Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Why I love my crockpot

I know this isn't surprising to you, I've talked before about how great the crockpot is, but I've just learned to make yet another thing in it!! Refried beans. A frend of mine gave me a bag of pinto beans when she moved. I guess I should clarify, she didn't just give me a bag of beans as a going away present, she gave me most everything that was in her fridge and pantry because they would be too much of a hassle to move. Included in those items was a bag of beans. So I've been looking at this bag of beans wondering what the hell to do with them. I usually buy my refried beans in a can. Finally I decided that I had these beans, I should figure out what to do with them. A short internet search later and I had a recipe for vegetarian refried beans made in the crockpot. That one little bag made as much refried beans as comes in two of the big cans, AND they were way yummy. Oh, and cheap since the bag and all the ingredients cost less than one regular sized can. Since there was very little work either, I can't even complain that my time is worth money. I don't think I'll ever buy refried beans in a can again.

Crockpot Refried Beans


3 cups dry pinto beans
9 cups water
1 onion, diced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, de-seeded and minced (I didn't have jalapenos sitting around, so I used a teaspoon of a chipotle seasoning I have)
3 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 1/2 Tbsp. of the pre-minced garlic in a jar)
1/2 tsp cumin
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper


Some of the recipes I found said to soak the beans overnight, dump the water, and cook them in fresh water, others didn't. Since I'm lazy, I opted to skip that step. Both ways the cooking time was the same, so I didn't see the point. If you feel that you have to soak them, go right ahead.

Combine all ingredients in the crockpot, cover, and cook on high for 8 to 10 hours. If your beans are old, they are going to take longer. I ended up cooking mine on high for 7 hours and then on low for another 7 overnight while I slept since they weren't done before bedtime.

When they are done you will be able to mush them easily with a fork. Drain and reserve the liquid. Mash the beans with a potato masher. Add in as much of the reserved liquid as necessary to achive the desired consistency.

Some recipes suggested putting small quantities in the blender and using that to mash them. Since this would have created more dishes to wash, I opted against it. The beans were soft enough that it didn't take me long with the potato masher. But if you don't have a potato masher, or have a broken arm or something that would prevent you from using one, a blender will work too.


LenaLoo said...

The reason some people say to soak them is that it gets rid of some of their gas producing qualities... I personally think this is false because I always soak my beans and they still give us gas... If you have a beer laying around next time, pour that in instead of the water... delicious!

Monica said...

I love making them in the crockpot , dont you think they have a ton more flavor???

Here is one for you to try I did a week or so ago and everyone in my house loved it...

6-8 pork chops, I used the boneless not so thick but not THIN either kind...lol
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 lg. pkg. Good Seasons Italian Salad Mix

Mix soups and salad mix. Coat each (or dip) chop with soup mixture. Put in crock pot. Add remaining soup mixture. Cook in crock pot for 4 to 6 hours on High. For fewer pork chops, use 1 can soup and small package of salad mix. Serve with rice.

The pork literally shreds and mixed it all up pork,sauce and rice ..was really good!

Reeni♥ said...

I've never cooked anything in a crockpot! But I want to, it's on my list...I came over to say hi and thanks for visiting my "saucy" blog!