Thursday, October 6, 2011

Refried Beans made w/Peruano Beans & Getaway to Morro Bay, CA

Refried Beans w/Homemade Tortilla Chips

We went to the most beautiful wedding in Los Osos, CA.  I'd never heard of the city, but it turns out it's a cute little town in the southern part of Morro Bay. The bride & groom had fond memories of the area  and picked that destination for their nuptials.  They were very kind and invited all guests that came the night before the wedding day to their rehearsal dinner!  

The rehearsal was at Mexican restaurant called La Palapa.  I loved the food there!  I especially liked the refried beans. I asked the waiter if it had lard in it because it was so tasty and creamy and he informed me, no lard, but they use a different bean called Peruano...Peru Beans.  I'm not sure why they call it Peru since it comes from Mexico.  These are creamier than Pinto Beans and make delicious Frijoles Refrito!  He told me that I could buy them at the local Ralph's, so I was on a mission to find these new beans.  I was able to find them in the bulk bin and bought about 4 lbs :o) As a bonus I was able to buy Pinquito Beans too, they are the ones that are traditionally served with Tri-Tip and are hard to find in Los Angeles.

It's much cheaper to buy Peruano beans locally, if you can find them, but I also found a couple of websites that sells them...

My Jalapeno Plant :o)

I decided to grow jalapenos, I love my new plant!  Behind it is the basil my girlfriend bought for me a few months ago, I had made pesto with it in a previous post.  I almost killed it, but I was able to revive when I could do that!

My Beautiful Jalapenos ;o)

Cilantro & Parsley

I'm getting a green thumb in our small outdoor space :o)

Peruano Beans

They have a yellowish tinge to them...

Frying the Jalapenos...

It's easier and faster than roasting them if you have the oil available ;o)

Fried Jalapenos...

Nice & Blistered...

Cooking the Beans w/Bay Leaf, Onion & Garlic

After soaking the beans overnight or at least 6 hours, they need to be cooked without salt (it toughens the beans if you add salt) for at least another hour or until they are soft.  I usually don't add anything to it at this stage, but this time I decided to add an onion, bay leaf & garlic, I didn't like the results, it added an odd flavor.

Sauteeing Onions, Garlic & Jalapenos

After cooking the beans for an hour I add this saute mixture to it w/seasonings and cook it for about another 20 mins to meld the flavors.  I like for the liquid to get a little thick, but add more water if it gets too dry.

Bacon Drippings...Yum!

After the beans have finished cooking, I transfer it to a fry pan and add bacon drippings to it.  I try to leave some of the liquid behind.

Mashing the Beans...

As it heats I mash the beans and add more liquid if it seems too dry.  I like to keep it a little lumpy.  I love my bean masher!  It doesn't have holes in it like a potato masher, so it seems like it's easier to mash the beans. It's called a Machacador and I was able to purchase it here.

Peruano Frijoles Refritos

I fried the tortilla chips with corn tortillas and then sprinkled it with Mexican Seasoning.

Sand Castle Wedding Cake

The wedding theme was Beach and Sand Castles, they even went to Tahiti for their Honeymoon :o)  This cake was so beautiful and all edible!

Los Osos, CA

The view for the wedding ceremony.  It was a very intimate and casual affair, I loved it!  It was outdoors on the grass and they had the chairs assembled in a circle around the bride & groom.  They got the idea of circling the chairs from mine & Hubby's wedding 11 years ago :o)  It's nice setting the chairs that way, everybody gets a great view of the ceremony!

Los Osos, CA

Los Osos, CA

La Palapa Mexican Restaurant

This is a family owned placed.  The waiter I talked to about the refried beans turned out to be one of the family members.  They really pay attention to the small details.  They make their tortillas, both corn & flour!  We stayed next door at the Bay Wood Inn where breakfast is included.  They give you choices to several restaurants to go to, La Palapa serves breakfast on the weekends.  They serve both American & Mexican food in the morning.  I'm not sure why you'd go to a Mexican restaurant to order an American breakfast, but the table next to us was up for  I had an awesome Chile Verde Omelette and Hubby had the Chilaquiles.  They even grow their own Epazote Herb for the chilaquiles!

Los Osos Mural

Mural painted on the side of a building...

The Merrimaker Bar

We had some time to spare before the rehearsal dinner, so we decided to walk around the town.  The main area is less than a half mile stretch :o)  We poked our heads in to the Merrimaker Bar and decided to get a cocktail, err drink. It has a very interesting "local color"...we were there at 5pm on Fri night and there were only a few seats open at the bar. We normally would order Martinis or Manhattans, but at a place like this we just order "Bombay On The Rocks", you can't mess up something like that, unless they add a squeeze of lime juice to it..which they did ;o)  

Inside, we met a couple of the locals.  It first started with a woman accusing us of moving her stuff over and stealing her  She had more than a couple of drinks, I told her we swear we didn't move her stuff over and Hubby just wanted to sit next to her.  She replies, "You are full of S*&% and I mean that in a good way."  Hilarious!  Then we had some more incoherent conversation with her.  The man on my other side heard we were going to La Palapa and he gave us the tip that the Chile Verde was really good, even better than what his deceased father used to make ;o)  I love conversations like this!  You can get a lot of info in 30 mins.

I found the  funniest thing about the place later that night. I was looking on Yelp (I have a love/hate relationship with Yelp;o) and looked up the Merrimaker, it kept mentioning that if you looked up Dive Bar on Wiki you would find the Merrimaker, I thought it was a joke, but it's  I'm easily entertained ;o)

Montana de Oro

Everybody kept telling us that we should drive to Montana de Oro and take in the view.  We didn't regret it, it's breathtaking!  It's just a few miles from Los Osos.

Montana de Oro

Big Fat Squirrel @ Morro Bay

My friend warned me of the overstuffed squirrels around Morro Bay, she wasn't

Noisy Bird @Morro Bay

I think this bird was looking for his Mommy, he wouldn't quit

Adorable Otters @Morro Bay

I loved these otters, I could have spent hours watching them.  With Hubby's long lens and lens extender I was able to get these great close-ups of all the fun!


  1. I love Morro Bay! We have actually been to many of the places you showed and I really enjoyed reliving them through your post. The restaurant, however, was not on my visit, but I have a note for next time.
    I'm envious of your peppers! I planted a plant in the yard earlier this year, but the poor little guy hasn't received much water so he is struggling.
    That cake??!!! Wow!! What an awesome cake!!

  2. Wow - what a pretty area! Who knew that beans would make a difference to the texture of the dish! Super, duper thanks for supplying a few links so folks can purchase them on-line!

    It looks like the wedding was a good time! Thanks for a fun read! BTW - your jalapeno plant is stunning!

  3. Interesting beans. I'll have to see if someone can mail a bag to me.

  4. these seem very easy to make... will definitely try them out and let you know how they turn out... beautiful pictures as well

  5. Thanks Kim, that's great that you've spent time in Morro Bay too! I heard that peppers can thrive without water and that is how that get super spicy :o)

    Thanks Christine, I loved the cake too!

    Ann, thank you and you are welcome :o) Funny how different beans can make such a difference. It's always fun to find new stuff! I really do love my jalapeno plant, I hope that it keeps on giving!

    Rosemary, it would be great if you could find the beans, but you find so much more interesting stuff in France!!

    Insensate, it really is easy to make, it just takes a little time :o) Thanks for visiting my blog!

  6. Thanks for the into to the Peruano beans, never heard of them. You have a gift w/the camera. Lovely photos!

  7. I love all your plants, they are all so beautiful! Now with your new jalapeno plant, you don't have to keep buy jalapeno anymore, just plant more! ;P
    Maybe I'll just use pinto beans for this recipe? This is another delicious looking creamy beany soup I can't resist! *Slurrrrp*
    I've never seen such a unique wedding cake and it's really pretty. Esp those starfish, shells and loose sand around the sand castle. ;D
    Hope you've a wonderful weekend! :)
    PS: Is that cheese? The white color topping on your Peruano Frijoles Refritos.

  8. Super fun! I love beans- have you ever been to Salsa and Beer? (its ghet-to) but their bean dips is crazy good. I love that wedding cake too, so pretty!

  9. I was smiling while I read your post. After having dinner with you twice, I know how serious you are about food and you naturally make good friends with waiters by asking questions etc. You are real foodie Kayo! =) That's how you refine your taste buds and make good food! I'd love to try these refried beans must be good with homemade chips! The sand castle cake is amazing. I love American wedding - seems like anything can be possible!

  10. Hey, there's our cake! This is so cool, Kay! Thank you for writing about our wedding weekend in your post! :)

  11. I just love that you take us on the trip with you wherever you go. You're adventurous--going through finding the Puruano beans (and thanks for including links to online sources for the beans). I've started to make homemade tortilla chips too, since my husband is allergic to sunflower oil (and most store-bought tortilla chips say "sunflower and/or safflower oil.")

    I fried my tortilla chips at first but then found they were better oven baked. Your dish looks so good!

    Also, where did you get that bean masher? I've never seen that before and would like to have one.



  12. Thanks so much for taking us on a virtual trip to the places you went. I really appreciate the links to the online sources for the beans. I would love to use this beans for next make of pull tri tip and even thinking about it make me droll. the pictures on the squirrel, the birds and the otters are fabulous.

  13. Those beans look seriously delicious, Kay. I think it's awesome how you prepare your food with so much care.

    And the pics of MOrro Bay. Gorgeous. I love that place.

  14. Key those are beautiful photos, and recipe is AMAZING..I love re-fried beans, and of course peppers are always welcome..yummy for sure!!! Thanks for sharing dear, and have a wonderful day!!!

  15. That wedding cake is unbelievable! It looks just like a sand castle!

  16. Thank you both Jen & Sandra :o)

  17. What a great view of the beach. Love watching those otters playing around. so cute!
    Thanks for sharing this lovely post.

  18. I made Peruvian beans last weekend but they turned out hard. Unmashable! Are they usable?

    1. Liz, were they called Peruvian Beans or Peruano? The ones I have are really soft. Sometimes when the beans are old they are very hard and sometimes it's better just to throw them out. How long did you boil them for and did you add salt to the water? Sometimes when you add salt to the boiling beans it hardens them. Also, did you soak the beans first?

      I like to either soak the beans overnight or at least soak in boiling water for a few hours. I then drain those and boil the beans without salt for at least an hour then add the flavors and boil for another 20 mins - 1 hr.

      Sorry about the problems you had. I know how frustrating it can be. I hope this helps a little :o)