MasterChef mainstay Graham Elliot has launched his first cookbook, packed with tips, tricks and inventive recipes that will have you cooking like a master in no time. With offerings customizable to the home cook’s tastes, from simple vegetarian sides to impressive entrees and desserts, you just can’t lose.
I like the idea of refried beans made with just about any bean or legume. For this recipe, I rely on cannellini beans, which are especially creamy, a characteristic that other beans often lack. You have to cook them correctly because God knows there’s nothing worse than tough, undercooked beans. I add a little saffron to kick this dish up a few notches, but you can toss in some fresh thyme if you prefer.
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 Spanish onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- Pinch of saffron (about 10 threads)
- 3 cups cooked cannellini beans
- 3 cups vegetable or chicken stock, preferably homemade
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Leaves from 4 sprigs fresh oregano
For the beans
In a saucepan or small pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. When hot, sauté the onion and garlic for 3 to 5 minutes, or until translucent.
Take the pan from the heat and add the saffron. Let it infuse the oil mixture for about 5 minutes.
Add the beans and return the pan to the heat. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the broth has reduced by half.
Off the heat, mash the beans with a wooden spoon until nearly smooth. This can be rustic and lumpy or very smooth, depending on how you like it. To make it smooth, use a food processor. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve drizzled with oil and topped with the oregano.