Refried Black beans and Tomatillo Sauce

November 11, 2009

This weeks Food Network Chef’s Challenge hosted by I Blame My Mother is Daisy Martinez.  Daisy has a showed called Viva Daisy, I have yet to see the show but from her recipes I can tell I will love it.  She has a latin style of cooking that I just love.  So because of that I choose her Re-fried Black beans and Tomatillo salsa.  I choose these because one of my very favorite restaurants The Gristmill serves a dish called Tomatillo chicken.  The Gristmill is located in a tiny town called Gruene, Texas (pronounced Green).  Gruene  is also home of Gruene Hall which is the oldest dance hall in Texas, and a great place to visit if your ever in the Texas Hill Country.

But anyways.  I’ve always wanted to recreate this dish, which is basically a layer of refried beans, grilled chicken and then topped with tomatillo sauce.  So when I saw Daisy had a recipe for both the beans and salsa, I knew it was time.

Verdict: The beans were excellent, very easy to cook, and the smoky flavor from ham was delicious!  The tomatillo sauce was also just great.  I could have used a little more heat and added more peppers, but this made a mild salsa, which I like also.

Ingredients for Re-fried Beans: 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 small Spanish onion, cut into medium dice, 2 cloves garlic, whacked with the side of a knife and peeled, 1 pound dried black bean, 1 smoked ham hock or smoked turkey wing (I used Ham Pieces), 1 bunch cilantro, washed, 2 bay leaves, Salt and freshly ground black pepper, 2 jalapenos (optional), 2 banana peppers (optional)

For starters rinse your black beans really well in a colander.

Then in a large stock pot pour in a couple tablespoons of olive oil, turn on medium heat

and go ahead and prepare your aromatics, like garlic, smash with a knife

pop out of the shells and dice, no need for a super fine dice

Then dice your onion

add both of your onions and garlic to the pot

and cook for about 3-4 minutes until softened

Then add your beans and ham pieces

add the roughly chopped cilantro

and cover with water about 2 inches, I think I used about 7 cups

toss in a few bay leaves

and if you like me and using any excuse to use your garden peppers, go ahead and add a few now

I used 2 jalapenos and 2 banana peppers

I also added about 2 tsp of kosher salt

bring to a boil

and then lower to a simmering boil, stirring ocassionally

and keeping and eye on if you need to add a little more water or not, I did add about 2 more cups

Once the water has reduced and the beans are thoroughly cooked, remove the bay leaves, and ham pieces

The recipes calls for using a food processor to mash the beans, but I used my handy immersion blender

Next up Tomatillo Salsa Ingredients: 1 pound fresh tomatillos, 1 large Spanish onion (about 12 ounces), cut into large chunks (about 3 cups), 3 cloves garlic, 1/2 packed cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves, 1/2 jalapeno (seeds and all if you like heat), 1 banana pepper, 1/2 lime, juiced, Kosher or fine sea salt

To start prepare your tomatillos by removing the outer husk, and rinsing them well with water

Then dice into quarters

and add to the food processor or blender

go ahead and add your garlic cloves

Then rough chop the onion and add to the food processor

and process until smooth

Then add in the peppers

and roughly chopped cilantro

and juice from the lime, I used a lemon because it’s what I had

Then process until smooth and no chunks

Pour into a medium sauce pan and add some kosher salt

cook over high heat, until boiling

and all the water has cooked out

Then pan cook or grill a chicken breast however you like.  I just marinated them in Italian dressing, and then cooked in a skillet for about 3-4 minutes each side.

The best part about this dish is the plating.

First you put a healthy serving of the re-fried beans down

Then on top of them the chicken breast

and on top of that the tomatillo sauce

and be sure to get a little of all three with each bite

I just couldn’t wait to dig in.

Be sure to visit the the other challenge participants at I Blame My Mother!

Print This RecipeNew Style Refried Beans (Frijoles Refritos Estilo Nuevo)

Recipe courtesy Daisy Martinez, 2008

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small Spanish onion, cut into medium dice

2 cloves garlic, whacked with the side of a knife and peeled

1 pound dried black beans

1 smoked ham hock or smoked turkey wing

1 bunch cilantro, washed

2 bay leaves

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Good quality tortilla chips, for serving

Thinly sliced red radishes, for serving, optional

Directions

Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft but not browned, about 4 minutes. Add the beans, ham hock, and cilantro. Pour in enough water to cover the ingredients by 2 inches. Toss in the bay leaves and bring the water to a boil, then adjust the heat so it is boiling gently. Cook the beans until tender, about 2 hours. Keep an eye on the beans; they should always be covered by liquid. When the liquid meets the level of the beans, top it off with cold water. Toward the end of cooking, ease up on the liquid you add; the goal is to have the beans barely covered with liquid by the time they’re tender.

Drain the beans, reserving the liquid. Discard the turkey wing or ham hock and the bay leaves. (Leave the cilantro in with the beans.) Put the bean mixture in a food processor and process, gradually adding enough of the reserved liquid, until the beans are the consistency of mashed potatoes. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Mound the beans on a platter and garnish with tortilla chips and radish slices, if using. (The beans can be prepared up to 30 minutes in advance. Return the beans to the saucepan and keep warm over very low heat.)

Print This RecipeTomatillo Salsa

Recipe courtesy Daisy Martinez

Ingredients

1 pound fresh tomatillos

1 large Spanish onion (about 12 ounces), cut into large chunks (about 3 cups)

3 cloves garlic

1/2 packed cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves

1/2 jalapeno (seeds and all if you like heat)

1/2 lime, juiced

Kosher or fine sea salt

Directions

Pull the husks from the tomatillos and wash them under cool water until they no longer feel sticky. Cut them into quarters and put them into the work bowl of a food processor. Add the onion and garlic and process until smooth. Add the cilantro, jalapeno and lime juice and process until the jalapeno is finely chopped.

Scrape the mixture into a small saucepan. Season lightly with salt and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is boiled off and the salsa looks relish-y, about 15 minutes. Cool before using. The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 week. If refrigerated, you may want to add a little salt and/or lime juice to the salsa before serving.<Tomatillo Salsa

Recipe courtesy Daisy Martinez

Ingredients

1 pound fresh tomatillos

1 large Spanish onion (about 12 ounces), cut into large chunks (about 3 cups)

3 cloves garlic

1/2 packed cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves

1/2 jalapeno (seeds and all if you like heat)

1/2 lime, juiced

Kosher or fine sea salt

Directions

Pull the husks from the tomatillos and wash them under cool water until they no longer feel sticky. Cut them into quarters and put them into the work bowl of a food processor. Add the onion and garlic and process until smooth. Add the cilantro, jalapeno and lime juice and process until the jalapeno is finely chopped.

Scrape the mixture into a small saucepan. Season lightly with salt and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is boiled off and the salsa looks relish-y, about 15 minutes. Cool before using. The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 week. If refrigerated, you may want to add a little salt and/or lime juice to the salsa before serving.

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Menu Plan Monday « Newlyweds
November 16, 2009 at 12:03 am

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

K @ Prudent and Practical November 11, 2009 at 4:35 am

I always figured restaurant refried beans were just smooshed beans and melted cheese :-) Your recipe looks wonderful, so now I want to try making it to! How did it taste?

[Reply]

Susie's Homemade November 11, 2009 at 6:59 am

That looks sooooooo good!

[Reply]

Ticia November 11, 2009 at 9:14 am

Oh, I am so making this sometime. I’ve never tried making refried beans from scratch, I always just use it from the can.

[Reply]

gina November 11, 2009 at 9:25 am

Yum! Great photos and process!

[Reply]

mub November 11, 2009 at 9:36 am

I’m pretty much just drooling all over myself here *L* I seriously looked at the tomatillo sauce recipe for this week, but tomatillos are not to be found here. I’m sure they exist -somewhere- in this country but I haven’t found out where. I’ll bookmark this on the chance I eventually find them.

[Reply]

Mindee@ourfrontdoor November 11, 2009 at 11:38 am

My mouth is watering. Your house must have smelled amazing.

[Reply]

Sarah November 11, 2009 at 11:52 am

When going through her recipes I found the refried bean one which led me to making my own pinto/regular refried beans – which were wonderful as I”m sure the black beans were. I might never go back tothe canned stuff :) They freeze well. AND by acciendent I planted tomatillos (I thought they were another tomato) and they are thriving. In another few weeks I will have about a hundred of them. I’ve never cooked with them before so this recipe will be bookmarked. Got any others with tomatillos??

AND (if my comment couldn’t be any longer) I visited the Pioneer Woman website and am in love. I want to make the cinnemon rolls for friends and neighbors for the holidays. I know you froze yours (right??). So you bake and top them fully before freezing…but what is your reheating directions? They look incredible. It would be such a cool thing to make as a tradition – friends looking forward to them each year :)

Thanks for cooking with me!

[Reply]

Kristen November 11, 2009 at 3:17 pm

Goodness, that all looks amazing!

[Reply]

SnoWhite November 11, 2009 at 3:40 pm

what a different recipe … but it looks really yummy :)

[Reply]

Lucy November 11, 2009 at 4:32 pm

Next time you make this can you please invite me over? I would truly fly down there just to enjoy this! Yum yum!

[Reply]

blueviolet November 12, 2009 at 8:40 pm

I love black beans and this looks like a keeper!

[Reply]

Trent March 29, 2013 at 10:11 pm

I am sooo with you about the Gristmill… That was the BEST meal I have had in a LONG time. Its almost a sin that they don’t serve it with tortillas :-).

I am definitely going to try your recipe. Thank you very much for sharing.

[Reply]

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