I inherited some dried pinto beans when my parents moved out of town a few years ago. I have no idea how old the beans were (at least 2 1/2 years since I got them) and figured if they were bad I'd be able to tell. I survived eating them to tell this story, so I guess they were fine. After cooking up all the beans according to the package directions, I used two cups worth to make my own refried beans. There are fancier versions, but I just mashed up the beans and added a little oil, salt, pepper, and water. The refried beans tasted a little bland by themselves, but in this recipe, which is bursting with flavors, I couldn't tell.
I'm not a regular dried bean cooker, but it's a habit I want to develop. The secret for me is to cook a bunch at once and then store them in the freezer. And then don't forget to use them...
I don't always measure all the ingredients in this dip exactly. Take the cheese - usually I just have one kind of cheese, not both cheddar and Monterey Jack, and I never put in as much as it says. This recipe turns into a melted mess, so feel free to make it even if you don't follow it to a tee.
Using some leftover cooked, shredded chicken, I spread this bean dip in a tortilla with the chicken and baked them to make scrumptious burritos!
Easy Cheesy Bean Dip
adapted from a Whole Foods flyer
2 Tbsp. canola oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ c. red onion, diced
½ c. red pepper, diced
1 16-oz. can refried beans or 2 c. homemade
¼ c. canned green chiles, chopped
2 c. cheddar cheese, shredded
¼ c. cilantro, diced (reserve 1 Tbsp.)
1 Tbsp. chili powder
½ tsp. cumin
juice of one lime
sea salt to taste
½ c. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 350˚. Heat oil in pan over medium heat. Sauté garlic, onion, and red pepper for 3 minutes. Add beans to baking dish. Stir in sautéed vegetables, chiles, cheddar cheese, cilantro, chili powder, cumin, lime juice and salt. Sprinkle with Monterey Jack cheese. Bake for 20 minutes. Garnish with more cilantro.