These are smaller than traditional huaraches.
- 1 cup cooked black beans, drained
- 1 1⁄2 lb. smooth-ground fresh masa (corn dough) or 2 cups masa harina (powdered dehydrated masa)
- 1⁄2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup salsa de chile de árbol
- 3⁄4 cup inely crumbled queso añejo (aged cows'-milk cheese)
Purée beans in a blender or small food processor to a smooth, thick paste. Transfer to a bowl, season to taste with salt, cover, and set aside.
Knead 1⁄2 tsp. salt into masa on a clean surface; if using masa harina, mix with 1 3⁄4-2 cups hot water, then knead in salt. Dough should be soft and malleable. Knead a bit of water into dough, if necessary, to give it the consistency of a soft cookie dough. Divide into 8 balls and cover with plastic wrap.
Working with 1 ball of dough at a time, press your thumb in center of ball to make an indentation. Turn dough in palm of your hand and flatten it with your fingertips into a 4'' concave round about 1⁄2'' thick. Fill center with 1 rounded tbsp. bean paste. Cup round in your hand and ease dough up and around filling. Pinch dough together to seal. Gently roll filled round between your hands to form a ''cigar'' 1 1⁄2'' wide and 4'' long. Place on a square of plastic wrap and cover with a second square. Pat dough into a 4''x 6'' oval, about 1⁄4'' thick. If dough cracks around edges, knead a little water into each remaining dough ball before shaping and filling.
Heat a griddle or large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Working with 1 oval at a time, peel off top square of plastic, then place into the palm of your hand, plastic side up. Peel off remaining plastic, flip oval onto heated dry griddle, and cook until very lightly browned, turning once, 1-2 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining ovals. Huarachitos are now set for frying.
Heat 1⁄4 cup of the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Fry huarachitos until golden and crusty, turning once, about 1 minute per side, adding more oil as needed. Drain on paper towels, then spread each with 2 tbsp. sauce and sprinkle liberally with cheese.