Saturday, July 17, 2010

Black Bean Enchiladas

Enchiladas are one of my all time favorites. The preparation tends to be a little messy and time-consuming, but if you can hang in there this an easy and elegant dish. You can soak dried beans over night, but I tend to use the canned variety.


2 cups black beans
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 cup tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin

6 tortillas
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup of onion

For the beans:
Drain the (canned or soaked) beans and place in a medium sauce pan. Cover with fresh water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add the spices. Simmer the beans for about an hour, adding more water if necessary. You want the beans to be soft and a little soupy, so make sure you don't burn them. Once the beans are cooked, drain off about half of the water and mash them with a potato masher.

Heat one or two tablespoons of oil in a frying pan at medium heat. Add the beans and fry, stirring whenever a crust forms. Taste every so often and adjust the seasonings. The beans should get nice and crusty but not dry. Add a little liquid if it looks like they're drying out. They should be nicely fried and aromatic after about 15 minutes. Set aside.

For the tortillas:
In another skillet heat a teaspoon of oil over medium heat. Add a pinch of salt, cumin and chili powder. Add the tomato sauce. Once it's warm and bubbly. Take the tortillas and heat them them through once on each side. Don't cook them too long or they'll fall apart. You just want them to be soft and pliable. Set them aside on paper towels. Add more cumin and/or sauce as necessary until all the tortillas are done.

For the enchiladas:
Spread a large spoonful of the black beans over each tortilla. Sprinkle with a thin layer of minced onion. Finally add the cheddar cheese. Roll up and place in an oiled baking dish.

When all the tortillas are filled pour the remaining beans, onion or cheeses over the top. I actually used some leftover Havarti in the picture above. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, garnish with cilantro and serve.  

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