Enfrijoladas are basically hot tortillas dipped in a bean sauce, and topped with garnishes of cotija cheese, cilantro and onion. That’s it, a simple, satisfying desayuno or almuerzo — breakfast or late morning meal. In southern Mexico, black beans are seasoned with chile cola de rata, rat tail chiles, so called because of their shape, and toasted avocado leaves. Since I have neighbors with avocado trees, their leaves are easy to come by, but if your Mexican grocery store doesn’t have dried avocado leaves in stock, they can be ordered online.
Enfrijoladas are more common in Oaxaca and southern Mexico, and are made with black beans, frijole negro. I also use frijole perujuano, because they are the common bean here in Jalisco, but use what you have.
- 3 cups cooked beans, with their broth
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 onion, thickly sliced
- 2 cola de rata chiles, broken in half and seeds shaken out if you prefer less heat
- 4 cloves garlic sliced in half
- 4 large avocado leaves, toasted and crushed, stems and veins removed
- 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
- Salt to taste
- 10 -12 corn tortillas
- shredded, cooked chicken, optional
- Cotija cheese, cilantro and chopped onion for garnish
- Heat olive oil in a skillet. Add onion, garlic and chiles. Cook until onion is translucent and starting to color.
- . Puree onion mixture with oregano and crushed avocado leaves (don’t use stems and veins) in a blender with 1/2 cup water.
- Add beans and blend until smooth, adding more water if necessary for a thick, cream-like consistency. Pour into a skillet and keep warm over a low heat. Adjust for salt.
- Brush tortillas lightly with olive oil, and cook in a hot skillet for about 10 seconds per side, just long enough to soften. One at a time, dip each tortillas in the bean sauce, fold into quarters, and serve garnished with cotija cheese, chopped onion and cilantro.
- As an option, enfrijoladas can be filled with shredded chicken and folded in half (below).
~ Only Persea drymifolia, the native Mexican avocado, has the characteristic anise flavor. The leaf should release an anise aroma when toasted and crushed. Toast the leaves in a dry skillet or over a gas flame.
~ Cola de rata chiles are also known as chile de árbol or bird’s beak chile. Rating between 15,000 to 30,000 Scoville Units, they are considered very hot.
~ Traditionally, enfrijoladas are made with lard, but my tastes run more toward olive oil. If you don’t object to using animal products, by all means use it. Without getting into all the details, lard was greatly discredited to promote Crisco, but has regained favor. The culinary world values its high smoke point, high melting point and flavor.
~ Cotija cheese, hard, dry and salty, is used as a garnish on bean dishes, enchiladas, chilaquiles and much more. Well stocked supermarkets in the U.S. carry it (I don’t know if it’s common in Canada). Substitutions would be queso ańejo or feta cheese.
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