As a quasi-vegetarian (I don't really cook meat at home, I just order it when I go out), I've began to explore the wonderful world of legumes. I've always liked beans (um, when they melt the cheese on the re-fried beans..SO GOOD) and they're crazy cheap and a good source of protein. Overall, I'm a big fan of Mexican type foods, because honestly, how can you go wrong with gauc, so making my own, healthier re fried beans was definitely first on my list.
Traditionally, re-fried beans are made with pinto beans and lard. I'm not a huge fan of pinto beans and while lard is delicious, I'm working on the health thing, so that's basically out. I got this basic process from Spark People a while ago. It's simple, you can use canned beans if you want, and it's healthy. I did quesadillas with mine, but it's also great on top of toast with an egg.
"Re-Fried" Black Beans
1 15 oz can of Black Beans, or about 2 cups
1 Medium Red Onion
2 Cloves Garlic
Salt and Pepper
About 1/4-1/3 Cup water
To start, chop your onion. I find the easiest way to get mostly uniform pieces is to slice in half, from root to tip, peal, then make one slice in the middle, multiple on the sides, and then chop. Because that is potentially the most unclear set of directions I've seen since someone tried to tell me how to get to the post office using hand motions, I've included pictures.
Add a bit of oil to a medium sized pan. When it's hot, add the onions and cook until soft.
When the onions are about half done, add in the garlic and season with salt and pepper. Err on the side of more with the seasonings, especially if you're using dried beans.
When the onions look like that picture, add in the beans, hot sauce, water, and more salt/pepper. I cannot stress the addition of the seasonings enough. If you are using dried beans, they taste like nothing right now, so use a heavy hand.
Let them cook for a minute or two, then mash them with a potato masher or fork. I like to mash until about half the beans are mush and half are intact, but if you prefer a smoother texture, go to town. It will look disgustingly like this.
Let the beans cook until the water is almost completely cooked off, stirring occasionally. It's really up to you, if you'd rather have a more soupy texture, don't let them go as long. I like there to be crispy bits, so I cook mine for a while. The beauty of beans is that they are safe to eat at any temperature, so you don't need to worry about "cooking them through".
What you do now is entirely up to you. I put mine between two tortillas and added gauc, salsa, and sour cream.
I think that these will theoretically keep in the fridge forever, but mine are usually gone in about a day. Enjoy!!