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SEASONAL RECIPES

Recipe: The Mexican comfort dish enfrijoladas are made with corn tortillas and a spicy black bean sauce

Enfrijoladas (Folded Corn Tortillas in Black Bean Sauce)Sally Pasley Vargas

Serves 4

Simple Mexican comfort food, good just about any time of day, enfrijoladas are something like enchiladas. But where enchiladas are tortillas that are lightly fried, dipped in a chile sauce, filled, and rolled up, enfrijoladas are slightly different. The tortillas are lightly fried, dipped in a bean sauce, filled, and folded. For enfrijoladas, you use a slightly spicy sauce of pureed black beans and chipotle chiles in adobo. Chipotles, which are dried and smoked jalapenos softened in a tomato sauce, can be quite spicy, so add one to the dish at first to see how you like them. Instead of cheese, enfrijoladas could just as easily be the repository for leftovers such as shredded chicken, crumbled Mexican chorizo, or roasted vegetables. The dish is traditionally made with lightly fried corn tortillas, which are more flavorful and sturdier than wheat tortillas. Frying keeps them from disintegrating in the sauce. Since they're very messy, I've adapted the traditional dipping technique here. The tortillas are lightly fried in a skillet, filled with cheese, and slathered with sauce. Top with a fried egg for breakfast or serve as a light lunch or supper.

    SAUCE

    • 2

      cans (15 ounces each) black beans, opened but not drained

    • ½

      small onion, chopped

    • 2

      cloves garlic, chopped

    • 1

      small chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, or more to taste

    • 1

      teaspoon dried oregano

    • 1

      cup chicken or vegetable stock, or more if needed

    • 1

      tablespoon olive oil

    • Salt, to taste

  • 1. In a blender, combine the beans and the liquid in the cans, onion, garlic, chipotle pepper, oregano, and 1 cup stock. Puree until very smooth. Taste for seasoning and add another chipotle, if you like. Puree again.

  • 2. In large saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the sauce, bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring often to keep the beans from sticking to the pan, for 5 minutes. Add a generous pinch of salt; keep warm.

  • TORTILLAS

    • 12

      corn tortillas (6 inches)

    • ¼

      cup olive oil

    • 8

      ounces queso fresco, crumbled, or shredded mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese

    • 1

      ripe avocado, halved, pitted, skinned, and thinly sliced

    • 4

      radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced

    • Handful fresh cilantro leaves

    • Extra queso fresco, crumbled, or shredded mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese (for garnish)

    • ¼

      cup toasted pumpkin seeds or sesame seeds (for garnish)

  • 1. Brush 1 tortilla with olive oil. Place another on top, and brush with more oil. Continue to brush and stack the tortillas in two piles of 6 each. Press down on the top of each stack to coat both sides of the tortillas with oil.

  • 2. Set a small skillet over medium heat and heat it until it is hot. One at a time, cook the tortillas for about 30 seconds on a side, or until the edges are starting to crisp. Fold in half and set on a baking sheet. Tuck 1 heaping tablespoon of queso fresco (or mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese) into each folded tortilla.

  • 3. Reheat the sauce over low heat, stirring. If the beans have thickened, add 1/4 cup stock or water to get it to the consistency of thick cream.

  • 4. On each of 4 plates, ladle about 1/2 cup of the sauce. Set 3 filled tortillas on each plate. Ladle a generous amount of sauce on top. Garnish with avocado slices, radishes, cilantro leaves, queso fresco (or mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese), and toasted pumpkin or sesame seeds.

Sally Pasley Vargas

Serves 4

Simple Mexican comfort food, good just about any time of day, enfrijoladas are something like enchiladas. But where enchiladas are tortillas that are lightly fried, dipped in a chile sauce, filled, and rolled up, enfrijoladas are slightly different. The tortillas are lightly fried, dipped in a bean sauce, filled, and folded. For enfrijoladas, you use a slightly spicy sauce of pureed black beans and chipotle chiles in adobo. Chipotles, which are dried and smoked jalapenos softened in a tomato sauce, can be quite spicy, so add one to the dish at first to see how you like them. Instead of cheese, enfrijoladas could just as easily be the repository for leftovers such as shredded chicken, crumbled Mexican chorizo, or roasted vegetables. The dish is traditionally made with lightly fried corn tortillas, which are more flavorful and sturdier than wheat tortillas. Frying keeps them from disintegrating in the sauce. Since they're very messy, I've adapted the traditional dipping technique here. The tortillas are lightly fried in a skillet, filled with cheese, and slathered with sauce. Top with a fried egg for breakfast or serve as a light lunch or supper.

SAUCE

2cans (15 ounces each) black beans, opened but not drained
½ small onion, chopped
2cloves garlic, chopped
1 small chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, or more to taste
1teaspoon dried oregano
1cup chicken or vegetable stock, or more if needed
1tablespoon olive oil
Salt, to taste

1. In a blender, combine the beans and the liquid in the cans, onion, garlic, chipotle pepper, oregano, and 1 cup stock. Puree until very smooth. Taste for seasoning and add another chipotle, if you like. Puree again.

2. In large saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the sauce, bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring often to keep the beans from sticking to the pan, for 5 minutes. Add a generous pinch of salt; keep warm.

TORTILLAS

12 corn tortillas (6 inches)
¼cup olive oil
8ounces queso fresco, crumbled, or shredded mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese
1ripe avocado, halved, pitted, skinned, and thinly sliced
4 radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
Handful fresh cilantro leaves
Extra queso fresco, crumbled, or shredded mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese (for garnish)
¼cup toasted pumpkin seeds or sesame seeds (for garnish)

1. Brush 1 tortilla with olive oil. Place another on top, and brush with more oil. Continue to brush and stack the tortillas in two piles of 6 each. Press down on the top of each stack to coat both sides of the tortillas with oil.

2. Set a small skillet over medium heat and heat it until it is hot. One at a time, cook the tortillas for about 30 seconds on a side, or until the edges are starting to crisp. Fold in half and set on a baking sheet. Tuck 1 heaping tablespoon of queso fresco (or mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese) into each folded tortilla.

3. Reheat the sauce over low heat, stirring. If the beans have thickened, add 1/4 cup stock or water to get it to the consistency of thick cream.

4. On each of 4 plates, ladle about 1/2 cup of the sauce. Set 3 filled tortillas on each plate. Ladle a generous amount of sauce on top. Garnish with avocado slices, radishes, cilantro leaves, queso fresco (or mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese), and toasted pumpkin or sesame seeds.Sally Pasley Vargas