I’ve had a can of refried black beans in my cupboard for some time now, and as I do with a great many food stuffs I periodically considered how they might best fit into a sandwich. The fine people at Scanwiches posted a particularly choice sandwich some time back, with black beans prominently featured. I wanted to take a crack at the idea, but wasn’t quite sure how to go about it. Finding a substantial piece of chorizo in the market one day proved to be enough to see my idea through. Refried beans may not be pretty, but black beans are the finest of all beans. Combine them with some sausage, I reasoned, would be a real hit. I brought along red onion and red bell pepper for a bit of snap, and a few thin slices of Oaxaca cheese finished things off.
I’m pleased to say I wasn’t wrong, though as you can see by the above my execution could have used a little work. The sandwiches were a little messy, with refried beans coming out of the side at points, and a red onion or two escaping here and there. The sandwich did pass the final test for messy vs. too messy, though. I was able to put the sandwich down for a minute, then easily pick it back up and resume eating. If something can’t survive a minute’s rest or a shift of the hands, it’s time to reevaluate the sandwich. But this did just fine, and despite the sloppiness was pretty tasty. The chorizo, pan seared then poached in a bit of wine, was spicy, full of delicious fatty juices. The black beans brought an earthy note to things, the bell peppers sweetness and the red onion a bit of bite. The cheese wasn’t lost, but it was definitely playing in the background. That’s why I like Oaxaca cheese. It’s light, unwilling and unable to take over the rest of a sandwich. There are some things I might do differently next time. A thicker roll could be hollowed out a bit, giving the beans a distinct position to hold. The red onion could stand to be sautéed, taking the bite down just a touch. But even without those changed, I was pretty pleased with how this came out. It was a fine sandwich I can recommended to you without reservations.
I don’t want to eat this sandwich, but I think I might want to paint it.
I imagine a little tempeh fried in chili oil would make a decent base for this sandwich. And knowing your affinity for Daiya, this sandwich could easily be a vegan delight.
Is there something else that might work besides peppers or onions? I’m not a fan of either. I am a fan of refried beans. Underrated.
A sandwich of just sausage, cheese & refried beans wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, I suppose. The peppers were there for a contrssting crispness. Jimica was suggested for that role, but I couldn’t get my hands on any. Carrots might work, although the flavors might not mix well. You might also try a few tortilla chips, for something a bit different. Lastly, it occurs to me that fried green tomatoes just might fit in perfectly. Hope that helps, and if you give something a shot be sure to let me know!
Quick chorizo question: where did you find yours, and was it freshly prepared or packaged?
I’ve yet to find a consistently stocked source of the stuff nearby, I’m just curious if it’s as elusive elsewhere.
My advice is to find a supermarket that caters to a Hispanic market. My local market stocks several kinds of chorizo, with the loose packaged stuff (think finely ground sausage, sans casing) being more common than the link style pictured here. I have seen, at more typical supermarkets, a dried/cured chorizo manufactured by goya. You wouldn’t want that for a sandwich, though.