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18 Oct 2023 | Martha Quijano


Hi, welcome to the first Frijole Friday featuring my family's recipe that goes by Frijoladas or Enfrijoladas. I say Frijoladas because that's how I grew up saying it and that's the way its said in my family.  As for the recipe. This is where it gets interesting.

I will give you a little taste of the “Mexican Way” recipe. It starts off by understanding that you are doing this for yourself and/or those you love, once you feel that intention, well then you are ready to follow the ways of Frijole Friday. Love and intuition are the main ingredients. I say this because my Mother doesn't follow a recipe and does it all by eyeballing it and following her gut. Patience plays a key role in learning this dish because I couldn’t follow the improvisation that went behind my Mothers cooking or read the words scribbled in the recipe book. So please be patient, and grab yourself a glass of wine or a good book. Maybe a book about beans like, Steve Sandos book, Heirloom Beans, sold in the store. You will notice that there will be a lot of down time in the preparation of this, so get creative with your time, it’s yours. 

Now for some of you, you might take a look at this dish and think… those are just refried beans. But for those looking beyond that. It’s a dish that brings together comfort, culture, and family.



(serving 4-6 people)

One 1lb bag of Rancho Gordo Pinto Beans (sold at The Wine Country)

2 garlic cloves, peeled and slightly scored

Half and onion whole ( either purple or white, whatever you have at the moment)

Corn Tortillas ( 2 per person)

Half a cup of olive oil

Cotija Cheese (sold at TWC)

Queso fresco 

Mexican creme

One whole lettuce

1 tsp of salt, for starters (sold at TWC )


My next step would be to explain the process and write out the recipe. However, this is time sensitive and I will be presenting the recipe/dish at The Wine Country today ( Friday) from 3pm-7pm. 

So the recipe will be released at the shop during those hours. So stop by and pick up a sheet of the recipe before waiting until it gets posted tonight, see the pairing we’ve created with the dish and pick up a beautiful bottle of Ensamble 2019 selected by our Mexico Specialist, Jessica Martinez.

What a start to this adventure, see you soon! To be continued…



"The Mexican Way" Recipe Style

A little more background info onto why I use/am using "The Mexican Way" recipe style. "The Mexican Way" style of a recipe is usually a story telling type of style almost as if you are there cooking with the person following the recipe. If there's a hand-written recipe that has been in your family, I'm sure you can relate that sometimes they are hard to follow cause its the story-telling and intuition behind that recipe that makes it unique. At times its about improvisation and utilizing the ingredients you have. Sometimes its about calling your mom or grandmother for recipe reassurance. Its a way we stay connected to our family and culture. Its a way we stay close together and pass down the recipes onto future generations. Its magical.

Frijoladas Recipe

You start by thoroughly rinsing out the beans.

Once all that is finished you grab a pretty big pot because the beans will swell up and you need to use a lot of water to get them at a runny consistency. 

Upon putting them in the pot you let them soak. The soaking part is all up to you and how long you want to let them soak for, it also depends on how much time you have. If you need these beans for later on in the day I sure hope you’re working on this at 8-9am and you are fully committed to the beans. It's a serious commitment. If you have a busy schedule I recommend planning this day ahead of time. Preparation is key. Respect the beans' preparation time and they will treat you well in return.

That’s why I let them soak in water overnight. Rancho Gordo says a two hour soak is fine.

If you are doing it that way, it will take a longer time to cook. I guess I should have mentioned earlier that the preparation for making beans takes time, just in case you haven't picked up on that yet. 

Note* The prep time is vital to the flow of the dish. 

Time to cook the beans!

You start by adding in the 2 scored garlic cloves and a half onion and salt. If you let the beans soak overnight it should take 45 min-1 hour for the beans to cook. If you did the two hour soak, it will take AT LEAST two hours to cook the beans. You’d also have to constantly check on them to make sure they don’t dry up and that there’s enough water.

You want to make sure the pot is filled up with water at least three times of the amount of beans. This is a little tricky because everyone has different size pots, so if you have questions please ask. I am more than happy to help.

Once the beans are ready to get smashed, you want to make sure that when smashing them there’s enough bean juice in your batch. If there isn’t enough bean juice you're going to run into the problem of dried out beans, or a thicker and chalkier consistency. This isn’t bad, you just want to make sure you go for a runnier texture.

The first time I cooked with Rancho Gordo beans, I did a 2 hour soak and my beans came out a little too thick. I wasn’t use to the beans, so if you come across that problem just add more water and a touch of more salt (salt-to-water ratio).

After they’re cooked and you get them at the right texture, let them sit in warm/low heat and move onto the tortillas.

Now we are going to deep fry the tortilla. Not to a crisp, but for more of a firm feel. Reason being is that we are going to dunk the tortilla into the beans. That’s why the tortillas need to be firm or else they will fall apart when you dunk them in the smashed beans. 

Then as soon as you make many tortillas for your party. I say two per person. 

You grab the bean dunked tortilla then you add more beans. Upon doing that, you take the cotija cheese and grate it onto the bean dunked tortilla. You then add more beans and add more grated cotija cheese. Then you can roll it up into a little taco or fold it back and make it look like mini burritos. Topping it off with more beans. At this point you can decide to either leave it as is, or dress it up with chopped lettuce, crumbled queso fresco, and a dollop of Mexican crema for a refreshing vibrant taste yet warm and comforting. I usually have these with homemade salsa for a spicy kick. But they do just fine without the heat. And voila! Frijoladas!  

Usually I call my mom while I’m cooking and repeat the recipe over to her just in case I’m missing anything. Not being able to read the hand written recipes she leaves behind is something that doesn't surprise me anymore, so calling mom or grandma for recipe reassurance is absolutely OKAY. Sometimes I feel that they do this on purpose so that you call them to share a delightful conversation or just so they can hear from you. 

There have been many times where I have written a recipe and something just doesn’t feel right, that is your intuition speaking to you. Your intuition is guiding you to add a touch more salt or add a whole onion instead of half.  Follow that intuition and see where it takes you. Have fun with it. I wish I could leave my phone number here and guide you through the recipe over the phone for any questions, but my email will have to do. Or reach out to us on Instagram or Facebook. Or be the first to comment below. Either way myself or a staff member will connect with you immediately. 

I want to take the time to thank those who stopped by for our first Frijole Friday, we had a great turnout and a great response. I ran into a little hiccup earlier that day which was the reason why I was late to the set up, but by the next Frijole Friday everything will ride out smoothly. If you made it this far into the post, I salute you! Thank you for reading. Until next time Frijole Friday friends!!

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