Bricia Lopez's Refried Black Bean Puree

Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Yields Makes 4 1/2 cups
Memelas from Guelaguetza.
(Cody Long / Los Angeles Times)
Share via
Print RecipePrint Recipe

Bricia Lopez, co-owner of Oaxacan restaurant Guelaguetza, makes refried black bean puree with avocado leaves and chile de arbol for her memelas, a favorite breakfast prepared with masa and pressed a little thicker than tortillas. These beans are delicious topped with fresh quesillo. Avocado leaves are available at Mexican markets.


In a stock pot, add the beans and garlic. Cut the 1/2 onion into quarters and drop them into the pot. Cover the beans with water. Bring to a boil.


Reduce heat to a low simmer and cook the beans until they are tender. This can take anywhere from one to two hours, depending on how old the beans are. If the liquid is evaporating too fast and the beans start to show, bring an additional 1 or 2 cups of water to a boil and add to the pot.


Once the beans are nearly fully cooked (they should be tender), salt to taste, stir and continue cooking for an additional 10 minutes. Once the beans are tender to the bite, remove the garlic cloves. Add the beans and 1/2 cup of cooking liquid (or water if necessary) to a blender. Add chile de arbol and avocado leaves and puree until smooth. Set aside.


Heat the oil in a large sauté pan. Once hot, add the chopped onion and cook, stirring, until it starts to soften. Add the black bean mixture and fry, stirring until the beans are hot, about 10 minutes.