Since I was curious about making homemade refried beans and Paula Peck’s Mexican/Tex-Mex style recipes are almost always excellent and reliable (she spent time cooking in Mexico- more about that later), I decided to try this gem of a recipe for Refried Bean Cakes that is tucked away in the vegetable section of “The Art of Good Cooking.”
A friend mentioned that the name didn’t do these tasty little patties justice. Like myself, she couldn’t get over how flavorful the homemade refried beans were by themselves, especially with so few ingredients. I kept saying she had to try them and her response was something like “homemade refried beans? Um…ok…interesting.” After tasting them, this quickly turned to “wow, i could just sit and eat a whole bowl of that stuff by itself.” Maybe the name Cheesy Bean Burger Blasters isn’t that much better but it’s at least interesting and fun to try to say five times fast.
Simplicity is key here and these are not to be confused with canned refried beans or the soupy mess that comes with your enchiladas at your neighborhood Mexican restaurant. When turned into a patty with melted ooey gooey cheese in the center, it’s just a rich amazing mess of deliciousness.
1 recipe Homemade Refried Beans
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
6 pieces Jack, Mozzarella, or melting cheese of your choice, each 1″ x 1″ x 1/2″
3/4 dry bread crumbs
oil or butter for sauteing
Add grated cheese and chopped onion to refried beans and refrigerate until cold. Divide mixture into six parts. Shape each part into a patty, pushing a piece of cheese into the center of each. Roll each bean cake in dry bread crumbs, then refrigerate one hour or more.
Heat 3 tablespoons oil or butter in a large skillet. Saute bean cakes, turning to brown on both sides and heat through.
Note: for firmer cakes that are less fragile, use a traditional breading method: dip cakes in flour, then beaten egg, and finally roll in breadcrumbs.