Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Mexican Pizza

We are very attached to our favorite refried bean recipe, but recently we tried out Rick Bayless's version.  It's really easy and delicious too!  They are different from the Test Kitchen version in that instead of pureeing the beans in a food processor before cooking, you just mash them in the pan at the end, coarse or smooth, depending on your preference.  One less kitchen appliance to clean, so you gotta love that!  

We used the beans on the Mexican pizza we made for dinner one night.  This is a pretty hearty pizza, so we had a couple small slices each and a big salad loaded with veggies. 

We used our favorite America's Test Kitchen pizza dough, Rick Bayless's Fried Beans recipe (see below), ground beef cooked with Rick Bayless's Garlicky Ancho Chile Rub (we had extra after using it for the steaks), and scattered some queso fresco, chopped tomatoes, sliced green onions, and sliced olives over the top.  After we took it out of the oven, we sprinkled on a little chopped cilantro.  You could modify this in numerous ways depending on what you like or what you have on hand.   

Fried Beans (Frijoles Refritos)
adapted from Rick Bayless - Mexican Everyday
makes 2 1/2 cups, serving 4-5

2-3 tablespoons rich-tasting fresh pork lard, vegetable oil, or bacon drippings (if you want creamier beans, use 3 tablespoons)
2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped or crushed through a garlic press
3 1/2 cups home-cooked beans with just enough cooking liquid to cover OR two 15-ounce cans beans (we used black beans)

Heat the lard, oil, or bacon drippings in a large (10-inch) skillet over medium heat.  Add the garlic, cook for about one minute, stirring constantly, until fragrant but not brown.  Now add the beans.  As they come to a simmer, coarsely mash them using the back of a wooden spoon or a potato masher (he also suggests a bean masher, but I don't know what that is).  Leave them chunky or keep mashing until they are smooth - it's up to you.  Cook for about 8 minutes, stirring almost constantly, until they have the consistency of very soft mashed potatoes.  Taste and season with salt as needed.


  1. I have a weird thing about beans with bread. I think it goes back to when my dad was alive and he was eating a refried bean sandwich on whole-wheat bread (he had recently been sick and was feeling better and super hungry). Anyway, were the beans with the pizza crust weird at all or just yummy? And did you use lard?

  2. I thought it was a delicious combo, but I've always thought puffy bread and beans go well together. When I was a kid we used to layer beans, taco meat, and cheese onto crescent roll dough and roll them up and bake them. We'd arrange the rolls into a ring and that meal was always just called "the taco ring thing". I don't know if I'd ever have beans on sandwich bread though, at that point I would just put it in a tortilla as a burrito.

    We have never used lard to make refried beans. This time we used vegetable oil. If we happen to have fresh bacon drippings we use those, but that's not very often.


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