Refried Black Bean Sandwiches
Refried Beans In All Their Glory
As long as I can remember, I've been aware of the refried bean burrito. Refried beans are actually rather healthy, as you don't need a great deal of oil to fry them. In fact, mashing the beans and mixing in sour cream will work just as well. To keep them from sticking, just stir them as you're refrying and mix in a bit of water from time to time.
So, how many times can you refry beans? Actually, the english word for frijoles refritos, is a mistranslation. The more correct translation would be very- or well-fried beans. I'm sure there's been many a joke made about the thought of frying beans again and again ad infinitum.
Refried beans are standard fare in the Mexican diet. Many of the common foods such as corn tortillas, salsa, pico, beans, red rice and more, make for a healthy diet. It's when the Mexican diet collided with the European or North American diet that the healthier qualities of the Hispanic traditional diet began to go by the wayside.
Most commonly, pinto beans are the legume used in refried beans. As this recipe demonstrates, other beans can be refried and/or mashed as well. Consider hummus also. The garbanzo bean is cooked then mashed with other ingredients to make this famous dip which usually accompanies pita bread wedges.
On the subject of dips, frijoles refritos, can be used for a dip. Up the game by adding stronger spices like chili powder and cumin along with a bit of lemon. Increase the onion and garlic used. Roasted peppers are a great addition as well. Serve this with tortilla chips.
The best characteristic of refried beans is that they can be spread on bread, pita, tortillas or even lettuce leaves. Dress it up by sprinkling cheese on top while it's still hot. I like diced fresh onion in my refried beans.
Leftover refried beans are great over a cheese omelette in the morning. I add water to make it really soupy, then cook it down again so the flavors get stronger. Once it's cooked down to a thick gravy consistency, it's perfect to ladle over an omelet or scrambled eggs.
If you enjoyed this recipe, you'll enjoy my Southwestern Soft Taco recipe.
- 3 tbs Olive Oil
- 1 cup Onion, Diced
- 1/2 cup Bell Pepper, Diced
- 2 tbs Jalapeno, Diced (remove seeds)
- 1 cup Tomato, Diced
- 1 cup Black Beans, Cooked
- Spinach Leaves, Whole (as needed in lieu of lettuce)
- 1 tbs Cilantro, Chopped
- Cheese, Grated (to sprinkle over beans)
- 4 Bolillo Roles
- 3 cloves Garlic, Diced
- 1 can Sweet Corn, Drained
- 1/2 cup Sour Cream, I use yogurt instead.
- Heat olive oil.
- Sautée onion, garlic, bell pepper and jalapeño.
- Once onion mixture softens, add tomato. Continue to brown, stirring often.
- Once tomato starts to break down, ad beans.
- Mash beans then incorporate them in with the tomato mixture.
- Lower heat.
- Slice bolillo buns width-wise, then toast on hot griddle. You can butter the halves first if you like.
- Once toasted, spread sour cream or Greek yogurt on bottom bun halves (top bun halves too, if desired).
- Top the bottom of the buns with spinach leaves and cilantro
- Spread the bean mixture over the four upper bun halves. Sprinkle with grated cheese as desired.
- On the lower bun halves, top with the remaining ingredients.
- Mate the two halves together for each sandwich.
- Serve and enjoy.
How to Make Refried Beans
The recipe for the video above is at Tracy Cooks.
What's a Bolillo?
The bolillo, aka: pan francés, is a bread found in Mexico. There's a picture of it in the image above. The distinctive shape belies the fact that it's really close kin to the French baguette. When it was first brought to Mexico in the 1860s, it quickly became popular.
Today, you can find the bolillo masquerading by many names throughout Mexico. If you want to make your own bolillo rolls, check out the YouTube video below. I enjoy making different types of bread, when I have time.
In my younger years, when I lived in California, my friends and I would visit Tijuana and other cities further south of the border. I always enjoyed the Tortas sold at the various food stands. These were made on bolillos also and were always so good. This YouTube video shows just one of the many ways to make tortas.
The tortas I used to get down south of the border were packed with chicken, sauteed onion and bell pepper, tomatoes and lettuce. The bread was always as good as the ingredients themselves and everything was prepared fresh. I suspect the buns were made that same day.
If you're new to Mexican food and fare from south of the border, then begin your own tour of foods that have a spicy flare. You might even start a collection of recipes to try out on your family or for yourself. Most of all, make all your eats an experience to be savored.
Refried Black Bean Sandwiches
© 2015 Tanya Jones