Average: 5 (1 vote)
Active time
2 hours + overnight
12 servings

2 cups dried black beans, soaked overnight and drained

½ head garlic

1 small onion

½ small bunch of cilantro

6 cups cold water, plus more as needed

Sea salt

12 soft white corn tortillas (preferably whole grain)

Olive oil or canola oil, for frying

1 pound queso blanco or other white cheese such as Monterey Jack, shredded

  1. Rinse the beans and transfer to large saucepan with the garlic, onions, three sprigs of cilantro, and water. Bring to a boil, partially cover, and simmer until the beans are very tender, about 1 hour. If the beans begin to dry out before they are cooked, add more hot water as needed until the beans are fully cooked. At the end of cooking time, there should be a cup or so of bean liquid in the pan.
  2. Remove the head of garlic, squeeze the soft cloves out into the pot with the beans and discard the garlic peels.
  3. Set the beans and their cooking liquid aside to cool, and then pass the beans and enough of their liquid for a creamy consistency along with the cooked garlic and onion through a food mill. The puree should have the consistency of guacamole. Add salt to taste.
  4. When you are ready to serve the tortillas, pour enough oil to cover the tortillas into a large frying pan and heat over high heat.
  5. When the oil is sizzling hot, slip in one or two tortillas, or as many as will comfortable fit without crowding and fry until crisp, about 3 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels.
  6. When the tortillas are cool enough to handle, spoon a dollop of the warm bean puree on each tortilla, and top with a sprig of cilantro and the shredded cheese. Serve hot.

Recipe Julia Della Croce for “The Oldways Table.” Photo Fotolia and iStock.


Calories: 320
Fat: 15g
Saturated Fat: 6g
Sodium: 280mg
Carbohydrate: 31g
Fiber: 5g
Total Sugar: 3g (Added Sugar: 0g)
Protein: 16g

Yield: 12 servings

How'd it Taste?

I love this recipe. I usually just slightly mash the beans in the pot and omit the food mill step. One of my favourite ways to eat this is to spread a bit on my plate with some chopped tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, red onion, plain yogurt and then top with a soft fried egg. Top with fresh lemon/lime juice and hot sauce :)

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