So, in my pantry, I generally keep several can goods as staples. Several of those happen to be: baked beans, ranch style beans, pinto beans, and refried beans. They are all so versatile that I can make numerous types of meals with all of them.
I recently realized that if I make a certain pinto bean recipe, then I can adapt that one recipe into two of the others, which saves me money and time.
I make a large batch of pinto beans…(in my slow-cooker)…then, can those (or you can refrigerate them). Then, when I want to use refried or ranch, I change/adapt them to that particular recipe.
I am AMAZED at how much time this saves me!
So…this is how…
Adaptable/Adjustable Pinto Beans
1 1/2 onions, peeled and quartered
2 lbs. dry pinto beans, rinsed
2 fresh jalapenos, seeded and cut in half
3 Tbsp. minced garlic
5 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
Cover the beans with water and soak them from 4 hours to over-night. (This is optional…BUT…it helps remove some of the gas promoting properties!)
Put the onion, soaked and drained beans, jalapeno peppers, minced garlic (I’m a cheater…I use the already minced garlic in the jar), salt, pepper, and cumin into a slow cooker.
Put in enough water to cover, then add 2 additional cups. Stir to combine ingredients well. Cook on HIGH for 8 hours (I cook them overnight), adding more water as needed.
Once the beans have cooked, you can ladle them into jars and process in a pressure canner for 1 hour 25 minutes for quarts. OR, you can ladle them into plastic containers/freezer bags and freeze/refrigerate them.
Now…you want Refried Beans?
Take a can/plastic container/baggie of beans and drain them…do not rinse them…just drain them. Then, use a potato masher/ricer, or food processor/blender and mash them to the desired consistency. Heat them in a skillet, and voila´!
Now you can make pintos and cheese…use them in bean burritos….make double-decker tacos…Seven-Layer Dip…and on and on
You want Ranch Style Beans instead?
Take a can/plastic container/freezer bag (quart size) of beans and put into a saucepan. Add 2 tsp. chili powder, 1/8 c. ketchup, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/8 tsp. oregano, and 1/4 c. beef broth. Simmer to desired consistency.
I wouldn’t generally advocate doing this for just one type of beans, but, since you can make three different types of beans with one recipe, it makes sense to do this.
Want to make that tortilla soup? Use some of these…eat them with BBQ…make Mexican Straw Hats…the possibilities are endless!
Do you like black beans instead? You can use black beans in the place of pintos and get the same results! Nice, huh?
Look at my next post for homemade Taco Bell-type Hot Sauce! We love it on our Mexican food!