The menu theme for niece Jordan and nephew Isaac's birthday party last week was Tex-Mex, with build-your-own taco bar, refried beans, white queso & chips, 7 Layer Dip, and then the snack food cake for dessert. One of my adventures for the party was making refried beans from scratch.
I learned some interesting things in my research. Although most people do "fry" or recook the cooked beans in a skillet in lard, shortening, or oil, smashing them down as they go, the term "refried" is actually a mistranslation of Spanish "refritos" meaning "well fried", the "re" in Spanish meaning "well", not "again, like in English. Also, with more research, I found out that the point of frying isn't to make anything crispy, it's not about being fried at all. The point is to mix some fat into the beans to create a creamier texture and mouth feel.
Keeping all of that in mind, I created a healthier refried bean recipe that got rave reviews at the party and, even better, from Gene who (isn't a huge legume fan) asked me to prepare them this way more often because he liked them so much.
On a delicate note, I chose the anasazi beans not only for the slightly sweeter taste than pintos but also because they have less of what generally produces, ahem, odorousness in folks after consuming. Listen, I knew I'd be hanging out with these people all afternoon. I may be many things but I am not a stupid woman.
For more information on the Anasazi beans, please click here: Anasazi Beans