Sunday, February 8, 2009


I discovered these luscious things in Mexico City, and followed them up for days in Oaxaca and then later in my kitchen. Corn tortillas are dipped in hot oil, then dipped in a black bean puree, and folded into quarters, garnished with cotija cheese. They're served on the side of meats, or with your morning eggs. Mexican food-the more I eat it the more I want.

Entomatados are corn tortillas dipped, again in hot oil, and then in a delicate tomato sauce. When was the last time you saw those on your local corner menu? The next discovery I made was huevos divorciados, two fried eggs, one slathered with red salsa, the other with green salsa. It was witty and delicious and I felt so ignorant for never having heard of such a thing.

In the grand scheme of peasant food, it takes time. After a breakfast of enfrijoladas, even just for one, I seem to have created more of a mess than having attempted cassoulet. For a detailed version, check out Diana Kennedy's books. In the meantime, boil a pound of black beans with half a sliced onion and a head of garlic (trimmed of the bottom half inch, allowing the garlic to infuse the boiling beans). When the beans are tender, add a tablespoon of salt. Be fearless!
Pan sear five cloves of garlic. Strip off the skin and drop them in a blender. Add a tablespoon of lard to the skillet, quickly brown half an onion, and two small dried red chiles (guajillos are what you're looking for). Add to the blender. Place three cups of beans in the blender, and a little water if necessary. Push frappee.

Back to the skillet. Add another tablespoon of fat (lard is the top choice here) pour the puree in and reduce until it is a less watery consistency.

Have you been heating the oil?! On high. As Marcella Hazan says, it must be hot enough to "surprise" the food. I always tear a tiny bit of corn tortilla off, to make sure it's sizzling just right. When the oil's ready dip the corn tortilla quickly in, turning it over to ensure equal searing opportunity. Then dip in the puree (I like using another set of tongs, to make sure it doesn't splatter when I add another corn tortilla), and immerse for the preferred layer of bean puree. Fold onto a warm plate. Garnish with a quick grating of cotija cheese.

I didn't mention the fried egg! For that, you're on your own.

Grab a fork, sit down and savor, and be ready to get up and fry a couple more. They're that delicious.


  1. These sound delicious, especially with the lard. I keep eying those giant tubs of lard that they sell at Super King Market.

    Wish I could see a picture of yours.

  2. This sounds really good, the aioli too. Five cloves of garlic!! Heaven.

  3. Thanks for the comments, ladies! I feel welcomed into the blogging universe--

  4. The photo is really great. (Now I'll read the entry!)

  5. Love the picture of you. But I'm wondering why all the skinny people (you and Susan) have the food blogs?

  6. Skinny? Skinny?! I feel out of words, grasping, grasping for---an excuse to bake and devour a pan of brownies. Hmmm. Sounds like a subject for a future posting.

  7. Ok, so how fab do these look! Yum, delish!! Still in all, with the economy tanking, might not have enough time to cook them, so I await that invite to scarf some of yours!

  8. I've been lucky enough to enjoy this heavenly delicacy with the chef!

  9. Maga says... Jesus, don't you have anything else to do?...;)