This is a recipe I literally beg my Sis to make. I was so happy to watch her put this together because I’d never been able to master the perfect combination she always achieves of some beans silky smooth, while others remain with most of their ‘bean-ness’ in tact. Now I know…. These guys are rich and satisfying, and as comfortable as a side dish with a plate of enchiladas as they are sprinkled with cheese and waiting for you to dip a salty tortilla chip right in. This is a photo of the work in progress, but keep on reading and I’ll show you just how easy it is to make…
They say the simplest things in life are the best, and I think these beans are a perfect example of that. Soak some dried Pinto Beans in cold water, preferable overnight or for a minimum of two hours, drain, put them in cold water with some salt and garlic cloves, and start cooking. If your beans are fresh, they will be a light tan color, and take about an hour and a half to cook. If they are getting older, they are a much darker tan. The older the bean, the longer the cooking time, so count on a good two hours. It’s best to buy your beans from a bulk section that has a lot of turnover, and you can never go wrong by choosing bagged beans from Bob’s Red Mill. Sis swears by them, which is good enough for me.
Once your beans are nice and soft, get out a skillet and add some oil. Get the oil good and hot, and start scooping in those beans – use a slotted spoon because we do not want bean liquid at this moment. Keep adding beans until you’ve eyeballed about half of them are in the pan.
Now we get out the handy old potato masher, and start mashing them up. The goal here is to get these guys as smooth and creamy as possible..
Once you are satisfied with the creaminess quotient, it’s time to gently stir in the remainder of the whole beans that are still hanging out in the pot.
Stir it all together and add more bean liquid from the pot if things are looking a little too thick. It’s a good idea to reserve a good amount of your bean liquid because these guys thicken up quickly, and if you are lucky enough to have leftovers, you will be glad you kept some around.
Sprinkle with a little Cojita cheese if you are so inclined, and pile them on the plate.
Hope you all enjoy these as much as we do! Thanks for sharing, Sissy. xoxoxoxo
- 3 cups dried pinto beans, rinsed and picked over for rocks, dirt, or other un-beanlike things – for best results, soak beans in cold water to cover overnight, or for a minimum of two hours
- 3 quarts water, with 2 tablespoons of salt added
- 6 whole cloves of garlic, peeled
- 2-3 tablespoons canola oil, or other neutral oil
- 1 cup crumbled Cojita cheese (optional)
- Heat water and salt in a large soup pot.
- Drain beans from their soaking liquid, add to salted water, and add smashed garlic.
- Bring to a boil. Continue cooking beans on a low boil until tender, about 1 ½ to 2 hours this all depends on how fresh your beans are. NOTE: Fresh beans are much lighter in color than older, tougher beans.
- When beans are tender, heat the canola oil in a large frying pay over medium high heat. Using a slotted spoon, remove beans from the cooking liquid and start frying them in the oil. Keep adding spoonfuls of beans until you have about 3-4 cups of beans in the hot frying pan. Mash the beans with a potato masher as they are frying, and add liquid from the bean pot to reach the smooth consistency you like.
- To add more texture to the finished dish, start adding spoonfuls of the still whole beans from the cooking pot and stir them into the mashed beans until you get the desired combination of smooth vs. whole beans you like.
- Serve immediately, sprinkled with some Cojita cheese if you like. I do.
- NOTE: Be sure to reserve some of the bean cooking liquid. As the beans begin to set up, they will continue to thicken. Stir in some reserved bean liquid and all will be well again.