(refried beans)

from The Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen

You will need:
2 cups raw pinto beans
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
3 cloves crushed garlic
1/2 cup minced green pepper
2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. black pepper
optional: 1/4 tsp. coriander
olive oil (about 3 tbsp.)

Cover the pintos with water and let soak 1.5 hours or more. Cover with more water and cook, partially covered, until well-done - usually 1.5 - 2 hours. Make sure you check their water level periodically while they cook. When they are soft, drain off excess water and set aside.

(Note: I've been known to cheat and use canned beans, and/or substitute black beans for pintos. It works quite nicely. I also usually leave out the green pepper. -B.)

Heat olive oil in a skillet. Add onions, about half the garlic, cumin and 1/2 tsp. salt. Sautee over medium heat until onions are soft and translucent. Add the green pepper, sautee another five minutes or so, add the rest of the garlic and season with pepper.

Turn the heat to low, add the beans and mix well. Mash with a fork or potato masher. Cook for a few minutes more. Serve right away or store in fridge or freezer until it's time to reheat - refried beans reheat beautifully.

Serve over plain cooked rice, stuffed into green pepper halves and baked, or in tostadas....

Toon Variation #1: Add about 2 cups chopped mushrooms to the skillet at about the same time you add the rest of the garlic. Add a little extra cumin and pepper. Serve hot over brown rice, with grated cheddar cheese.

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