Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Enfrijoladas De Pollo

For some reason enfrijoladas (similar to an enchilada but using a sauce made of beans rather than a salsa) are far classier than you would initially think something so simple should be. Perhaps it the silkiness of the bean sauce or perhaps is the possibilities they offer for dainty presentation - with folded triangles of corn tortilla, resembling crepes, dressed in a light creamy sauce.

They are, despite how fussy or rustic a presentation you prefer, very satisfying.

I enjoy them in rolls, like an enchilada, stuffed with a little chicken and dressed with some Mexican chorizo, a little crema and some queso fresco.

The Bean Sauce
Black beans make the most impressive looking enfrijoladas but any beans can be used, and while I used beans I cooked myself, there is nothing wrong with substituting tinned beans.

The beans need to be blitzed in the blender with enough stock (and some onion and garlic if desired) to make a light sauce. Consistency is critical here, you should be aiming for something close to, or just slightly thicker than, a coating consistency. The sauce thickens quite a bit as it cools. Softening the tortillas in the sauce is a pain if the sauce is too viscous, and the dish is ruined if the sauce is think and lumpy.

There is a good recipe here from Rick Bayless, and while I'm sure cooking some of the chorizo with the beans, as he does, makes for an even more delicious sauce, it's not possible if you are using already cooked beans - as I normally am.

Once the beans have been blitzed with the stock the sauce is strained into a saucepan to heat through.
At this point you will probably find yourself adding liquid to the beans to keep the correct consistency as it will thicken very fast, especially in a wide shallow pan. When it's hot each tortilla is dipped in the liquid to make it pliable before being rolled around a couple of teaspoons worth of shredded chicken and plated. The tortillas have to be softened first. You can either steam them wrapped in a towel or, as I do, microwave them for 30 seconds or so while in a tortilla warmer.

Mexican chorizo is very different to the Spanish version, it is a fresh sausage and is not cured so it requires cooking before use. It's highly spiced, but not particularly hot, and normally sold in sausage-like plastic casings, though it can also be purchased loose resembling a very fine mince.

When cooked it can be used in a number of dishes; papas con chorizo or huevos con chorizo and can also be sprinkled over things like enchiladas or in this case our enfrijoladas.

Assembling Everything
After the tortillas have been softened in the sauce they are rolled around a small amount of shredded chicken, Three or four of these cigars are placed on a plate and covered with the sauce then dressed with the chorizo, crumbled queso fresco and a lick of crema.

You could also do something similar with triangles of tortilla without filling, or for something more rustic just the filled tortillas folded over in half and laid upon each other,

It's hard to find fault with the dish, it's simple, quick to prepare provided everything is to hand, a sauce of black beans looks very striking and if you have been careful to make a smooth creamy sauce it's quite elegant. It makes a perfect weekend breakfast or a quick lunch.

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