Here’s another black bean recipe I think you should get excited about. Again, this isn’t fancy food, but it’s a little out of the box. Enfrijoladas (pronounced en-free-hol- ah-thas ) are a very popular dish in Mexico but are rarely seen on the menus here in the States.
They are a creative take on enchiladas. Instead of using the typical tomatillo or red chile sauce, it’s refried beans that coat the outside.
It shouldn’t really be that surprising since beans play such a central role to the Mexican diet. Frijoles are a part of nearly every meal and take on many manifestations. We eat them freshly cooked out of the pot (frijoles de la olla) or refried. Refritos are spread on nearly anything – tortillas, bread for tortas or molletes, atop of sopes or tostadas, etc.
Here, they are thinned and fried to make a sauce for enfrijoladas.
When I consulted one of my favorite Mexican cookbooks, The Mexican Gourmet, I came across a recipe for Enfrijoladas Santa Clara, apparently from the Fonda Santa Clara Restaurant in Mexico City. I never ate at the restaurant so I can’t compare them to the version I had in Oaxaca that used black beans and also had chorizo. The process is basically the same used to make most enchiladas.
I adapted the recipe below from the Santa Clara version – of course, using black beans. This is a concept recipe, meant to inspire you to add your twist to make it your own. Stuff them with your favorite ingredients and chiles, some carne or just some cheese. Or, as some do, stuff with eggs or only with queso fresco and top with an egg over easy.
This was my first time making them, but it won’t be my last. If you’re thinking about skipping the chorizo – I wouldn’t unless your a vegetarian.
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Enfrijoladas with Chorizo & Chicken
Tortillas: For the health conscious – if you are using very fresh corn tortillas you can skip the quick frying step. This dip in the hot oil, helps the tortillas stay more pliable and also helps the sauce adhere better. One more thing – it’s more like a quick “dip” than actually “frying.”
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
1 pound Mexican chorizo, removed from casing
2 cups cooked black beans, drained (or pinto beans) or canned whole beans*
1 1/4 cup bean broth
5 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil, divided
10 – 12 medium size corn tortillas
Queso fresco, optional
Crema or sour cream
Pico de Gallo or fresh salsa
- Prepare meat fillings: Chicken – cook and shred chicken. (I used 2 large chicken breasts; seasoned and shredded but you could use a store-bought roasted chicken to shortcut). Chorizo – In a large, heavy skillet cook the chorizo over medium-high heat. Do not add any oil; allow to fry in its own juices, breaking large pieces with a spatula or wooden spoon. Remove, drain if greasy, cover and set aside .
- Puree the beans and 1 cup broth in the blender until smooth. (There’s no need to heat the beans.) Set aside. *If using canned beans, make sure to use whole beans and season to taste with cumin, garlic, onions, etc. and puree.
- In the same skillet you used to cook the chorizo (wipe if necessary), heat 2 tablespoons oil. When hot, “fry” the bean mixture. Stir occasionally with a spatula, scraping the sides of the pan, and cook until all the oil has been absorbed. If the mixture is too thick, thin with a few tablespoons of additional bean broth, chicken broth, or water. When refried and smooth – turn off heat and set the skillet on the back burner.
- In a separate skillet on medium-high heat, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons oil until hot. Have one large plate and a small baking sheet at the ready. Use a pair of tongs to dip one tortilla at a time into the oil, dip or “fry” each side for a few seconds and remove and set aside on one of the plates. Repeat with the remaining tortillas stacking on top of each other. Turn off the heat and move skillet out of the way.
- Dip each side of the tortilla in the bean puree, place on a baking sheet, and fill with about 1/4 cup of chicken and 2 heaping tablespoons of chorizo. Roll enchilada. Repeat . Cover the enchiladas with the remaining refried black bean sauce. Serve on individual plates. Top with a dollop of Mexican crema, queso fresco (optional) and pico de gallo.