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Monday, September 5, 2011

Marvelous Refried Beans

I learned to make these beans from my friend and neighbor, Lori. She insisted when I called here that the way of preparing them was too simple to even be called a recipe. I always feel like I'm getting away with something when I serve these, because they are so incredibly easy and yet they taste incredibly good. And they come off looking like you slaved over them for hours.

All you'll need is a couple of cans of pinto beans. The number of cans you need depends on the number of people you're serving. Lori recommends one can per three people. We have been known to stretch it a little beyond that, say one can per four or five people. But use your judgment based on the appetites you're feeding. Drain about half of the liquid off of the beans, until the liquid that is running off is cloudy rather than clear.

I like to sautee a little onion and garlic in a little vegetable oil before I add the beans to the sauce pan. Once they are clear (but not necessarily brown), add the beans. Cook them until they are warmed through. Then smash them with a potato masher until they are not completely broken down (you want a few whole or partially whole beans for effect). Then add salsa to taste; I usually stir in 1/3 to 1/2 cup.

Keep the beans on a low simmer until you're ready to serve them. I usually stir in a bit of grated cheese and then top it with cheese in the serving bowl.


  1. I live in LA but still had to search for a copy of The Pantry Cole Slaw recipe, and found not just the recipe, but your great blog.
    And, well, yes I have already bookmarked a number of recipes because I like them more than the ones I already have...
    I see you haven't posted in a while I hope things are ok..
    just wanted to offer something as a way of saying thank you for all the work you've done..
    twenty+ years ago I lived in a rural area in California and spices were a luxury--and local stores always seemed to have herbs and spices (the ones we couldn't grow) that dated back to the 50s...
    Found a place in San Francisco that sells wholesale--well, I organized it, and we did orders through our buying club woman made handmade soaps, people did a lot of canning--one woman wanted sage for a hair rinse...the minimum was $30 and we made that several times over.
    Like I said, I'm in LA but I still shop with them because I like their BOP Ceylon tea and the prices and the freshness...The name is San Franciso Herb

    and again, thanks for all the great recipes and ideas...and yes, I prefer the Kirkland mayo too! Going shopping there tomorrow.

  2. Hi Gabriele,

    Thanks for leaving such a kind comment. I am alive and well; I made a major career change two years ago, and blogging has sort of fallen by the wayside for awhile. I hope to get back to it someday; in the meantime, I'm glad you're finding things that are worthwhile! I will have to look into the San Francisco Herb Company! It sounds wonderful.

    Thanks again,