Categories
Baking Cooking Food General Recipes

Refried Beans Remixed Part II

Sometime ago, I wrote about how relatively easy it is to make refried beans. Now that I’ve figured out a recipe for beans that works for me (and by that I mean that it is a wholly vegetarian recipe and it’s super-spicy) I’ve been making refried beans a lot lately. My favourite ways to eat beans include: beans on top of rice, beans inside burritos and quesadillas, and even just beans on more beans with lots of cheese on top 🙂 And then of course, there is the refried bean pizza 🙂

My latest bean-related experiment involves mixing two iconic foods from Mexican and French cuisine respectively: refried beans and crepes. Here’s how it turned out:

Baked crepes with refried beans and cheese

If you want to try it out, here’s what you will need:

For the Filling:

One serving of re-fried beans, go here for my recipe.

Freshly grated aged cheddar, to taste

Chunks of mozzarella, to taste

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp freshly ground cumin seeds

For the crepes:

1 cup all-purpose flour (leveled)

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1 1/2 cups whole milk

4 large eggs

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Method:

I started by making the crepes. I just threw all the ingredients for the crepes (in no particular order) into a food processor (you call also use a blender/mixie) and whizzed them all together until I got a smooth mixture. The batter will be pretty thin, quite unlike pancake batter.

Now for making the crepes. I heated a skillet, melted a little butter on it and poured a ladle of batter on it. Then, I swirled the batter about to make a thin layer completely covering the entire skillet. I cooked the underside of the crêpe for about 3 minutes. Using a rubber spatula I loosened the edges of the crepes and then flipped the crêpe over and cooked the other side for about 2 minutes. Then I placed the crêpe on a plate, covered it with plastic wrap and repeated the crepe-making process until I’d used up all the batter. (You can also store the batter in the fridge for a day or two if you prefer.)

Now I was ready to stuff the crepes with their filling! (You can stuff and bake a couple at first and store the rest of the crepes in the fridge. Since they’re all wrapped up in plastic, they will stay fresh.)

But first, I had to pre-heat the oven, which I did to 350 F. While the oven heats up, start filling the crepes with refried beans and cheese and lining them up on a baking tray. To keep the crêpe nicely wrapped and beans snug inside, I used a toothpick.

Baked crepes with refried beans and cheese

Once the oven is warmed up, place the crepes in the oven and bake for 10 minutes or so. Monitor them and reduce the temperature, or take them out sooner if they look like they are browning too much. You just want them to be a nice golden colour with the edges starting to crisp up.

Once they are ready, take them out of the oven, sprinkle with cumin and cayenne pepper and enjoy!

Baked crepes with refried beans and cheese

If you don’t want to spend the time decorating the crêpe with cayenne pepper and cumin polka-dots like I did, you can just lightly dust the crêpe with the spices:

Baked crepes with refried beans and cheese

They made for a perfect snack while working on my dissertation.

Baked crepes with refried beans and cheese

Categories
Baking Cooking Food General Recipes

Refried Beans Remixed Part I

Sometime ago, I wrote about how relatively easy it is to make refried beans. Now that I’ve figured out a recipe for beans that works for me (and by that I mean that it is a wholly vegetarian recipe and it’s super-spicy) I’ve been making refried beans a lot lately. My favourite ways to eat beans include: beans on top of rice, beans inside burritos and quesadillas, and even just beans on more beans with lots of cheese on top 🙂 But now, my new favourite way to eat beans is on a pizza!

One evening, a few months ago, I had this brain wave: mixing Mexican spicy deliciousness with the most delectable and beautiful carb-related food invention in the world, namely, thin-crust pizza. I’ve been eating way too much pizza ever since.

If you want to try it out, here’s what you will need:

1. Pizza dough

2. One serving of re-fried beans, go here for my recipe.

3. One onion, sliced

4. Freshly grated aged cheddar, to taste

5. Chunks of mozzarella, to taste

6. 1-2 tbsp cayenne pepper

7. 1 tsp freshly ground cumin seeds

8. 1 red or yellow bell pepper, chopped coarsely or cut into slivers

9. 1 jalapeño, sliced horizontally

You can make your own dough, and if you have the time, I would recommend doing this. I didn’t make my own this time though. You see, I was really excited about the idea of this fusion pizza, trying to work out the various toppings I’d put on it, and I didn’t want to wait any longer than I had to. So I ran out and got some fresh dough from the deli-section of the supermarket.

I left the dough out on the counter to let it warm to room-temperature and buttered and floured a pizza pan (you should use a pizza stone if you have one). About 30 minutes later, I set the oven temperature to 360 fahrenheit, sprinkled a spoonful of flour on the counter and began working with the dough. After kneading it a bit on the counter I made the dough into a ball, flattened it gently, and kept pulling it apart, all the time moving it around and flipping it over so that it wouldn’t stick to the counter. When I’d pulled it and stretched it into something resembling a circle, I placed the dough on the pan and then slowly and patiently spread it out to the sides of the pan:

Refried- bean pizza

Because I wanted a thin crust pizza I made sure to spread the dough as thin as possible. However, I like a slightly thicker crust along the edges, so I made the outer edges thicker.

Next, I sprinkled some sliced onions on this and popped it into the oven for about 12 minutes, until it looked liked this:

Mexican pizza

That is, it was slightly cooked and the base had risen a bit. You can see little bubbles; I am given to understand that this is a good sign for a pizza base 🙂

Finally, I spread the refried beans on the base with a knife and topped this off with the rest of the sliced onions, bell pepper slivers or pieces, jalapeño slices, and cheddar and mozzarella cheeses.

Mexican-style pizza

It’s also fun to play around and make a multi-topping pizza. I did a pizza tonno combined with the refried bean pizza the very next day:

Multi-topping pizza: Re-fried beans and tuna

I popped the pizza back into the oven once I was done with the toppings, and let it bake for another 10 minutes, until the cheese had melted and the onions had crisped a bit.

Mexican pizza

You’re wondering why a (large) third of the pizza is missing aren’t you? It’s because I had to eat some of the pizza as soon as it came out of the oven, while it was still hot! The side-effects of my greed were: burnt fingertips and a picture of an incomplete pizza.

I would advise you to give the pizza a few minutes to cool; it’ll also be easier to cut and serve when it’s isn’t sizzling and just out of the oven.

Don’t wait too long though, it’s best eaten hot. Cut yourself a slice or two, sprinkle some cayenne pepper and cumin powder on top and you’re ready to eat!

Yummy refried bean pizza

I love the spicy, cheesy, softness of the pizza centre melting and folding away, leading up to a freshly baked, thicker, crisp edge..mmmm.