Black bean puree
- One (1) pound dried black beans
- Three (3) bay leaves
- One (1) teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1/2 white onion, with peels
- 1/2 head of garlic, with peels
- 1/4 cup plus one (1) tablespoon salt
Marinated tofu "feta"
- One (1) 14-oz. package of firm tofu, drained
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Two (2) tablespoons miso
- Two (2) tablespoons nutritional yeast
- One (1) teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Four (4) strips of lemon peel
- One (1) pound tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and sliced in half
- One (1) large jalapeno
- One (1) teaspoon salt
Sixteen (16) large corn tortilla chips (serves 2)
- One (1) ripe avocado, sliced or cubed
- Two (2) green onions sliced thinly
Make the beans
- Combine the black beans with three (3) quarts water in a large pot over high heat.
- Add the bay leaves, fennel seeds, onion and garlic.
- Bring to a boil for ten (10) minutes, then lower to simmer until the beans are very tender (2-3 hours).
- Add a bit more water if necessary if the water dips below the beans.
- While the beans are cooking, make the salt brine by combining one (1) quart water with the salt and whisking until the salt is completely dissolved.
- When the beans are tender, remove from the heat and pour through a strainer, reserving all the cooking liquid, onion, garlic and fennel seeds. Discard the bay leaves.
- Add the strained beans to the brine and let sit for at least one (1) hour.
- Drain the beans thoroughly, discarding the brine, and combine them in a blender with one (1) cup of the cooking liquid and the aromatics (reserved onion, garlic and fennel seeds with skins and all!) and puree until smooth.
- Add a little more cooking liquid if needed but only enough to help turn the blades.
This puree will last in the refrigerator for up to a week or can be frozen.
Make the marinated tofu "feta"
- Bake the tofu in an over at 375 degrees for about twenty (20) minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, oil, miso, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper.
- Cut the tofu into cubes and stuff into a large jar or bowl along with the marinade and lemon peels.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Store for up to 2 weeks.
Make the salsa
- In a skillet over medium heat, place the tomatillos cut side down along with the jalapeño.
- Brown them well on both sides and blend with the salt.
- Let cool to room temp.
Put it all together
- In a small saucepan, spoon in one (1) cup of the black bean puree and whisk in 1/2 cup water to combine.
- Bring to a simmer then cover and turn heat off to keep warm.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil.
- Pour in 1/2 cup of the salsa, stir to coat the bottom of the pan, then immediately add the tortilla chips. Use a spatula to scoop and coat the chips with the salsa.
- Divide about 1/2 cup of the black bean puree into two (2) shallow bowls.
- Top with the tortillas in salsa from the skillet followed by about 1/4 cup of tofu for each.
Garnish with avocado, green onion, cilantro, chiles and a few spoons of salsa. Serve hot.
This recipe is a collection of techniques and recipes for multiple elements that you can use individually in other creative cooking. There will be plenty extra of everything to experiment with later. When put all together, you get an intriguing, delicious version of this iconic Mexican dish.