Saturday, September 27, 2008

Bean tostadas, miserable bachelor?

Miserable? No, not really, but if my loyal readers have noticed a definite shift towards some miserably unapologetic low-brow fare, it is not because I tossed my copy of "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" into Puffers Pond, but because I have returned to that other shallow but pleasingly lukewarm body of water known as bachelorhood. There's just no reason to spend entire afternoons hand-crafting ravioli. Nope, I would just end up freezing them for some murky future, or pitching them one-by-one onto the street, like little bits of flesh torn from the big, doughy heart of love. There are better and quicker ways to love the self.

Exhibit A: bean tostadas with all the fixin's. Now, in case you consider me flip, there is sense behind this post. There is a reason why bean tostadas follow bacon sarnie. It is not purely alphabetical. It's more to do with bacon fat.

The trick to refried beans is fat. Traditionally, refriend beans are made with lard! Whatever fat you choose, choose a fat. Fat gives the beans their velvety smooth succour. You can use canned or homemade beans, and you can season them however you wish; you can even use whatever kind of bean you desire. It doesn't really matter. These refried beans started out as dry red, black, and pinto beans. Whatever you do, here's the idea:

bacon fat, or some other fat (a combination of butter and olive oil works just fine)
onion, garlic, spices (cumin, chili flakes, chili powder, black pepper)

Cook some chopped onion in the bacon fat and cook on medium or low heat.
Add the minced garlic (a clove or two), and the flakes, and cook about 30 seconds
Add some of the spices and dump in the beans;

If your beans are home cooked, include the cooking water. If not, go ahead an use that thick canned bean goo if you choose. Otherwise, add some water. In any case, you want your mixture to be liquidy.

Bring it to a boil and simmer on low heat until the beans are nearly dry. You can continue to add seasoning as it cooks down if that's your pleasure.

Once your beans have simmered down, get yourself a heavy duty smashing instrument (I use a heavy duty fork), and start smashing the hell out of them.

Sample your smashed beans. If they are not silky smooth, toss in a wad of butter and continue mashing them.

That's pretty much it. Season them with some salt to taste, and pile them on a tostada. If you want to be a hardcore bachelor, get yourself a wooden spoon and bring the pot to bed with you. Shove spoonfuls of refriend beans into your mouth as you read a men's interest magazine. Or don't. It just depends on your preference. Mine is to maintain a shred of dignity, hence the shredded lettuce; it adds a touch of class.


Dr. Crowbar said...

Take a look at my flickr site. Specifically under food and tacos. Oh, and the Video Saloon has a new room.

Sara Blaylock said...

if you want to get really high brow with your fat, ask ari to rend you a hunk of the pound and a half of goose fat he's got tucked away in the freezer. i'm serious. you will never turn back after the goose.

Seth said...

This blog seems to say, "You there! Here you are!" in a way that is all at once both warm and terrifying.

Seth Landman said...

The blogger is I.