This traditional Mexican breakfast is one of my go-to recipes. Enfrijolada basically means “in bean sauce,” and it’s comprised of a couple of corn tortillas smothered in a chipotle black bean sauce topped with avocado, tomato, and pine nuts or pepitas. It’s full of flavor and soul-satisfying. Absolutely one of my favorite recipes. If you have the opportunity, make your own corn tortillas to go with it to take it to the next level.
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1-2 chipotles in adobo, diced
1 tbsp. of olive oil or mojo de ajo (even better!)
Option: 2 avocado leaves
2 cups of cooked black beans with liquid (about 1 can if you are using canned beans)
1/3 tsp. of salt
2 tsp. of fresh oregano leaves
1 avocado, diced
1 small firm tomato, diced
2-3 tbsp. of toasted pine nuts or pepitas
4 thick corn tortillas or four 1 1/2 inch diameter balls of masa dough
Dice the onion, mince the garlic, and dice the chipotle. In a small pan or wok, saute the onion in the oil (or mojo de ajo) over a medium-high heat until it starts to brown (about 5-6 minutes). Reduce the heat to medium. Add the garlic and saute 2 more minutes. Option: Spread the onion and garlic to the side, making an open circle in the middle of the pan. Add the two avocado leaves and toast them for about 15 seconds. You’ll add the beans in next and the avocado leaves should simmer with the beans. Make sure to remove these before you smash the beans. Add the beans and liquid, the chipotle, and the remainder of the ingredients for the sauce. Turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer this for 5-10 minutes. Smash the beans into a rough sauce (don’t worry about getting it smooth, there will be a lot of whole beans left in the sauce).
“Traditionally, this bean sauce is smooth, but I much prefer it with some texture to it, which is why I smash the beans. If your sauce cooks down so much that you don’t have much liquid in the pan, it’s ok to add in 1/4 cup of water to reconstitute it so you actually have sauce instead of bean paste.”
Dice the avocado and tomato.
“I like to use a semi-firm avocado and a very firm tomato because the texture makes a nice contrast to the softness of the tortillas and bean sauce.”
Spread some of the bean sauce at the bottom of each plate. Lay a tortilla down. Spread more sauce over the tortillas. Lay another set of tortillas on top of this. Cover with the rest of the sauce. Top with avocado, tomato, and pine nuts or pepitas.
“Serve these right away. They don’t keep well once assembled.”
Make Your Own Tortillas Option!
If you are making your own tortillas, bring an iron skillet to a medium heat. Press your masa out with a tortilla press (make sure to cover both inner sides of the press with plastic wrap). Gently lift each tortilla and transfer it to the skillet. The first side of each tortilla needs to toast about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes before flipping them. The other side usually only needs about 1 1/2 minutes to toast.
Making It Simple
Just add all the ingredients for the sauce to the pan at once and simmer it over a medium heat for about 10 minutes before smashing the beans. You may need to add in 1/4 cup of water at the end of the simmering process.
You can saute the onion in a dry pan just the same way you would as if you were using oil. Omit the avocado and nuts and consider adding a bit of diced jicama or seared squash to add back some of the complexity of the dish lost by ditching the avocado and nuts.
Small Pan or Wok
Potato Smasher to smash the beans
Iron Skillet, Tortilla Press, and Plastic Wrap if you are making your own tortillas