Monthly Archives: January 2011

Recipe: Enfrijoladas

Efrijoladas are like reverse black bean tacos. Instead of tortillas on the outside with beans and toppings on the inside, a black bean puree coats tortillas and toppings are sprinkled over the top.

I first made it because I was trying to use some epazote from the farmers market, and enfrijoladas came up in an internet search (put a pinch in with the black beans while they’re cooking). We’ve made it a few times because it’s easy (even for a weeknight, with caveat*), vegetarian, and inexpensive. 

*Obviously cooking dried beans on a weeknight stinks. I mean that it’s only great for weeknights if you have cooked black beans on hand. For me that means they’re pre-cooked over the weekend, or defrosted from the freezer.

The epazote is a funny herb. We bought it fresh and dried it, and it has such a strange smell… very petroleum-based, kind of like the waiting room in a tire store. That doesn’t sound very appealing, and I can’t even vouch that it alters the flavor (or gassiness) of the beans, but we like interesting smells around here, so that’s enough for us. (S will stick his nose in anything and take a big sniff, I think it’s an occupational hazard.)


Place a platter in the oven to warm (turn on the lowest setting if your pilot isn’t hot enough). Prepare garnishes: chop something oniony (scallions or red onion) and something herby (cilantro or parsely), crumble some mild cheese like queso, thin out some sour cream with water or milk (or use crema). Apparently boiled eggs are good garnishes, too, if you’re into that sort of thing.

In a blender, puree 2 cups of cooked black beans in their cooking juices. Heat a couple tablespoons of oil in a skillet, then add the bean puree and a pinch of cayenne. Simmer until it starts to thicken (5 mins). Keep warm on the lowest heat setting.

Heat 1/2″ veggie oil in another skillet until hot (not at all smoking, but hot enough for a tortilla to sizzle gently upon contact). Using tongs, dip a tortilla in the oil and fry for 10 seconds, then flipping once for another 10 seconds. Alternatively, I’ve seen instructions to steam the tortillas wrapped in towels. I think the point is that the tortillas need to be warm so that they are pliable for the next step.

Coat the tortilla in the bean puree, then fold onto the warmed platter.

Repeat with as many tortillas as you’d like (I think 2 cups of beans makes about 12).

Sprinkle/drizzle toppings including hot sauce or salsa or whatever else you have on hand over the platter (I got a little carried away in the picture).

It will get cold in a nanosecond, so eat quickly!

If there’s any bean puree leftover, I turn it into a soup. Saute onions and garlic, then add carrot/tomatoes/celery/potatoes/whatever and bean puree. Thin out with water to your liking and enjoy!



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Notre Ardoise: January 22, 2011

Tarte flambee is an Alsatian specialty, and despite its name, nothing is lit on fire. It’s just a thin-crust pizza that we’re topping with creme fraiche, onions, and bacon.

The spinach dip used up a lot of odds and ends in the fridge (cilantro, chipotle, sour cream).

Acorn squash was bumped from last week. S ended up working really late last week, so I had a cheese-fest instead of our scheduled menu.

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Iron cheffing in Austin

In December I was alone at my brother’s house while he was at work. After waking up, the second thing I did (after saying good morning to Buck the dog and Beans the cat) was look through his kitchen cupboards. Whipping up something tasty out of whatever is on hand is really fun for me, and working out of someone else’s kitchen doubles the excitement.

With a bag of dried kidney beans, I decided to make a kidney bean curry and kidney bean croquettes. The kidney bean curry didn’t photograph quite as good as Buck, but I wanted to share it anyway!

Kidney Bean Curry

Cook 1 bag of dried kidney beans . First cover with water, bring to a boil, and let soak for an hour. Drain, fill again with water, and simmer gently for another hour or two.

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Cook a chopped onion in veggie oil over medium-low until very dark brown. This will take about 1/2 an hour. Stir constantly, and turn down the heat if the onions brown too quickly.

Next, add spices. I found curry powder, ground cumin, paprika, turmeric, and cayenne. Use a couple palm-fulls of spices, keeping heavy on the cumin and curry powder. Fry with the onions for a minute, then add a can of diced tomatoes. Cook over medium heat, mashing the tomatoes with a wooden spoon, until the onions and tomatoes dissolve together into a sauce. Add some water along the way to keep it at a medium-thick consistency.

When kidney beans are cooked, drain, then add to the sauce. I also added some frozen peas and carrots. Mix to combine and heat through. It can be enjoyed right away, or simmer covered on low for 1/2 an hour or more. Flavors will get better the longer it sits.

I like to serve over rice, but Buck prefers his Beans in a box.


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Notre Ardoise: January 15, 2011

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Recipe: bulgur, lentil, walnut salad

We had this bulgur salad tonight with a small steak. It’s a tabbouleh, heavy on the parsley, but with better texture than a couscous version.

Bulgur, lentil, and walnut salad
Cook lentils:
Cover 1/2 c French green lentils (I used some unlabeled whole Indian dal) with water, add a bay leaf and some salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer, and cook until lentils are tender.

Cook bulgur:
Cover 3/4 c bulgur with water, bring to boil, lower heat, cover and simmer until bulgur is cooked.

Whisk together dressing:
5 scallions, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
zest of 1 lemon
6 tb lemon juice
1/4 c walnut oil
1/4 c olive oil
1 ts paprika

Add lentils, bulgur, and a can of chickpeas to the dressing. Chop 2 c parsley and mix in salad with 2 tb dried mint. Add salt and pepper to taste.


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Notre Ardoise: January 8, 2011

I normally crop the ardoise picture, but decided to leave this week. Here you can see the thoughtful chalkholder from Ellen, my beautiful apron from Lily & Peter, and an in-progress Scrabble game from last year on top of the fridge (from before my new deluxe Scrabble board this Christmas!).


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New Years Day

On New Years Day this year I wasn’t really in the mood for the usual black-eyed peas, collard greens, and cornbread. I cooked up the beans anyway, so that we could each have a spoonful for good luck in the new year.

As we were eating the full meal on Sunday, I realized that I need a fool-proof recipe for black-eyed peas. Simmering them with onion, garlic, peppercorn, and some sort of pork isn’t cutting it. Anyone have a good recipe?

My recipe for collard greens, on the other hand, is pretty good. This comes from a Wegmans magazine before they turned semi-homemade.

Collard Greens
16 oz package chopped collard greens
1 tb vegetable oil
1 c chopped onions
1 c chicken broth (or whatever)
1 minced jalapeno
2 tb sugar
2 tb cider vinegar
pinch of red pepper flakes

Blanch collard greens in boiling water for 2 minutes in a large pot of boiling salted water. Shock and let drain.

Heat oil in a saute pan and cook onions until translucent.

Add broth and bring to a boil. Add jalapeno and greens. Simmer, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes.

Stir together sugar and vinegar until dissolved. Stir into greens along with red pepper flakes.


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