I’ve made black bean enchiladas before, but they were just… OK, so, when I came across a Sandra Lee recipe for making black bean enchiladas with the leftovers from making a batch o’ black bean burgers, I got to thinking: “hmmm, the cheese and onion enchiladas were really good; how’s about if I take some of the black bean burger stuff, add it to the cottage cheese and onion stuff, and roll it all into some tortillas with a red chili sauce?”
Yeh, it was a good thing.
First thing, I chose to start with dried black beans in place of canned. It’ll save a goodly amount of sodium, be a wee, tiny bit cheaper, and I found this really, really good recipe for vegetarian black beans from scratch that is ready in just a couple of hours – tho’, as with so very many things, the flavor improves if they are allowed to rest in the fridge overnight.
Once the black beans were ready and rested, I used Ms. Lee’s recipe for making black bean burgers and, then, black bean enchilada filling. All the details are at the bottom of the black bean post, but I liked it all so much, I may very well do a separate post just on the burger details.
So. Black beans cooked and, while tasty, turned into an even tastier blend suitable for forming into patties and cooking in just a bit of oil before serving on a bun with all the usual suspects; and/or setting aside as part of the filling for some very nice indeed enchiladas.
•12 corn tortillas
•Sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Black Bean Filling:
•1-1/2 to 2 cups black bean burger mix
Cottage Cheese Filling:
•3/4 cup (8 oz) cottage cheese
•1/2 sweet onion, chopped
•1/8 tsp seasoned salt
•2/3 cup cheese, shredded
Red Chili Sauce:
•1/4 cup dried red chiles (5 or 6) – I used gaujillo, but New Mexico are nice as well – look in the produce section of your market
•1 tbsp vegetable oil
•1-1/2 cups chopped onion
•2 garlic cloves, minced
•2 cups veggie stock
•2 cups water
•1 tsp crumbled dried oregano
•1 tsp seasoned salt
•1 tbsp masa (not corn meal)
Black bean filling made, let’s get on to the chili sauce by cutting the stems off the chiles and removing the seeds – don’t fret if you don’t get all of the seeds, they’ll just add a bit of heat to your sauce.
Pop the stemmed and seeded chiles into your blender and pulse until nicely chopped.
Heat the canola oil in a large pan over medium heat, then add the onion and garlic and cook for three to five minutes, until the onion is tender.
Stir in the ground chiles, and then one cup of the stock.
Add the last cup of stock along with the water, the oregano, and the seasoned salt.
Bring to a boil, then simmer, uncovered, for about twenty minutes to reduce the sauce a bit. The original recipe says to reduce until you have about three cups of sauce, but I see no way of telling that without pouring it all into a measuring cup, so I just set the timer, kept an eye on the pot, stirred every now and then, and guessed.
Sprinkle the masa over the sauce and give a good whisk to blend in. If you have any stubborn lumps, fret not, they’ll be dealt with in the blender.
Bring the masa-added sauce back to a boil for one minute, stirring, then remove from the heat and let rest for ten minutes.
Transfer half of the slightly cooled sauce to your blender and cover, removing the feeder part of the lid to let steam escape. Cover with a towel (this stuff’ll go everywhere) and puree until smooth.
Pour the pureed sauce into a container and repeat with the remaining sauce.
Nice chili sauce!
Compared to the beans and the chili sauce, the cottage cheese bit of this mixture is dear simple: add the chopped sweet onion and the cottage cheese to your blender container and pulse until the onion is minced and the cheese is smooth.
Note: I did this after chopping the chiles but before pureeing the chili sauce, figuring that the cheese and onion mixture would only taste better if a few bits of the chiles left in the blender ended up in the mix.
Pour the cheese and onion mixture into a bowl and stir in the seasoned salt and shredded cheese – I used a nice sharp New York Cheddar.
The fillings and sauce made, let’s make us some enchiladas!
Heat your oven to 500°.
Arrange six of the corn tortillas on a rack fitted into a baking pan. Brush each tortilla with just a bit of the veggie oil, then flip over and pop into the oven for five or six minutes, just until lightly toasted.
Transfer the toasted tortillas to a paper towel lined plate and repeat with the remaining six tortillas.
Reduce the oven temperature to 350°.
Cover the bottom of a baking pan (mine was 11-3/4″ x 8-3/4″ x 2-3/4″ high) with 1/2 cup or so of the red chili sauce.
This next bit, I am given to understand, is what makes an enchilada ‘New Mexico-style’ and, I think, is well worth the bit of additional mess involved in making the enchiladas.
Dip a toasted tortilla in the red chili sauce in a bowl to coat both sides.
Lightly shake the coated tortilla to remove excess chili sauce and fill, then repeat with the remaining tortillas.
To fill – again, the chili sauce coating makes this a touch messy – lay each tortilla flat on a plate, then add a tablespoon or so of the black bean mixture across the bottom third or so of the tortilla.
Top with a bit of the cottage cheese and onion mixture, then roll tightly.
Confession: I screwed up this bit of the cheese and onion filling, using twice as much cottage cheese as I was supposed to (oops!) – so my cheese and onion blend was a bit runnier than it should have been. It was still tasty, though, and the leftovers made for a fine (and nicely seasoned) replacement for sour cream on the finished enchiladas.
Tighten up each tortilla roll and place on top of the chili sauce in the baking pan – my pan fit an even dozen nicely as shown, and nestling them in tightly helped keep my overly loose cottage cheese bit of the filling from oozing everywhere.
Pour the remaining red chili sauce over the top of the enchiladas, top with shredded cheese, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let rest for ten minutes before serving.
I like to top the enchiladas with the sauce, then tightly cover them with foil and let them rest in the fridge overnight.
The next day, I bake them, still covered, for 30 minutes or so, then remove the cover, sprinkle with the cheese, and bake until the cheese is melted and everything is hot and tasty.
Serve as you will; we had ours with more of that creamed cottage cheese mixture, lettuce, tomatoes from teh garden, and pickled jalapeños on the side.
Later, I had some of the leftovers for lunch, with more lettuce and tomato, and a really nice use of leftover white rice from our last Best Panda takeout order.
Those details, tomorrow…