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Mexican Refried Beans 03/11/12

Recipe test from World Food Café featuring refried beans with tomato salsa, mixed salad and a tortilla.

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My first recipe test from World Food Café took me to Mexico with a classic refried beans recipe with a simple tomato salsa and a mixed salad and served with a flour tortilla.

I’ve included the recipe as it appears in the book and added my own variations.

Refried beans with salads

Refried beans
A great tip: When cooking pulses you shouldn’t add salt until the end as the salt stops the pulses from softening.

425g/ 15 oz pinto beans, soaked in water overnight. [I used canned kidney beans as a substitute which also greatly reduced cooking time.]
1 level tablespoon cumin seeds
1 level tablespoon coriander seeds
4 tablespoons sunflower oil [I used olive as it’s what I had in the house]
1 large onion, finely chopped

Drain and rinse the beans. Place in a large saucepan with enough fresh water to cover. Bring to the boil. A foam will rise to the surface of the pan – simply scoop off and discard. Cover the pan until the beans are nice and soft.

Meanwhile, dry-roast the cumin and coriander seeds in a hot frying pan for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Grind in a grinder or using a pestle and mortar. Set aside.

Heat the sunflower oil in a frying pan and, when hot, fry the onions gently until soft (but not brown or it becomes bitter). Add the ground spices and fry with the onion for 1 minute stirring constantly.

Add the onion mixture to the pan of soft pinto beans [or in my case, add the canned beans to the onion mixture and stir until warm]. Remove from heat and mash with a potato masher until the beans are broken down and viscous. If necessary, add more water to get a thick porridge-like consistency. Finally add salt to taste.

[This is where a pic would have been great. I kept my mixture quite firm and chunky, which worked for me, but I’m not sure is correct.]

Fresh Tomato Salsa

1 small red onion, roughly chopped [I used white onion]
1-2 jalapeno chillies
Large handful fresh coriander, chopped plus more to garnish [I used fresh basil and coriander from the garden]
5 medium ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
Juice of 2 limes [I used lemon]

Blend the onions, chillies and coriander a food processor until finely chopped (you can do this by hand if you prefer.)
Now add the tomatoes, lime juice and salt to taste, then briefly blend again until the tomato is finely chopped and blended with all the ingredients – but not turned to tomato juice.
Server garnished with more chopped coriander.

[Note: I simply chopped all ingredients and combined.]

Mixed salad
Finely shredded lettuce
Grated carrot
Finely shredded red cabbage
Finely shredded white cabbage
Coriander leaves, chopped, to garnish

For the dressing
Lime juice
Olive oil

Combine all ingredients to make up a side salad. [I left out the cabbage and it still added a delightful crunch and freshness to the meal]

I served these three together with a white flour tortilla for a simple, zesty summer supper. It was very yummy, and as you can see, very simple to make.

The finished meal

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Written by 

Laura Cooke is the editor and creator of the Veggie Bunch website and community.

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