I really enjoy refried beans. They are tasty, nutritious, unpretentious an surprisingly satisfying. I admit that I often by them canned so they are quickly available to add to a recipe or as a side dish. I do flavor them as I heat them up.
This recipe for refried black eyed peas came from mother necessity. I was halfway through making these delicious Ancho Pork Belly Tostadas, when I reached for a can of refried beans and.... the cupboard was bare. You simply MUST have refried beans on tostadas, its the glue that holds everything together. I set out to find the nearest substitute.
Routing through my cabinets my eyes fell on a bag of dried black eyed peas hiding towards the back. My flavor sense told me that the would make a great substitute... so out came the Instant Pot. The bag of black peas, 6 cups of water (or broth) all cooked for 35 minutes of high pressure and then I let it cool completely on it's own... I did not press the release valve. I wanted to make sure they were really soft.
The method above produced a LOT of black eyed peas. I would guess about 10 cups. I only use about 4 cups of peas for my recipe. The remainder will most likely be used for some texas caviar or a tasty bowl of some sort.
I put two tablespoons of bacon grease into a large cast iron skillet because I thought it would add a nice addition of flavor. Plus at the diner we always save our bacon grease and I'm always looking for a good use for it. (I also use it in my tamale batter... Mmmmmm)
I turned the heat on medium and waited for the grease to liquify.
Next went in the 4 cups of black eyed peas. I let them sizzle for a moment, stirring them around to coat them in the bacony goodness.
Once they were heated through I began to smash them using a thick wooden spatula. I reduced the heat to low as I began to work the peas.
They smashed easily as I pressed down and slightly drug my spatula through the pan. Slowly the peas became a paste with some whole peas still remaining. Once they started to dry out a bit so I added some pea juice from the Instant Pot.
When the peas were almost to the consistency I wanted I added the salt and spices.
As I stirred in the seasonings I continued to mash the remaining peas into a very refried bean like consistency.
The taste test revealed they were almost identical to the pinto bean variety, but there was something subtle in the flavor that reminded me of my southern American roots.
That first batch went into those delicious tostadas, but later that week I craved them again and back into the pan the leftover peas went.
10 minutes later Kerry and I were watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (part 1) for the first time as we each enjoyed a plate of the nachos on the right.
I started with a bed of fresh salsa and put a large scoop of the beans on top. Then I topped it with chopped green onions, mexican pickled onions, fresh cilantro, cheddar cheese, smoking carrot hot sauce and jalapeno slices. It was delicious!