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!