My friend Alejandro teases me because I use canned beans in my Mexican cooking. "Guácala (Yuck)," he says. According to him you must buy dry beans, and soak them and cook them in "una olla de barro" (a clay pot) as his mother does. Well, I don't have a clay pot here in the apartment, but I decided to try preparing some "frijoles" using dry black beans. I bought a bag at the supermarket and soaked them overnight. The next morning I drained them, put fresh water in the pot, added some chopped onion and peppers, and cooked them on the tiny, two-burner range that I have in my kitchen.
I let them simmer for a couple hours. The directions on the bag said to cook them for one hour, but at that point they definitely were not done.
After that I started doing my own thing... I don't know if this is the proper way to make refried beans, but it's the way I do it. I put the beans in a frying pan with olive oil. I added some chopped jalapeños, some Mexican salsa from a jar, and chunks of two different kinds of Mexican cheese. I heated it until the cheese had completely melted into the mixture. After letting it cool a bit, I put the bean mixture into the blender and made a coarse puree. I prefer my "frijoles" to have some texture and not be too smoothly pureed.
For breakfast I made some scramble eggs mixed with vegetables and my "made from scratch" refried beans. I sprinkled "panela" cheese on top of the beans and garnished them with "totopos" (tortilla chips).
I have to admit that the beans tasted better. Alejandro tried them, and he did not say, "Guácala".