I love cuban food, and black beans are my favorite of all. In fact, I LOVE black bean soup with lots of lime and cilantro, and some crusty warm bread to dip in it. I am a big sandwich fan though, so I decided to turn it into a sandwich (don't worry, black bean soup is coming later this week. Did I mention I love black beans??). I put all all the key elements of black bean soup - onion, garlic, cilantro, lime, jalapeno (how do you do the tilda over the n? Anyone??), and of course black beans all smashed and a little refried. Not to mention some yummy melty mexican cheese and real crema. This recipe made enough for 5 or 6 sandwiches, easy. All spice amounts are an estimate, adjust to taste. I have to say, black bean soup makes an amazing sandwich :)
Julie's Awesome Black Bean Sandwich
1 cup diced red onion
3 cloves garlic, diced
2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tbsp (at least) cumin
2 tsp dried mexican oregano
3 or 4 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
juice from one lime
2 cans black beans, drained (I have to say, brand makes a difference - store brands usually suck. Bush really are the best that I have tried).
Asadero cheese (cause its nice and melty and soft - Cotija would be good too but it would change the consistency)
French rolls or baguettes
Crema (look for it by the cheese in any grocery store - but its WAY cheaper in the Mexican food markets, same with the cheese)
Pickled jalapeno slices and carrots, drained (canned - in the mexican food aisle)
Heat olive oil in a large skillet or saute pan. Saute onion and garlic. After a minute or two, add cumin, red pepper flakes, and oregano. Toss to coat and saute for five to ten minutes more or until onions start to turn clear (don't let garlic overcook). Add some salt and fresh ground pepper.
Add beans to the stove and toss with onions and spices. Smash pretty good with a potato masher or sturdy spoon. Add lime juice and stir and let cook on low to medium heat for a minute or two more until warm and combined. Taste and season more if necessary.
Meanwhile, slice the rolls in half and brown on a cookie sheet under the broiler (3 to 5 minutes). Don't turn off the broiler.
Spoon a little bean mixture onto one side of each of the toasted rolls. Top with a few slices of the jalapenos and plenty of cheese. Return to the oven and cook until the cheese is melted and browning.
Remove from oven - spread some crema on the top side of the bread and top with LOTS of fresh cilantro. Put the sandwich together and enjoy (with a napkin!). I like to dip in crema - would also be yummy to dip in some tomatillo salsa (um, or nothing...I just like to dip sandwiches...).