Huevos con Frijoles Tostada Recipe
We’ve been in the state of Veracruz, staying in the town of Orizaba, for about a month now, and we must say: this has been our favorite destination so far. It’s a quiet mountain town with lots of access to the outdoors, and the people here are quiet and friendly (just like us!). Here in Orizaba, just like elsewhere, we’ve been cooking all of our meals ourselves, and today we’re bringing you our version of a classic Veracruzan dish: huevos con frijoles, but we’ve put it on tostada and made some other mild changes in the name of experimentation. Ready to dive in? Let’s go!
Huevos con frijoles is popular here in Veracruz as well as in the state of Oaxaca. Heck, this combination is popular in some form all over Mexico. Being made with such ubiquitous items like tortillas, beans, and eggs, a version of this dish very likely exists in most villages, towns, cities, and states in Mexico. Something specific that we’ve done differently with our huevos con frijoles is that we’ve kept the beans and the scrambled eggs separate. Usually this dish is made with refried beans, and they’re mixed right into the eggs. While that does taste amazing, it doesn’t look very appetizing, so in the name of pretty food (and like it or not, food blogs are as much about appearance as taste), we decided to top the scrambled eggs with whole black beans instead of mixing it all together. It tastes nearly the same so we figured why not change it up?
Furthermore, seafood is hugely popular here in the coastal state of Veracruz, but since we’re Americans with “weak” stomachs, we decided to play it a little safer and bring you a dish that doesn’t require freshly caught seafood. The South Louisianians in us are all about the fresh seafood, but the slightly sheepish travelers in us (who aren’t quite ready to take on Montezuma’s revenge) guided us toward this breakfast classic. Besides, we haven’t done any breakfast-type sandwiches on this site since we’ve switched over to our sandwich focus, so all of this coalesced into deciding that a huevos con frijoles tostada was the perfect dish to bring you this month.
In our neighborhood (Barrio Nuevo) in Orizaba, we’ve noticed something that we haven’t before in other parts of Mexico: a diverse and small scale economy. Our neighborhood is a fairly new development (hence the name), but it has the same vibrant mix of homes and businesses as the older parts of town. This is the result of Mexico’s traditionally large informal economy and small business development. These family owned and operated establishments are dotted all over our neighborhood. From people selling breakfast out of their living room windows to little grocery stores set up on corners, we’ve been pleasantly surprised just how easy it is to buy things directly from people here in Orizaba within blocks of our house. Of course, this is not limited to Orizaba—this phenomenon is prevalent all over Mexico. It’s just that we haven’t seen it so up close and personal before here, outside of taco carts and quesadilla grillers on the street. Truly, one never really needs to leave our neighborhood to access any of the fresh meat, eggs, produce, or prepared food they desire. We find this kind of economic (and social) activity fascinating.
While the businesses we bought our supplies from are very likely part of the formal economy, they exist just on the edge. We bought as many ingredients as possible from our little corner grocery store (which was nearly everything; store featured below), and then picked up the few remaining items we needed at the bigger grocery store in town (Chedraui).
Of course, we got our tortillas from the awesome tortilleria in our neighborhood. Every time we walk past that place, the tortilla machine is creaking away, producing some of THE BEST tortillas we’ve had here in Mexico. Also, it’s twelve pesos for a kilogram of hot, dense, satisfying corn. We like to eat our first few straight out of the paper, on the short walk home.
Ingredients & Preparation
More than with previous sandwiches recipes, we’re going to focus on preparation in this post. It’s mainly because this huevos con frijoles tostada dish is made up of four components that each have their own recipe. Therefore, we feel it’s important to review each item and explore what’s relevant.
First, let’s get into the black beans. We’re using canned black beans here, but we’re also enhancing them by adding fresh onion, garlic, and tomato plus spices like cumin, paprika, and Mexican oregano. With the right ingredients and about 20 minutes’ time, you can take a simple can of black beans and turn them into a highly flavorful component of this dish. This is also a preparation for canned beans that you can take with you and use elsewhere, like with beans and rice or even making a black bean soup (just add stock and a bit more of each spice and you’ve got an easy soup!).
The next thing you’ll be preparing is the salsa. We’ve learned how to make quick and easy cooked salsa here in Mexico, and this technique is something we apply to many different salsa preparations beyond this one. The recipe starts with searing the ingredients in a mostly dry non-stick skillet (you may want to use a little oil to make sure nothing sticks). Searing the ingredients helps soften them enough to blend them together into a thick and chunky salsa. We’ve also made red version of this salsa with tomato and chiles instead of tomatillos. Once you master this technique, you’ll never really need to buy jarred salsa again. Quick note, though: you will need a traditional blender or an immersion (stick) blender to make this salsa.
Next up are the tostadas, which are nothing more than fried whole tortillas. They’re like one big tortilla chip. The corn tortillas found in the US are much drier and easier to fry than what we have here. No complaints, though, because we get much better tortillas here (bragging, yes!). To prepare the tostadas, you simply fry your tortilla for about a minute on each side. Don’t be tempted to “under-fry” them. They’ll be chewy and harder to eat. Allow them to fry until they’re crisp, and you’ll get a much heartier and easier to eat tostada in the end.
There’s really not much to say about scrambled eggs because this recipe calls for you to cook them however you normally cook scrambled eggs. Nothing special, just any old way you like them. The special parts of this recipe are what you put on and under your scrambled eggs. The eggs are just the blank canvas upon which you’re building.
Finally, let’s put it all together: just above, you see all of the completed ingredients ready to be built into a tostada. If you want your plate to be fancy and your tostada to not move around, you may want to put a dollop of beans (or even sour cream) on the plate and stick the tostada to it. To assemble, you just top the tostada with scrambled eggs, black beans, salsa, and cheese then round it all out with some sliced avocado doused with Tajín seasoning. Now, you’re ready to eat your huevos con frijoles tostada!
The real cultural importance here lies not necessarily in the final dish we’ve made here today but in the individual components: eggs, tortillas, beans, salsa. These are basic staples in the lives of many Mexicans and nearly all regional cuisines. They’re remixed into countless dishes and in numerous ways to make satisfying, nourishing food. It’s amazing to see how much can be done with a few relatively simple ingredients.
As we’ve said, we were able to buy nearly all of these ingredients right here in our small neighborhood, from local people who make their livings selling to their neighbors. It’s a continuation of old ways of doing business that have their roots in the dawn of commerce. It’s interesting to us, and refreshing, to see people still relying on each other—their neighbors, friends, and family—for their food supplies and in return, supporting each other’s livelihoods. For so many who get by on so little, these ties are vital to survival.
Huevos con Frijoles Tostada
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 Roma tomato, chopped
- 1-15 ounce can black beans (do not drain)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
- 1 pound tomatillos (husks removed), quartered
- 1/2 an onion, sliced into long, wide strips
- 1 jalapeño (stem, seeds and pith removed), cut in half length-wise
- 2 large garlic cloves (peeled), cut in half length-wise
- Lime juice, to taste
- Fine salt, to taste
- 4 corn tortillas
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup canola oil (depends on skillet size)
- Fine salt, to taste
- 6 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
To Assemble Tostadas:
- 1 recipe fried tostadas (above)
- 1 recipe scrambled eggs (above)
- 1 recipe black beans (above)
- Tomatillo salsa (above), to taste
- Crumbled queso panela or queso fresco, to taste
- 1 avocado, halved and sliced
- Tajín seasoning, to taste
- Heat the oil over medium high heat and add the onion and fine salt. Stir and cook until onion is softened and slightly browned, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the tomatoes and cook until tomatoes are softened and release their juices, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add the can of black beans and the cumin, paprika, and Mexican oregano. Stir well and reduce heat to low. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed.
- Continue to simmer the black beans for 20 minutes to allow flavors to marry. Stir often to prevent sticking and a little more water if the beans need thinning.
- Start with a skillet over medium-high heat with just a touch of oil (or non-stick cooking spray) in the skillet, to prevent the ingredients from sticking.
- Sear the ingredients starting with the tomatillos. Cook them long enough to get them browned, but they don’t necessarily need to be softened. This should take about two minutes or so per side. Once the tomatillos are done, transfer them to the blender. Wipe the skillet clean and move on to the onions.
- Repeat the process with the onion: have a slight bit of oil or non-stick spray in the pan to prevent the onion from sticking. Cook the onion long enough to brown the slices, but they don’t need to be softened. Once the onions are browned, transfer them to the blender.
- You can sear the jalapeño and the garlic together. Just be sure to not burn either one. You may find yourself turning these more often than the onion or tomatillo. Once they’ve a bit of browning on them, transfer them to the blender as well.
- Pulse the ingredients until they’re a chunky salsa. You may need a little water to thin the salsa to your desired thickness.
- Add fine salt and lime juice to adjust the taste to your liking.
- Only start on the tostadas once you've completed the previous steps/preparation. You want the tostadas as fresh as possible so wait until you have everything else (besides the eggs) ready to go.
- Heat the oil to about 350 ºF (proper frying temperature).
- Cook the tortillas one at a time flipping them often. It should take about two minutes to cook each tortilla.
- Use tongs to remove the tostadas from oil. Set on a plate lined with paper towels.
- Salt lightly and allow to cool slightly.
- Be sure to cook these last: you definitely don’t want cold eggs.
- Whisk the eggs and the salt together in a mixing bowl.
- Spray a skillet with non-stick spray or use a wipe of oil or some butter to grease the pan to make sure the eggs don’t stick.
- Allow the skillet to pre-heat over medium high heat then add the whisked eggs and allow them to cook for a moment before stirring. You don’t need to over-stir the eggs, and they’ll stick more if you do.
- Continue to cook the scrambled eggs until they’re as done as you like them. For example, if you prefer them moist, pull them off earlier. If you like them well-done and a little brown, cook them longer. Cook these how you’d cook any scrambled eggs that you normally cook.
To Assemble Tostadas:
- You can make these one at a time or put two cooked tostadas on a plate. It just depends how big your plates are and how you want to do it.
- Top the tostada with some of the scrambled eggs. (You have enough eggs for four tostadas so keep that in mind).
- Top the scrambled eggs with black beans and some of the tomatillo salsa. You'll likely have some of both left over.
- Finish the tostada with crumbled cheese and avocado slices topped with Tajín seasoning.
- Serve and enjoy!