Pinto beans often feature in Mexican cooking, as their creamy texture makes them the perfect partner for strong flavours and spices. The beans aren't actually fried twice here, but are simmered first, then cooked gently in a little oil. Burritos make a hearty meal, needing no accompaniment and perhaps just some fruit to follow.
To make refried bean quesadillas, coarsely grate 200 g (7 oz) Monterey Jack, Wensleydale or mild Cheddar cheese. Heat a large frying pan or griddle over a moderately low heat. Take one of 8 large flour tortillas, place it in the pan and spoon 2–3 tbsp of the refried beans in the middle. Sprinkle one-eighth of the cheese over the bean pure and around the edge of the tortilla. Fold the tortilla over the filling to make a half-moon shape and press the edges together gently, so that the melting cheese seals them. Cook for 1 minute, then turn over and cook the other side for 1 minute. Remove from the pan and serve immediately or the cheese will become chewy. Alternatively, you can fill and fold the tortillas ahead of time, then cook them to order. Serve with a mango salsa made by mixing 1 finely chopped ripe mango with 2 seeded and sliced fresh chillies (1 green and 1 red) and the juice of 1/2 lime.
Tortillas, a part of the staple diet in Mexico and other countries in Central and South America, may be made from wheat or from masa harina, a form of maize. Both types provide starchy carbohydrate, and make a great alternative to bread. * Vitamin C supplied by the tomatoes and lime juice in the salsa helps the absorption of the iron from the pinto beans.
folate, copper * A, B1, E, niacin, calcium, iron, potassium, zinc * B2, B6, C, selenium