Who doesn’t like beans? I might go further to ask, Who doesn’t like refried beans? The word “fried” is in the name, they must be good, which I never understood until I did time at a mexican restaurant. I worked in the upstairs bar as a cocktail waitress and up there was a Taco Bar, equipped with it’s own “Taco Man” who literally goes by Taco Man, or simply Taco if you’re friends. Anyway, the owner of the joint used to order something I’d never seen before, Taco Man would drizzle some oil on the flat top and when it started smoking he would add a couple scoops of what we call refried beans to the hot oil and flip them a few times until they were crispy and dark through and through. Curious as to what the hey he was making, I asked, only to be answered “refried beans”. UH……..? Taco laughed his famously adorable laugh and went on to explain to me that what we call refried beans is only the first step in making them, true refried beans are actually fried in oil or lard before they are finished. I still like our gringo refried beans better.
So the other day when Tom requested healthy mexican, I knew I wanted to make beans and rice along side my Mango Shrimp Tacos. The challenge was how to make it “healthier”. Most restaurants use pinto beans to make their refried beans, which are packed with nutrients but black beans have MORE antioxidants, fiber, protein, iron, potassium, and the list goes on, than pintos. So I chose black, also because I’m making them myself, they won’t have any magical lard in them, yay for me. You can soak and boil your own, I just bought a can from the grocery, way easier and works just as well. I will say my crazy, sexy, cool Brazilian, Daniela makes some dynamite black beans from scratch and I love her for it, but I just didn’t have the time.
Spicy “Refried” Black Beans
- 1/2 of a jalapeño, minced (seeds and ribs in if you like spice)
- 1/4 of a shallot, minced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp butter (or olive oil to be a bit healthier)
- 1-2 tsp red pepper flake (to taste)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 15oz can black beans w/ liquid