Los Frijoles Refritos de SGCC (Refried Beans)

Thursday, September 30, 2010


For years and years, I thought that refried beans were just an ubiquitous substance that automatically made its way onto the plates in most Mexican restaurants.  They always had the same mushy, pureed texture, with a few small lumps here and there.  They also almost always tasted the same, which was kind of bland.  I sometimes thought that their main purpose was to coat your tongue so that you wouldn’t notice if the rest of the food was bad.

It wasn’t until a trip to New Mexico several years ago that I realized that all refried beans are not created equal, and that they don’t all come out of an Old El Paso can.  You see, that was the first time I ever ate “real” refried beans – the way they were intended to be eaten.  Mr. SGCC and I were in a little neighborhood cantina in Santa Fe where we experienced one of the best meals of our lives.   It’s funny.  I can’t for the life of me remember the name of the place.  But, I can still almost taste those incredible tamales, albondigas and chicken bathing in the most wonderful and complex, velvety mole negro.  And, the refried beans.  Oh, those beans!   Redolent of smoke and spice, the thick, chunky mash of pink beans and onions were a revelation.   Needless to say, they bore little resemblance to that insipid stuff I had experienced before.

The bad news is, that I didn’t ask for the recipe.  The good news is, that I think I’ve come up with my own version of refried beans that comes pretty darn close to the ones I experienced in Santa Fe.   And, it’s easy people!   Really, really easy!  So easy that you can make them at home in under thirty minutes (and never have to open one of those icky cans again).

So, what are you waiting for?  Go fry some beans!


9 responses to Los Frijoles Refritos de SGCC (Refried Beans)

  1. On September 30, 2010 at 10:18am, Jennifer @ Maple n Cornbread said...

    I’ll admit, I’ve never made homemade refried beans, perhaps because I don’t cook with them that often. My sister on the otherhand, a true texan, makes her own. These sound really good and I’m sure nothing like the canned version!

  2. On September 30, 2010 at 10:46am, Jessica @ How Sweet It Is said...

    I could eat refried beans by the spoonful!

  3. On September 30, 2010 at 11:10am, Rosa said...

    That is a wonderful dish! So comforting and delicious.



  4. On September 30, 2010 at 11:52am, bellini valli said...

    In Cancun they served refried beans even for breakfast..so good! Thanks for sharing so we can make these in our own kitchen.

  5. On September 30, 2010 at 3:12pm, Joanne said...

    I’m so glad to know there’s something better out there than the slop that is so often served in Mexican restaurants! Good stuff.

  6. On September 30, 2010 at 7:18pm, Rachel (S[d]OC) said...

    I remember my first taste of refied beans. I remember they tasted so – porky. I actually liked that about them, but the restaurant where I ate them closed.

    Keep the Mexican love coming. I’m loving these posts!

  7. On October 01, 2010 at 1:14am, judy o said...

    I;ve made refried beans for years. I love boiled beans and ham hock with pink beans and salt cooked low all day by stove top or slow cooker. I usually make them with pink beans as for me they have the best flavor and texture. The first night I have beans and ham with a little catsup stirred in it. The remainder of the beans and ham shreds are mashed and a few chunks of Monterey Jack melted in it. If there is too much liqid I will save some to add to other soups. I could eat these warm or cold for any meal

  8. On October 01, 2010 at 7:04am, Joanne at Frutto della Passione said...

    I think my reaction to refried beans was the same as yours, but I still haven’t had a wow moment like you have, but then again, i’m living in the wrong part of the world! Might have to do it myself then.

  9. On October 05, 2010 at 10:08pm, Lisle said...

    I LOVE refried beans. Love, love, love!! My personal favorites are refried black beans, completely from scratch. I think the lard is the key, and the real re-frying process. YUM!!

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Hello and welcome to SGCC! I’m Susan, a professional writer, food columnist, recipe developer, wife, mother, daughter and sister, who used to be a lawyer in a previous life. My love of food comes from a long line of wonderful and creative Italian home cooks who didn’t always have a lot, but knew how to make a lot out of what they had. I hope that you enjoy yourself while you’re here, and visit often! read more >>

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