Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Scrambled Eggs and Refried Beans

A remembrance of breakfast past, from this Tex-Mex Tightwad Chef, was my grandmother Big Mama setting a big steaming bowl of Scrambled Eggs and Refried Beans and a stack of homemade flour tortillas in front of her brood of hungry grandkids. When I lived in the tiny seaside town of Port O'Connor, Texas, from 4th grade to 7th grade, there was nothing better than this on chilly school day morning.

We lived with her for a short period of time, until my Mom got a job waitressing and we could afford to move out to our own place down the street. I was raised on simple comfort food. And you can't get simpler than Scrambled Eggs and Refried Beans.

There was always a clay pot of fragrant pinto beans cooking at Big Mama's house. But you can use canned pinto beans, or any favorite legume including: black beans, black-eyed peas, lentils, white or red beans.

And you can't get cheaper proteins than beans and eggs. Canned beans are always on sale and I can still get a dozen eggs for a $1 or less. Sometimes I can even get large eggs, but can make due with medium.

The cheapest way to go is with a package of dried beans. If you want to go for making a pot of your own beans then just check out my video below of Miss Patties Red Beans recipe - it's vegetarian (blogpost with text and photos here,) and for a soul food version just add a ham hock or a few slices of bacon. (This recipe is great for Navy or white, pinto and black beans - I also have a lentil bean recipe, just click here.) I like to keep a few Ziploc bags of frozen cooked beans in the freezer to use when I make my Mom's Mexican Rice recipe, which pairs perfectly and is just a click away.



Whether you use canned or fresh cooked beans, the only prep you have to do is heat up half a cup in a teaspoon of oil, and mash them with a fork. (I sometimes even find cheap beans already refried.) And you finish by scrambling in 4 or 5 eggs. It couldn't be simpler, and it's a hearty and cheap way to start the day.


You can serve Scrambled Eggs and Refried Beans any way you like, with corn or flour tortillas, and  even a bagel or English muffin. To kick it up a notch sprinkle on some of your favorite cheese, or add a scoop of my Pico de Gallo Salsa (recipe here.) And make sure to put out a bottle of hot sauce!


Ingredients (2-3 servings)
  • 4-5 eggs - I used medium size.
  • 1/2 cup of cooked pinto beans - you can use any favorite cooked legume.
  • 1 teaspoon oil - any type
  • Pepper to taste - optional. Canned and cooked beans have plenty of salt for me, but you can add it to suit your taste.
  • Serve with flour or corn tortillas - optional.


Directions
Add a teaspoon of oil to a heating pan. Add the beans, along with a tablespoon of broth.


Mash the beans with a fork (or potato masher) as they are heating through. It's up to you how mushy you want the Refried Beans - I like mine slightly chunky. This is how you make typical Refried Beans (but add extra broth so the beans don't dry out when reheating,) so you can make extra for any favorite Mexican meal. Just type in "Mexican" in the search window at the top left of this page (just above my dollar logo) to see some of mine -- and I have plenty.


I start heating up the tortillas just before the eggs are added. Heat in the microwave or in another pan.


Once the beans are mashed and warm, mix in the eggs and scramble until firm. Season with extra salt and pepper if you want. You can use your favorite egg scramble ingredients and do it your way.


Hindsight
 For extra creamy Refried Beans, just remember to add more bean broth, start with a tablespoon, but keep adding more, while mashing the beans with a fork (or potato masher) to reach desired creaminess.

Big Mama's recipe is easy to half into a single serving. Also, if you like more egg than beans then just reduce bean amount.  Make this dish your own and tweek it  your way.

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