I've got a series of posts that I'm working on right now. I've decided to delve into the world of freezer meals - who doesn't love the idea of having dinner all ready in the freezer, and all you have to do is take it out to thaw in the morning and it's ready to heat for dinner! So I sorted through all the stuff in my freezer, taking inventory and deciding what to use and how to make room for dinners. Next I planned several meals that I will be making over the next many days. Freezer meals usually mean big batches and lots of cooking. You can either do one or two huge marathon cooking sessions and get it all done at once, or spread it out over several days and/or cooking sessions. I'll be spreading it out, doing one or two meals or parts of a meal per day.
One of my planned meals is frozen burritos. These appeal to me because you can take out and heat as many as you need, plus I just really love burritos. But one of my criteria for the meals I planned was that they should use as many things that I already have as possible - no going out and buying a can or two of refried beans when I had a bag of pintos waiting in the cupboard! So I made a big ole' batch of refried beans from scratch. It was easier than I expected, though it took a long time.
1 lb. dried pinto, pink, or kidney beans plus soaking water
6 cups water
2 onions, chopped (optional)
1/2 cup hot bacon drippings, margarine, or lard
Salt to taste
Soak beans overnight or by quick method. Add water and onions. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer slowly until beans are tender, about 3 hours. Mash beans with potato masher.
Add fat and salt. Mix well; continue cooking, stirring frequently until beans are thickened and fat is absorbed. Serve at once or refrigerate for later use.
This is the first time I've made real refried beans. I've made a quick facsimile using bean powder, but never actually cooked the beans, mashed them, and "refried" them. I was pleased that they turned out so good - thick and flavorful. They also thickened up quite a bit in the fridge. These pictures were taken after chilling overnight - I made the beans last night when there was no good lighting. But don't they look good now?
Stay tuned for the next post in my freezer meal adventure - I've got to assemble and freeze the burritos!