker. Secure the top. Heat over high heat until maximum pressure is achieved. Lower heat to medium low to maintain the pressure. Cook for one hour.
Remove from heat and allow the pressure to return to normal. With a soup ladle, remove about 3 cups of liquid. Process the beans with an immersion blender. Season to taste. Yield: 6 servings.
*For the quick soak method, place beans in large pan. Add 2 quarts of water. Bring to a boil; boil for 2 minutes. Cover pan; remove from heat. Allow to sit for 1 hour.[/print_this]