Say it with me now: en-FREE-hoe-lah-dahs.
I’m not gonna lie, this recipe has been on my list for a while and I really dragged my feet to make it. Then I really dragged my feet even more to post it. Not because these aren’t delicious – nothing could be farther from the truth. But I’m into simple and easy recipes and this is neither of those things.
The first time I tried to make these, I failed. Miserably. The bean sauce was too thick, causing half of the tortillas to tear. The few that survived long enough to make it to the pan tore in half when I folded them because I hadn’t let them soak long enough, and so I stood in my kitchen doing everything in my power not to take a pan of bean/tortilla/cheese mess and throw it into the kitchen wall. And then we went and got In-N-Out for dinner.
This time, I was successful.
After I ruined about half of the tortillas I bought.
I just feel like I have to warn you – if you are a kitchen clutz like me, this recipe is gonna be a struggle, but it CAN be done. For the safety of your kitchen wall, you might want to have extra ingredients on hand…and a back-up dinner plan.
Okay, let’s do this:
First – you make some frijoles de la olla. (that just means “beans from a pot”)
(If you don’t want to go through the trouble of using dried beans, you could also use canned pinto beans and add in some sauteed onion and garlic. Or…skip this step altogether and just use canned refried beans.)
Then you mash up those beans, onion and garlic with some oil and butter. Refried beans = yummy.
Okay, here’s where things get tricky. Take your refried beans and blend them up with a little tomato paste and lots of bean stock (leftover water from boiling the beans), vegetable stock and/or water. You’re trying to make a very thin bean sauce to dip your tortillas into. Too heavy = tortillas will tear from the weight of the sauce when you lift them out.
You might be tempted to just barely dunk your tortillas in the sauce, but don’t do that. They need to get fully covered and be in there for a few seconds, otherwise they won’t be pliable and won’t fold over nicely when you try to make your little quesadillas in the baking dish.
A little hint – if one or two of your tortillas tear when you fold them in half – DON’T FREAK OUT. Bake the dish anyway – it’ll still taste fine.
You did it! Now all that’s left is baking these until the cheese has melted and becomes all bubbly. Take a deep breath and get ready to enjoy some great Mexican comfort food.
1/2 pound dried pinto beans
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup oil
Salt & Pepper
Soak the beans for 8 hours or overnight. Drain, and place in a large pot with the onion and bay leaf. Fill the pot with water until there is about an inch of water over the beans. Simmer for about an hour, or until the beans are tender. Drain, saving the bean liquid and discarding the bay leaf. Place the beans back into the pot with the onions, garlic, butter and olive oil. With the heat on medium-low, mash the beans in the pot with the other ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste.
If you simply want refried beans, stop here!
For the Enfrijoladas:
1 recipe refried beans
1 cup vegetable stock
1 cup bean stock (reserved liquid from cooking the beans)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
6 small corn tortillas
2-3 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Heat up the refried beans in a large pan. Add in the vegetable stock, bean stock and tomato paste and blend until smooth. You want the sauce to be very thin, so add more liquid if necessary. If the sauce is too thick it will weigh down the tortillas and tear them. Using tongs, take a tortilla and dip in the sauce. This is a bit of an art – you want them to soak through enough that they are pliable and won’t tear, but soak them for too long and they’ll come apart when you lift them out.
Lay the tortilla dipped in bean sauce flat in a small baking dish. Sprinkle some cheese on one side of the tortilla, and then fold it in half like a quesadilla. Repeat this with each tortilla until the baking dish is full. Pour the remainder of the bean sauce into the pan and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees F for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.