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Refried Beans and Au Revoir {SRC Reveal}

It's the first Monday of the month which means one thing: Secret Recipe Club reveal for Group A. This month I was assigned to Cookin' Mimi, a blog written by Micha whose focus is: sharing amazing recipes that will make your family and your wallet happy. Awesome. Micha shares lots of Southern favorites including Alabama Sweet Tea, Buttermilk Biscuits, Southern Style Cornbread, and Tater Tot Casserole. The only time I have ever seen a tater tot casserole was when we were living in Oklahoma and friends brought us one as part of our meal train when we had D. As a native Southern California, Micha also shares lots Mexican-inspired dishes. That's where I found my inspiration. I know I've made refried beans before...but, apparently, I've never blogged it. So, here's goes...

Refried Gila River Beans
adapted from Cooking Mimi / Refried Beans

1 pound dried beans* (Micha suggests pinto or black beans; I had Gila River beans from Coke Farm)
2 T olive oil
1 T bacon olive oil
1 T smoked paprika
freshly ground salt
freshly ground pepper
1 onion, diced

*To prepare your dried beans...
Before you start, pick through the beans, tossing out any discolored or shriveled beans or any foreign matter, such as rocks. Rinse well. In a large souppot, cover 1 pound dried beans with 10 cups water. Cover and refrigerate overnight or at least 6-8 hours. Drain and rinse the beans.

After soaking, the beans are ready for cooking. Cover them with water in a large souppot and bring to a boil. Reduce the beans to a simmer. Once cooked, drain...and they're ready to go. For these, I reserved some of the cooking water for mashing.

A caveat: when cooking beans, do not add salt or acidic ingredients, such as vinegar or tomatoes. These slow the cooking process, so, add them when the beans are just tender. Cooking times differ from bean to bean, but also depend on their age. The beans are done when they can be easily mashed between two fingers or with a fork.

A cool tidbit about these beans...
I read that these particular beans - Gila River beans - were discovered at a native American site, that dates back to1500 years ago. They were in a cave along the Gila river in Arizona; the seeds were found in a pottery jar sealed with pine sap. I haven't verified this story, but if it's true, that's very, very cool.

Unfortunately, after soaking and cooking, these gorgeously colored Gila River beans grew dramatically less so.

To refry the beans...
Heat oils in a large, flat-bottom pan. Add in the onion and cook until softened and beginning to turn translucent. Add beans and mash with a potato masher. Heat till desired consistency. Season, as desired, with salt, pepper, and paprika.

I served these with forbidden rice and salsa as a side to some smoked Bel Fiore mozzarella quesadillas. Easy dinner! Thanks, Micha, for the inspiration. These were a hit. I will definitely be making them again.

Okay, those were the refried beans; now for the au revoir. 

I will be leaving Group A after this reveal as I am taking on hostess duties for Group B. It's been a pleasure cooking and swapping with all of the creative cooks of Group A. Please keep in touch!


  1. I've never heard of those particular beans and the story behind them is interesting. So glad your meal turned out great.
    Group A will miss you and I wish you all the best in your new role in The Secret Recipe Club.

  2. Good luck with your new hostess role, group B will have an awesome food blogger added to their roll. Very interesting about the beans, love a good story.

  3. Those refried beans look delish! You're gonna be a great hostess.

  4. Good luck with group B hostess duty, we will miss you.
    Love the combo of flavors you served with the re fried beans

    1. Thanks, Sawsan! I'll miss you, too. Still have some of your cheese recipes bookmarked to try.

  5. I love refried beans and could eat them every day - yours look great! Thank you for being such an inspiring member of Group-A. We will miss you!! Our loss is Group-Bs gain. Go knock 'em dead Camilla!!

    1. Thanks, Jane! Will miss you guys, but I'll be around. Take care.

  6. Good luck at Group B. Are these heirloom beans? They look delicious.

    1. Angela, yes, I believe so. Supposedly they are a strain of beans that were locked in a cave in the American Southwest for 1500 years. They are gorgeous.

  7. Love the fact that you picked such a simple but tasty dish for your last reveal with Group A. I've been hoarding a bag of lovely heirloom beans from Rancho Gordo that my husband brought home from his last trip to California... I think I've finally found the perfect recipe to show them off!
    And Group A's loss is Group B's gain... I hope they take good care of you. :)

    1. Thanks, Isabelle. I love Rancho Gordo beans! Enjoy and keep in touch.

  8. I'll miss seeing your posts as part of Group A - Group B is super lucky to have you taking over :-)

  9. I've never made re fried beans...I need to give this recipe a try!

  10. Oooooh, bacon olive oil - does any bacon flavor come through in the beans? I need to source this new-to-me ingredient.
    Welcome to Group B as our new fearless leader, we already love your blog posts and recipes!

  11. Mmmm, these refried beans look awesome, yum!! We'll miss you but I'm sure you'll have a blast with group B! :)

  12. Great pick - I've not actually heard of Gila River beans before.

  13. we'll miss you in group A! what a great bean recipe to go out on :)


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