I always thought refried beans came in a can that smelled something like dog food. But the delicious, rich flavor of restaurant-style pinto beans is incredibly easy to duplicate at home. Make four servings with five minutes of effort, a few spices and two dollars’ worth of dried beans. Inexpensive, easy, and from the heart—everything the Experimental Wife wants in a recipe.
Makes 4 Servings
- 1 pound of dried pinto beans
- 2 teaspoons of baking soda
- 1/2 a stick of butter
- 1 tablespoon of cumin, plus more to taste
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Pick the beans, sorting through them for pebbles or other debris. When you’re done, rinse them thoroughly.
- Add the beans to a pot and cover them with an inch of water.
- Add the baking soda. The baking soda will break down the skins on the beans more quickly, making them soft and juicy.
- Bring the beans to a boil. Boil for two minutes. Cover the beans and reduce the heat to a simmer. Let them cook for an hour and a half or so—until the beans are really soft. Check every fifteen minutes or so and add more water if necessary.
- Add butter, cumin, salt, and pepper. Adjust seasonings to taste.
- You can either mash or blend the beans until the desired consistency.
Looking for step-by-step instructions for how to make your favorite foods from scratch? How to Cook Everything is a great resource for beginning cooks and foodies alike.