At the start of the year, Dad, Sis and I had a special visitor who taught us how to make Honduran Baleadas, homemade flour tortillas stuffed with refried beans. My sister spent some time in Honduras during college and became fond of Baleadas while living there. Recently a coffee-shop popped up close to my house in Long Beach. The owners, Alex and Sue, are from Honduras originally. When Sis got to talking to them about Baleadas, Sue volunteered to make some for Sis.
On a Saturday morning we trekked to the coffee shop to get some coffee and low and behold, Sue presented us with a foil packet of homemade baleadas, one for each of us. For Sis, they brought her back to the time when she was living in Honduras. I’m a huge bean fan and fell for the Honduran dish immediately. The next day we saw Sue again and Sis asked for Sue’s recipe. She spoke in her native language to her daughter, Andrea, who translated the recipe and wrote it down for us. But she did one better than that and volunteered to come over and make some for us.
In preparation for Sue’s arrival I made a massive pot of beans. Three pounds, to be exact. Sue came over New Year’s day after having spent all day working at their coffee shop. She whipped up the tortilla dough and had Baleadas on our table within about an hour. We used the rest of the dough to fry up 9 more Baleadas that we reheated over the next week.
The recipe seems daunting but after you make your pot of beans it’s really not that much more work. You just need to re-fry the beans and make the tortillas. You can make this dish with pinto beans, but Sue and her family prefer black. This dish is versatile because you can have it for literally any meal or as a snack. To make it more “breakfast-y” I added a fried egg.
- 1 lb dry black beans
- 1 bunch of cilantro, rinsed
- 1 bell pepper, any variety/color, diced
- 1 serrano pepper, rinsed and sliced
- cloves from 1 head of garlic + more for refrying
- avocado oil,
- salt and pepper
- garlic salt
- 1 small or medium-sized white or yellow onion (not sweet), diced
- Overnight, soak the dry black beans in plenty of water. The next day, drain and rinse. Put beans in a medium-sized pot. Add cilantro, garlic cloves and bell pepper. Fill the pot with enough water to cover the ingredients and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until beans are cooked through. Add salt to taste. Use an immersion blender to puree the ingredients until mostly smooth.
- In a large frying-pan, heat some avocado oil over medium heat. Add a few cloves of garlic, minced, and diced onion. Cook, stirring, until garlic is golden and then add the pureed beans. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat for three to five minutes–the mixture should be bubbling up. Taste and add garlic salt, freshly ground black pepper and/or regular salt to taste. Set aside.
flour tortilla ingredients.
- 4 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg
- 2 T. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. sugar
- ¾ c. vegetable shortening (such as Crisco)
- chilled water
flour tortilla directions and assembly.
- Mix flour, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Work in shortening with fingertips until blended. Add water gradually, mixing until dough cleans side of bowl and forms a ball.
- Knead dough on lightly floured surface 5 minutes or until smooth. Shape dough into 12-inch roll. Cut into 12 slices. Shape each slice into smooth ball. Cover with damp towel. Let rest 30 to 45 minutes.
- Use your fingers to flatten each ball into 6 to 8-inch circle.
- Cook each tortilla on ungreased medium-hot griddle until brown spots form on bottom. Flip over tortilla. Add refried beans and some grated cheese if so desired. Cook until light brown on the bottom and then flip in half. Stack Baleadas and cover with a towel until ready to serve.