How are you making the refried beans? I've seen some pretty screwed-up recipes online and in English-language cookbooks.
This might be something for a new topic, though.
I remember a few food firsts: my first shockingly emerald kiwi fruit at age 12, my first fresh mango at age 23 and my first refried beans at age 9, served at a brand-new Taco Time, a Mexican restaurant so authentic the tater-tots had a dusting of spice powder over them instead of plain salt.
Ever since then I have loved refried beans (and all kinds of other beans), but while I generally cook most of my bean dishes from dry beans (with the occasional tin of chickpeas used for quick hummus purposes), when it comes to the refried kind they usually come out of a can. A few years ago I managed to get my hands on pinto beans and black beans (not easily found in dry form at the shops here) and have made a few attempts at home-made refried beans using a few recipes found on the net. But I'm not really happy with them. They're lacking in flavour, they're rather pasty in texture and they're just not that enjoyable. Please note that when I eat the pintos before trying to mash them, they have a great nice flavour, but it seems to disintegrate upon mashing. I have had some success with roughly squashing pintos or blackbeans to form part of a quesadilla along with some mild feta and cabbage and coriander (cilantro).
The truth is, I'm over the canned stuff - it's pappy, high in salt and kind of pricey. BUT, I still want some good beans! So, can you help me? How do you make your refritos? I'm particularly interested in:
- How far you cook the beans at the whole bean stage
- The amount and type of fat you add
- Your mashing methods
- The seasonings you add
- How long and in what you fry them
I have easy access to most spices (however no epazote until I get a chance to grow my own), and can currently even get my hands on good lard (I don't expect that to last unfortunately). Amazingly Cholula hot sauce is pretty readily available at the supermarket and delis, and I have a mail order source for dried chiles. Cheese is more difficult - there is only one source I know of for Queso Fresco, and it requires more coordinating than I am currently willing to do.
Personally, I can only use dry beans - although I can access tinned pintos and black beans their cost makes them unappealing. However, I'd still be interested in hearing how you season them.