Enfrijoladas – Tortillas in Bean Sauce

An enchilada is a tortilla dunked in chile sauce; an enmolada is a tortilla dunked in mole sauce; it follows then that an enfrijolada is, of course, a tortilla dunked in frijol (bean) sauce. As with enchiladas and enmoladas, there are many versions of enfrijoladas: with added chorizo or chicken as filling, with an elaborate list of ingredients for the sauce, and so on.  My recipe is based on the traditional enfrijolada from El Estado de México (Mexico State; yes, México is the name of the capital city, a Mexican State, and the country itself!)  This preparation has no filling other than the bean sauce, and it is folded, not rolled; this is a great choice for a hearty breakfast or brunch.

Tortillas in Bean Sauce – Enfrijoladas

Printable recipe: Enfrijoladas

Printable recipes: Beans from the pot (Frijoles de la olla), Pickled Jalapeño Peppers (en Escabeche)

Ingredients (for four portions)

½ onion; peeled, one quarter coarsely sliced, the other thinly sliced
1 cup cooked beans, preferably de la olla (printable recipe above, or canned)
1 cup broth from the beans (if using liquid from the can, add water as needed)
12 corn tortillas
2 tbsp vegetable oil, plus more for frying the tortillas
1 cup unripen cheese, such as panela, añejo, or light Feta; crumbled
Pickled jalapeño peppers (en escabeche); sliced (printable recipe above, or canned)
Mexican cream (or sour cream diluted with a little milk), optional

Warm up two tablespoons of oil in a pan over medium heat; add coarsely sliced onions and sauté until translucent.  Continue cooking until lightly caramelized (photo below, left); remove from the pan and reserve, and remove pan with the oil from the heat, and reserve.  Process beans and broth in the blender until very smooth, then add the caramelized onions (photo below, right):

Process for another ten to twenty seconds, to blend the onions into the sauce.  Return the reserved pan with oil to the stove, and warm it up again over medium heat.  Pour bean sauce in the pan (photo below, left); stir and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly to avoid sauce sticking to the bottom of the pan.  The sauce should have the consistency of pasta sauce (photo below, right):

Turn off the heat, but keep pan on the hot burner, covered.  In a frying pan, pour just enough oil to cover the bottom; warm up over medium heat.  One at a time, warm up the tortillas by placing them in the oil for about ten seconds, then flipping to warm up the other side for another ten seconds (photo below, left); transfer to a plate and tent with foil.  Usually I view this step as optional, and I often skip it, opting to warm up the tortillas on a dry grill or the microwave oven, but in this case, I believe “searing” the tortillas will ensure they do not break or get too soggy in the thick bean sauce.  Again, one at a time, dip tortillas in the reserved bean sauce by placing them flat over the sauce (photo below, right):

Flip the tortilla, placing it again flat over the sauce, to coat the other side, then fold in half (photo below, left); fold it in half again, into a quarter of a circle (photo below, right):

Remove from the sauce, repeat with more tortillas, arranging three per serving plate.  Pour more bean sauce to cover, and top with cheese, cream (if using), and thinly sliced onions.  Finish with a few slices of pickled jalapeño peppers:

009 enfrijoladas

I thought of this recipe as the perfect way to feature the flavour of a good batch of frijoles de la olla (beans from the pot, see my previous post.)  It is a great vegetarian dish and, if omitting cream and cheese, it will not be churlish to the vegan palate, remaining nutritious from the corn/bean protein combo.  In an emergency, they may be prepared from staples in the Mexican kitchen in no time, but still look special enough to be featured on the menu for an animated brunch with family or friends, for example, for this last long weekend of the summer in Canada and the USA.

Happy Labour Day Weekend!

I am joining Fiesta Friday #291 with Angie @ Fiesta Friday, this week with Diann @ Of Goats and Greens and Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook.

I am bringing my recipe to What’s for Dinner? Sunday Link-Up #216 with Helen @ The Lazy Gastronome.

7 thoughts on “Enfrijoladas – Tortillas in Bean Sauce

  1. Irene!! You always make me hungry (and I’m partial to Mexican cuisine)! Thanks for sharing at the What’s for Dinner party. Have a lovely week and hope to see you back next week!


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