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Refried beans with corn tortillas.  Ok, so maybe not as comforting as chicken and dumplings.  But these really are healthy, even though the name “refried” makes it sound bad, like the beans are fried twice.  They’re not.  This recipe is just beyond delicious, and it’s a staple in our house. I would recommend eating these with corn tortillas (read why here).

This recipe is based on one from Lynne Kaspar’s and Sally Swift’s gorgeous, heavenly cookbook, The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Supper.  

(What I have typed out below is essentially their recipe, with a few tiny changes– but all the credit goes to the wonderful ladies of The Splendid Table!!!  Please buy their book, How to Eat Supper!)

Refried Black Beans

Ingredients

extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion, diced

salt and fresh ground pepper

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 fresh jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped (optional*)

2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional*)

1/2 tsp ground cloves (optional*)

1/4- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional*)

2 15 oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained (other kinds of beans will work, too, of course! The book’s recipe calls for red kidney beans…)

1.5 cups water

2 T butter (not optional!)

* The Splendid Table recipe calls for the jalapeno, cinnamon, and cloves.  I added some cayenne pepper.  I think it really tastes extraordinary with those spices, but if you don’t have those on hand, you could season this with some cumin, or leave out the spices altogether and season these beans with some salsa, hot sauce, lime juice, etc.

1.  Chop onion, garlic, jalapeno, and prepare spices before you begin! I didn’t do that, and the cooking process was a little frantic as a result.

2. Cover the bottom of a 10-12 inch skillet with olive oil, on medium heat.  Add onions, and salt and pepper to taste, and cook about 3 minutes.

3.  Add garlic, jalapeno, cinnamon and cloves, and cook for about 1 minute, until fragrant (be careful not to burn!)

4.  Add rinsed beans and water, simmer on medium high heat, and crush the beans with a potato masher or with the back of a spoon.  Reduce heat to med-low and simmer until the beans thicken.  Be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan as you go.  Add the butter, and taste to see if you need to add more salt.

(As you can see, the beans didn’t get mashed up too well….  I should have pulled out the blender, but I am too lazy! At any rate, if you don’t have a potato masher and the spoon doesn’t quite do it for you, feel free to blend until smooth!)

Serve with corn tortillas, salsa, some grated cheese, hot sauce, some lime juice, etc.

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