Black Bean Enchiladas

12bBlackBeanEnchiladasUsebfLOOne of my personal goals for the year is to work more vegetarian and seafood meals into our home diets. The seafood is kinda easy, because Rich is traveling to New England on bidness a few times a month where he can chow down on chowder, amongst other goodies, and I can take the time he’s away to indulge in my beloved garlic wine mussels and experiment with a few new (to us) varieties of fishy without subjecting him to the possible failure.

Vegetarian, tho’ is taking some planning…

01aChilesSoakingbfLOI mean, I have the recipes and the resources, it’s just finding something that might could appeal to both of us for dinner, and that we would not object to finding the leftovers in the fridge the next day for lunch.

01bOreganobfLOThen, I came across a couple of enchilada recipes from the nice folk at Cooking Light. Both called for corn tortillas, both made (subtly different) chile sauces with dried New Mexico chiles, and both called for some of Rich’s favorite things in a tortilla – chile, cheese, and black beans.

The fact that I could use up my handy-dandy fresh made roasted veggie stock was an added bonus.

The first recipe I tried was cheese & onion enchiladas, and my! were they tasty! The red chile sauce was thickened with just a little masa, and was my favorite.

01cBeansCheeseScallionbfLOI adapted this recipe with a few of the tricks I learned researching the first – such as dipping the corn tortillas in some of the chile sauce before filling and rolling.

Still and all, both are quite nice, and you don’t even miss the meat.

•4 Dried Mexico chiles, stemmed and seeded
•2 cups water
•2 tsp olive oil
•1 cup yellow onion, diced, about 1/2 large
•6 cloves garlic, chopped
•1/4 tsp seasoned salt
•2 cups veggie stock
•2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
•1/2 tsp Caribbean Calypso seasoning*
•1 tbsp fresh lime juice
•1/8 tsp Cayenne (optional)
•1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
•2 cups (8 ounces) shredded pepperjack cheese, divided
•3 thinly sliced green onions, divided
•Olive oil
03aSauteVeggiesbfLO•12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
•Sour cream

*Note: as always, if you cannot get or do not care to order this lovely little spice blend, you can always approximate it by grating a little fresh citrus zest into the pot and adding some good black pepper and a pinch or two of Cayenne. That’ll mebbe come close.

04AddVeggieStockbfLOFirst, pour the water over the chiles in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Simmer for five minutes, then remove from the heat and let rest for five minutes.

Drain the chiles over a bowl and save aside one cup of the simmering liquid.

Warm the olive oil over high heat in a large pan, then add the onion and sauté for a minute or so.

Reduce the heat to medium, then add the garlic and the seasoned salt and continue cooking for another five minutes, until the onion is tender and golden.

05bAddChileLiquidbfLOAdd the stock, tomato, oregano, and seasoning and simmer for about twenty minutes, until slightly thickened and reduced.

Add this to your blender along with the drained soaked chiles and that one cup of reserved chile simmering liquid.

06ChileSaucebfLOPlace the lid on the blender container, but remove the center part – this stuff is hot, so you want to allow the steam to escape whilst your pureeing your sauce.

Still, you don’t really want red chile sauce all over the place, do you? So, do cover the lid with a clean kitchen towel to catch the spatters.

Blend until smooth, then add the lime juice.

Give it a taste and, if you think it needs it, go ahead and add that Cayenne. I thought mine had a decent bite and a very nice flavor, so left it out.

08ChileSaucePanTortillasbfLOStir together the black beans, one cup of the cheese, and the white and light-green parts only of the chopped scallion in a bowl and set aside.

Lightly oil a baking dish – my 10-1/2 x 7-1/4 inch seems to be perfect for eight nicely rolled enchiladas – then cover the bottom with a ladle or two of the red chile sauce.

Place the rest of the chile sauce in a flat bottomed pan or pie plate and set aside.

09aTortillaDippedFillingbfLOHeat oven to 500º.

Arrange corn tortillas on rack fitted into a baking pan. Brush one side with olive oil, flip, then bake for three minutes.

Remove from oven.

Dip a tortilla in the reserved chile sauce to coat both sides, then remove, shaking off any excess. Add a couple of tablespoons of the bean mixture down the center, then roll tightly and place, seam side down, in the 10EnchiladasRolledPanbfLObaking dish.

Repeat with remaining tortillas, tucking them into the baking dish and tightening up the filling as you go.

At this point, you have a choice: you can cover the enchiladas with the remaining red chile sauce and then that last cup of shredded cheese and bake them at 400º for about fifteen or twenty minutes, until the cheese is all ooey gooey goodness.


You can set them aside to cool, then cover tightly and stash ’em in the fridge overnight, which is what I did.

When ready to serve, heat your oven to 350º, then pour that reserved red chile sauce over the enchiladas and bake, covered tightly with foil, for twenty minutes.

Discard the foil, add the cheese, and pop it back into the oven for a last 15 minutes.

13BlackBeanEnchiladasSlawbfLORemove from the oven and let rest for five minutes before serving with a dab o’ sour cream and those dark green scallion slices.

I wouldn’t say no to a bit of hot sauce as well, but that’s entirely up to you.

We had ours with some of my favorite cole slaw, and I have to believe that even with all that cheese and sour cream (you know I do not use that ‘lite’ cra…ermmm stuff) that this was a pretty good-for-us dinner.

And we really didn’t miss the meat.

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