Refried White Beans With Chile-Fried Eggs
Frijoles refritos are a satiny purée of well-fried beans that are cooked with fat and their liquid. In Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisines, they’re usually made with pinto or black beans and lard, but they don’t have to be. This recipe uses canned white beans because their extra-starchy liquid expedites cooking time, and ample olive oil and browned onions guarantee deeply flavored beans. In many recipes for refried beans, the liquid is added gradually, but this all-at-once method from “Mi Cocina” by Rick Martínez (Clarkson Potter, 2022) results in softer beans. Serve with everything from greens to pork chops, or a simple fried egg dressed with sizzled red-pepper flakes and vinegar to cut the richness. Ever the pantry meal, the beans and eggs offer many avenues for improvisation.
- Serves: 4 persons
- ¼cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 2(15-ounce) cans white beans, such as cannellini or navy
- 3tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4large eggs
- Large pinch of red-pepper flakes
- Sherry or red or white wine vinegar, or lemon juice, to taste
Step 1To make the refried beans: In a large (12-inch) nonstick or cast-iron skillet, or a large pot (you’ll need a large skillet for the eggs, so use a pot here if you only have one skillet), heat the oil over medium-high. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and browned in spots, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the beans and their liquid, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has thickened and resembles gravy, 3 to 5 minutes.
Step 2Turn off the heat. Use a potato masher (or the back of a wooden spoon, if using a nonstick skillet) to mash the beans until only a few whole beans remain. Stir to combine. The beans will thicken as they sit, so if they’re already thick, add water to thin. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover to keep warm while you fry the eggs.
Step 3To make the fried eggs: In a large (12-inch) nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high until it ripples like the ocean, 2 to 3 minutes. Crack the eggs into the pan. (To minimize splatters and spreading, open the shell near the oil, not from high up, and slowly let the egg pour out of the shell.) Leave the eggs untouched until the edges are golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes.
Step 4Turn off the heat. Sprinkle the eggs with red-pepper flakes. Gently tilt the pan toward you, spoon up some of the oil to baste the whites and edges of the yolk until the whites are set, about 1 minute. (Avoid the yolk, so that it stays runny).
Step 5Divide the beans among plates or bowls, then top each with an egg. Season the eggs with salt, then add a few drops of vinegar onto each egg.