Cristina Potters publishes the incredibly popular and useful Mexico Cooks! site from the beautiful capitol city of Morelia. I've known her for years and she's introduced me to many parts of Mexico and many parts of Mexican life through her unique perspective. Her blog is great but if you're traveling to Mexico, she's one of the very few guides I'd suggest you hire, especially if you're as keen on food as I suspect you are! In the meantime, here's her recipe for refried beans. Refried Beans, Celia’s Style Makes 6 servings as a side dish 3 cups recently-cooked Rancho Gordo mayacoba or pinto beans 1 or 2 chiles serrano, depending on your heat tolerance 1 Tbsp lard or vegetable oil—not olive oil Bean cooking liquid Sea salt to taste Cotija cheese Melt the lard in an 8-inch skillet. Split the chile(s) from the tip almost to the stem end and add to the melted lard. Sauté over a medium flame until the chile is dark brown, almost black. Lower the flame and add the beans and a little bean liquid. When the beans begin to simmer, mash them using a bean or potato masher together with the chile until they are very smooth. Add more liquid if necessary to give the beans the consistency you prefer. Add sea salt to taste and stir well. Plate the beans and crumble Cotija cheese over them.