Just like W, there is no country starting with alphabet X. The exception for X is similar to that of W. We can do a region or a city starting with these letters but we cannot repeat that country for the alphabet it starts with. I am doing X for Xalapa, Mexico. According to the rules, had I done M for Mexico, I could do not have done a city or a region that is in Mexico.
Xalapa or Jalapa is pronounced /həˈlɑːpə/ is capital city of Veracruz, an Eastern state of Mexico. Xalapa-Enríquez is the official name of the city Xalapa, named after a 19th century governor. Nick name of the city is La ciudad de las flores meaning “The City of Flowers”. Xalapa is cultural city. General Enriquez implemented polices that enhanced the educational system and hence the city is named after him. The city has many theaters, museums and street art making it a cultural hub.
Xalapa is the home place of the famous Jalapeño peppers, as well as products made with maize: gorditas, tostadas, pasties, enfrijoladas, and chicken are common foods. The desserts that are consumed in the region are typically sweet such as cake and coconut candies. (wiki). I made enfrijoladas to represent this city. Since it is home to jalapenos, I wanted to cook something with jalapenos but husband did not show much interest. So I settled for enfrijoladas and garnished it with jalapeno peppers.
Enfrijoladas are cousins of enchiladas. Corn tortillas are dipped in bean sauce, filled with a filling of chicken or mushrooms or cheese, folded in to half circle and served with a topping of cheese, onions, jalapeno peppers with or without cream. I made these for my lunch 2-3 days ago and was satisfied the way these turned out. The bean sauce was a little bland for my taste and so were the enfrijoladas but when eaten with pickled jalapenos, they were just perfect. It was challenging to photograph bean sauce and enfrijoladas. Do not go by the look of this food. Also, the preparation looks lengthy but it is a very easy dish to put together.
- 1 tsp. Oil
- 5 oz. or 6-8 Button Mushrooms sliced
- ⅛ tsp. Salt
- ⅛ tsp. Chili Powder
- 1 – 2 tsp. Oil
- ½ small Onion chopped or approx. ¼ cup chopped Onion
- 1 – 2 medium sized Garlic Cloves chopped or 1 – 1 ½ tsp. chopped Garlic
- ½ can or ¾ cup canned Black Beans
- ⅛ tsp. Cumin Powder (I used roasted cumin powder)
- ⅛ tsp. Salt
- ⅛ tsp. Chili Powder
- 3 small Corn Tortillas
- 2 – 4 tbsp. grated Queso Fresco or Cotija Cheese or Feta
- Onion chopped for garnish
- 6 – 10 slices of jarred Jalapeno
- Cilantro for garnish
- Filling – Heat oil in a pan and sauté mushrooms with salt and chili powder until moisture evaporates. This should take about 5 minutes on medium high – high flame. Keep aside until ready to use.
- Sauce – Drain canned beans and rinse under water. Drain and keep aside.
- Heat oil in a saucepan and sauté onions until soft.
- Add garlic and sauté for few seconds.
- Add salt, chili powder, cumin powder and give it stir.
- Add beans and sauté for couple of minutes until beans are roasted in spices.
- Remove from fire, add ½ – ¾ cups water and blend to paste. One can use an immersion blender or a regular blender. Puree to a fine paste or it can be coarse too. I made a coarse paste.
- Put it back in the saucepan and cook for 3-5 minutes until sauce thickens a little. Mind you sauce thickens as it cools. It needs to be warm when making the enfrijoladas.
- Assembling – Heat about 2 tbsp. oil in a pan and fry the tortillas on both side, about few seconds on each side. This is to warm the tortillas and soften them. Remove the tortillas and place them on a paper towel and keep it covered in aluminum foil. Tortillas can also be heated on a griddle or in microwave.
- Dip each tortilla in bean sauce, place some sautéed mushrooms in the middle, if one prefers even some cheese and jalapeno peppers, and fold the tortilla to make a ½ circle. Do the same with the other tortillas. Top each tortilla with cheese, onions, jalapeno peppers and some cilantro. Enfrijoladas are ready to serve.
- Serve enfrijoladas as it is or with some bean sauce. I had some leftover bean sauce. I poured a thin layer of sauce on a plate and served enfrijoladas on the sauce.
- Beans – I used canned beans but one can use dry beans also. If using dry beans, soak ¼ cup beans overnight in water. Next day cook them with some water until tender. Pinto beans can also be used instead of black beans.
- Cheese – I used queso fresco. Queso fresco, cotija, feta or Mexican cheese was recommended for this preparation. For those of you who cannot find the above cheese, paneer would also work.
Events: This goes to Vardhini’s Dish it Out: Mexican Cuisine.