Enfrijoladas


Refried beans thinned out with stock and spiced up with garlic and smoky chipotle peppers make a sauce for corn tortillas in this excellent Mexican breakfast / dinner / anytime dish. In this version (there are many variations) it’s similar to enchiladas but without any kind of substantial filling for the tortillas. Instead they’re dredged through the bean mixture and folded up, so that when you cut through it you get layers of soft, juicy tortilla, kind of like a savoury stack of Mexican pancakes. This may well be my new favourite thing to do with refried beans.

Ingredients (two portions)

400g can of refried beans
around 300ml vegetable stock
2 pickled chipotle peppers, chopped
a handful of chopped coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
a large pinch of dried epazote leaves
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 red pepper
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp tomato puree
4 corn tortillas
100g finely grated manchego cheese

Plus, to serve:

50g cherry tomatoes
4 spring onions
a bit more chopped coriander
juice of half a lemon
a pinch of salt
50g sour cream

I suggest using canned refried beans for this, as they tend to be very soft and smooth. If you’re making your own (here’s a recipe) then be sure to blitz them in a blender rather than just mash them up.

Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan and cook the onions and garlic until soft. Cut the red pepper into quarters, flatten it out and stick it under a hot grill or directly on top of a gas burner until the skin blackens. Peel off the charred skin but don’t wash it. Cut into small chunks and add to the onions and garlic, along with the ground cumin.

Add the refried beans, coriander and tomato puree, warm through, then stir in enough stock to give it a thick soupy consistency (it shouldn’t be too runny). Add the chipotle peppers and epazote leaves. If you can’t find either of those ingredients, use any other kind of mild chilli pepper plus a pinch of smoked paprika instead of the chipotles. The epazote you can just leave out – there’s no suitable substitute, but omitting it won’t ruin the dish.

To turn this panful of fragrant spicy gloop into enfrijoladas, place a tortilla over the surface and press it down gently. Lift it up and flip it over, taking care not to break it if possible – some of the bean mix will adhere to the surface. Add a pinch of grated cheese to the top , fold it in half, then in half again, so you have a little triangle shape, and place it in a baking dish. Repeat for the remaining tortillas and arrange them in the dish so they overlap slightly.

Pour the excess bean sauce on top, scatter over the rest of the cheese, and bake in a very hot oven until the cheese melts.

While that’s cooking, finely chop the tomatoes and spring onions, and mix together with coriander and lemon juice to make a simple pico de gallo salsa. To serve, drizzle some sour cream over the hot enfrijoladas and scatter the salsa on top.

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