Botana

January 17, 2011

Author Notes: This is a Hess family staple, a dish that was present at practically every weekend gathering at my grandma’s house, every family shower or reception or graduation party at the local Mexican-American Hall that I can remember from my childhood. It’s simple as can be, can be made in advance, and can be batched up to feed a crowd. There’s nothing sexy about it, this is just humble, satisfying party fare.lastnightsdinner

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients

Botana

  • 1/2 red onion, very thinly sliced
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 1.5-2 cups refried pinto or black beans (you can use good quality prepared beans, or make your own as indicated below)
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup pimiento-stuffed Spanish olives, halved if large
  • 1-2 small ripe tomatoes, cored and sliced into half-moons
  • 1 ripe Haas avocado, peeled, halved and sliced thin
  • To serve: corn tortilla chips, sour cream, salsa, pickled green chiles

Refried Beans

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons rendered leaf lard, pork/bacon drippings, or vegetable oil
  • 2 cups cooked pinto or black beans, with their liquid
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano or marjoram
  • 1 cup crumbled cooked Mexican chorizo, well-drained (optional)
In This Recipe

Directions

Botana

  1. Preheat oven to 450.
  2. Separate the onion slices and place them in a small bowl. Sprinkle with salt, add the lime juice, and toss. Let sit for five minutes, then squeeze out the excess liquid and set the onions aside.
  3. Spread the refried beans out on an oven/broiler-safe tray or platter. Scatter the cheese over the top then add the olives and onions. Place in the oven and bake until the beans and cheese are bubbling, then turn the oven to broil and cook just until the cheese and onions have browned.
  4. Remove from the oven, arrange the tomatoes and avocado slices on top, place tortilla chips around the perimeter, and serve with additional chips, sour cream, your favorite salsa, and pickled green chiles on the side.

Refried Beans

  1. Warm the ¼ cup of fat in a skillet over medium heat until shimmering, and add half of the beans. Carefully add half of the bean cooking liquid, then mash the beans well. Add the remaining beans and liquid a little at a time, mashing after each addition. Stir in the cumin and oregano or marjoram. Cook until the liquid has evaporated and the beans are creamy, adding the remaining fat a tablespoon at a time if they look too dry. Stir in the chorizo at the end, if using, and cook until warmed through.

More Great Recipes:
Mexican|Avocado|Bean|Cumin|Oregano|Sour Cream|Make Ahead|Serves a Crowd|Summer|Gluten-Free|Vegetarian|Appetizer

Reviews (3) Questions (0)

3 Reviews

lapadia January 18, 2011
Double yum!!
 
Sagegreen January 17, 2011
Yum!
 
Author Comment
lastnightsdinner January 17, 2011
Thanks, Sagegreen!