Cooking the comfort food that my mom prepares gets me closer to her even if it is just in my mind, like these Enfrijoladas, another dish that is an excellent example of the creativity of our culture: beans, corn tortillas, fresh cheese and some peppers. These Enfrijoladas are filled with shredded cooked chicken but sometimes are filled with chorizo or just a couple of spoons of crumbled fresh cheese.
Black beans or pinto beans? Well, it all depends of what you have at hand. Even thought black beans are typical for this type of dish, the kind of bean used varies from region to region throughout the country. I have even cooked them with red Salvadoran beans and had great results with them.
Each cook has a version of this recipe, like the ones that add chicken broth to the beans to make the puree, or others use a cooked tomato sauce to mix with the puree. I add árbol peppers — to give a little spiciness to the sauce — and avocado leaves, which are a very common addition to the sauce in southern México. I’ve also tried them with a hint of anise spice like some cooks do in the State of Veracruz.
This is a basic recipe that you could adjust to suit your own taste. If you want to make this satisfying meal vegetarian, then a filling of sauté spinach or mushroom could be used.
The avocado leaves give a slight anise aroma to the beans, soups, stew and baked meats. It is used in the states of Veracruz, Oaxaca and Central Mexico. You can find dried avocado leaves at Hispanic stores and, if you find fresh ones, just make sure they are free of pesticides.
Please, read the cooking notes; you will be glad you did.
Ingredients for 6 servings:
- 2 1/2 cups of cooked pinto or black beans with their broth
- 2 cups of cooked shredded chicken or 3 cooked chorizos
- 2 avocado leaves slightly toasted in a skillet or comal (optional)
- 2 árbol peppers slightly toasted in a skillet or comal (optional)
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 12 corn tortillas
- 1/4 cup of vegetable oil for frying.
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 cup of Mexican cream
- 1/2 cup of crumble Mexican fresh cheese or farmer cheese ( About 3 oz.)
- 1 onion finely chopped
Optional Garnish: Chopped Cilantro
1. In a Blender place the avocado leaves and peppers with the cooked beans their broth. Blend until smooth, if it is too thick add water or chicken broth until you have the consistency of a sauce.
2. Heat the 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet and add the bean puree; simmer for about 3 minutes and season with salt if needed. Set aside and keep warm.
3. Heat the rest of the oil in a skillet and fry briefly each tortilla, one by one on both sides. Drain and place in a warm plate. (This step is done quickly). Cover with an aluminum foil if you wish to do so.
4. Now you have two options here to assembly the Enfrijoladas:
Option one: You can immerse each tortillas in the bean puree (like in the picture above); transfer to a plate and spread some of the chicken or chorizo and fold in half. Overlap each tortilla, spoon some cream, sprinkle crumble cheese and garnish with chopped onion and cilantro.
Option two: Spread a thin coat of the bean puree across the center of each tortilla and add the filling of your choice; fold the tortilla in half and place 2 in each plate; pour some of the bean puree over the tortillas. Garnish a spoon of cream, some sprinkles of cheese, chopped onion and cilantro. Serve Immediately.
NOTES: The main ingredients of this dish — as bean puree, chopped onion, cooked chicken or cooked chorizo — could be prepared ahead of time and kept refrigerated. When ready to assembly just warm up the bean puree and your filling of choice.
Remember to avoid broken tortillas that are falling apart when making Enfrijoladas or enchiladas and use thicker tortillas or a day old tortillas if you bought them fresh made. If your tortillas are store bought, leave them outside the package overnight over your kitchen counter wrapped with a kitchen towel. Do not leave them to long or they will dry.
I am happy that you stopped by and would love to hear your questions and comments.