Refried Beans with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

It will not likely come as a surprise to my readers that I adore spicy dishes from many cuisines around the world. Though Indian creations and variations on traditional dishes from India are my passion, I like to explore the world from my humble kitchen. There is no requirement that my experiments and offerings *must* be spicy, but I always find myself gravitating toward the spice cupboard and the hot chilies.

vegetarian refried beans

I turned my sights toward Mexican cooking for one of my most recent cooking sessions. Refried beans have always been a favorite of mine. I have made several versions over the years, and when the craving hit I came up with another recipe. Certainly not the most traditional version of this classic dish, but I have perfected the technique over the years to suit my palate. This time I have included sun-dried tomatoes. Yes, regular readers have probably noticed that I use sun-dried tomatoes A LOT. Such an important staple ingredient in my kitchen. They add extra flare to your food without overpowering the other ingredients if you are sparing with the quantity that you include.

Certainly distinct from Indian cuisine, Mexican food is actually more similar than you might think. For example, most Mexican dishes are hot and spicy and include plenty of hot chilies. The depth of flavor and complexity of the dishes that are nonetheless prepared with relative ease, also make these two rather distinct regions a perfect match for fusion style cooking. As in India, tomatoes are widely used and beans and rice are a common feature of the meal. A rough equivalent to Indian flatbreads are tortillas. Quesadillas are commonly stuffed with a variety of beans and vegetables that I consider to be a Mexican version of an Indian paratha. The spicing and choice of flours and ingredients surely vary, but I bet if you enjoy Indian cuisine, you already enjoy or will enjoy offerings from Latin America.

Consider serving these refried beans rolled up in a flour or corn tortilla, topped with some sour cream and hot sauce along with a bed of rice for a complete and satisfying vegetarian meal. Even your carnivorous friends and family will be delighted and asking for seconds.

Refried Beans with Sun-Dried TomatoesRefried Beans with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Recipe by
Cuisine: Mexican
Published on November 25, 2012

Zesty and spicy hot homemade refried beans with sun-dried tomatoes

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Ingredients:
  • 1 1/4 cups dried pinto beans (3 cups cooked or 2 14 oz cans)
  • 4 to 5 sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon oil or butter
  • 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, minced, or a heaping 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 2 to 3 jalapeƱos or fresh green chilies, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons chili powder, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup fresh or frozen corn
Instructions:
  • Rinse the beans and soak in several inches of water for 8 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse, then transfer to a medium saucepan and cover with several inches of fresh water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer the beans for 1 hour or until very soft. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Mash with a fork or potato masher and set aside.

  • Meanwhile, soak the sun-dried tomatoes in hot water for 20 to 30 minutes, then drain and chop.

  • Heat 1 teaspoon of oil or butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the ginger, jalapeƱos or chilies, tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, spices and salt, and simmer for 15 minutes or until the mixture begins to thicken.

  • Heat the remaining oil or butter in a cast-iron skillet or large frying pan over medium heat. When hot, toss in the onions and fry for a 3 to 5 minutes or until the onions turn translucent. Add the mashed beans and cook for 5 minutes, stirring every minute or so.

  • Now add the tomato mixture and corn. Cook, flipping portions of the bean mixture every few minutes, until the beans begin to dry out and brown a bit, about 10 to 15 minutes.

  • Serve hot or warm over a bed of hot cooked brown rice or wrapped in warmed tortillas, with a little sour cream and a sprinkle of chili powder or a few dashes of hot sauce if desired.

Makes 6 servings
refried beans

More Mexican dishes you are sure to enjoy from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen:
Black Bean and Goat Cheese Quesadillas
Huevos Rancheros Con Frijoles
Tomato Corn Chowder
Guacamole

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Audio Accompaniment: Vic Chesnutt

3 comments:

Torviewtoronto said...

this looks wonderful

Katie in the (Veggie) Kitchen said...

Looks delicious, I will have to give this a go! One question though: when I buy sun-dried tomatoes, I buy them in jars, in oil, and use/eat them straight from the jar. I would never have thought to soak them - do you buy yours differently, or is the soaking to wash off the oil?

Lisa said...

Thanks for dropping by Katie. I buy mine dried, in packages - not the oil packed jar variety. Preferably, unsalted, and even better, if made at home, but time just seems to slip away .... You could use jar ones of course, just give them a bit of dab with paper towel. No need to soak them in that instance.