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Latin American Cuisine: Enfrijoladas (Corn Tortillas in Black Bean Sauce)


Smothered.[Photograph: María del Mar Sacasa]

Enfrijoladas are a Mexican dish made of corn tortillas dipped in a rich and velvety black bean sauce. Simple but intensely flavorful and filling, the beans are fortified with dried (and reconstituted) chiles and aromatics. The preparation is as follows: Corn tortillas are quickly crisped (this particular recipe streamlines the process by brushing them with vegetable oil and baking until golden for about six minutes, rather than toasting them, one by one, in a skillet) to ensure they will hold up when they're dipped in a bowl of quicksand-like puréed beans. Skip this step and expect a soggy, blown-out, unappealing mess that will taunt you and probably insult you by calling you gringo. The tortillas can at this stage be folded and arranged in a baking dish or filled, as in this recipe with a mixture of cheese and onions, then blanketed with more bean sauce. A few minutes in the oven warm the enfrijoladas through, and right before serving, they are garnished with more cheese and onions and optional cilantro.

I've had enfrijoladas with pork and also with a huevo estrellado (fried egg)—both accompaniments I highly recommend—but this is a pared down option that can serve as a foundation for other additions, traditional or not.

These enfrijoladas take a shortcut with the use of canned refried black beans. Unless you're living with your Latin-import mamá or abuelita, you probably don't have made-from-scratch frijoles stored in a Tupperware in your fridge, so the canned version are a good alternative for this quick meal. If you do have a fresh pot of beans, by all means, fry them and use them in this recipe.

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About the author: María del Mar Sacasa is a recipe developer, food stylist, and author of the food blogs High Heels & Frijoles and Cookin' and Shootin'.
Behind her girly façade lurks a truck driver's appetite. Read about her cravings and suffer through her rants on Twitterand see her constant stream of food images on Instagram: mdmsacasa

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