Go Back
Print this page

2000s Recipes + Menus

Refried Black Beans (Pasta de Frijoles Negros)

Makes enough for 24 taquitos (about 6 cups)
  • Active time:20 min
  • Start to finish:3 hr
June 2009
Seasoned with chiles, onions, and anise-scented dried avocado leaves, refried black beans help hold together a taquito’s disparate elements—meat, cheese, cactus paddles, guacamole, sautéed jalapeños and onions—in a luscious amalgam.
  • 1 lb dried black beans (about 2 1/4 cups), picked over and rinsed
  • 1 large white onion, chopped, divided
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled, divided
  • 1/4 oz dried Mexican avocado leaves (about 10 large)
  • 10 dried chiles de árbol, wiped clean and stemmed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Put beans in a large heavy saucepan with enough water to cover by 3 inches. Bring to a boil and boil 2 minutes, then remove from heat and let stand, covered, 1 hour.
  • Drain beans and rinse, then return to saucepan with cold water to cover by 1 inch. Add two thirds of onion, 2 garlic cloves, and 1 tsp salt and simmer, covered, until beans are tender, 1 to 1 1/4 hours.
  • Meanwhile, holding 1 avocado leaf at a time with tongs, char edges over a flame (see cooks’ note, below), then crumble and transfer to a blender.
  • Heat a comal or a dry small heavy skillet (preferably cast-iron; not nonstick) over medium heat until hot. Add chiles and cook, tossing with tongs, until blackened in spots, about 30 seconds. Add to blender with avocado leaves.
  • Reserve 2 cups liquid and drain beans. Add beans with liquid to blender with chiles in 2 batches, puréeing until smooth.
  • Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Cook remaining onion and 4 garlic cloves until golden, 7 to 8 minutes. Remove onion and garlic with a slotted spoon and discard, reserving oil in skillet. Carefully add bean purée (it will spatter) to skillet and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until very thick, 7 to 8 minutes. Season with salt.
Cooks’ notes:
  • If avocado leaves come in pieces or crumbled, toast them on a comal or in a dry heavy skillet instead of over a flame.
  • Refried beans can be made 3 days ahead and chilled.