Frijoles Refritos y Arroz Espanola  

Posted by Wayne Bretski in

No se si hispanohablantes dicen "espanola" para 'spanish rice'. But I can't be bothered to google it, not with simmering vegetable broth on the stove.

Los frijoles:
First I began stewing black beans. I didn't give a lot of time to soaking them, which I believe is traditionally done overnight - I didn't see it making a huge difference. However, I used perhaps a bit too much water in my boil, as it took longer than it really should have. I saved the bean broth to add for flavor after the concoction is done.

While the beans stewed, I sauteed about a quarter of a large onion in olive oil until soft and lightly brown. I added chopped garlic and some basil leaf, sauteeing for another minute or so. Then I poured all of this into a serving bowl, and began to add the stewed beans a few spoonfuls at a time, mashing them as I went. The reserved bean broth will go into the refrigerated refritos for serving.

Here's a camera phone picture of the refried beans in a chile pepper serving bowl:

For the record, "refried" has nothing to do with frying the beans, necessarily. While the traditional method of heating the onion and mashing the beans into lard technically counts as frying, that's still only one. The 're-' in Spanish indicates that the beans are fried "well", meaning quite soft and mashable. I made mine a kind of dip, it can be done more like a soup as well.

El arroz:
With basmati rice left to soak up hot water for about ten minutes, I again browned onions, adding oil, garlic, pine nuts, and olives to the heat. I let them sit on the hot pan for about five minutes until the rice was done. I then added the rice to the wok with the intention of browning them (but it started to stick to the pan - I just added seasoned salt, haha) while quickly putting some vegetable broth into the rice pot to heat up. When that began to boil, I added about a cup of fresh salsa (tomato, cilantro, onion, jalapeno, etc.) and let the remaining mash simmer for a few minutes, before re-adding the rice, etc. to the pot. I then seasoned this mixture with a dash of oregano, a very cautious addition of cumin, sea salt, crushed red pepper, and something called "mexican seasoning" for fun.

Served with the yogurt cheese and tortilla chips

Served with the yogurt cheese and tortilla chips. La fiesta empieza pronto.

Not my best photos tonight. I'll work on that.


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