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Truth be told, I actually don’t like bean enchiladas. I don’t HATE them but I never order them and rarely cook them. I prefer a burrito, which essentially is an enchilada minus the sauce. I make burritos and tacos (a burrito that is not folded up) on a regular basis, but this is the first tray of enchiladas I’ve made in years.
So why an enchiladas recipe?
Mostly because in researching Music & Food recipes I came across a link to Meriwether’s Mistaken Lyrics pint glass series. The name of this recipe is a misheard lyric from this Rupert Holmes hit. It’s a masterpiece of ’70s cheesiness that appears to be about a guy answering a personal ad looking for a soulmate to share coconut-based cocktails. Ignore that glossy Yacht Rock pop for a minute, and REALLY listen to the lyrics. It’s the twisted tale of a fucked-up relationship that, while ultimately having a gee-gosh-golly happy ending lyrically, likely actually ended in a murder-suicide. To say this song’s storyline has some serious thematic issues would be an understatement.
In the great corn vs. flour tortilla debate, I am firmly Team Flour. Although I live in a neighborhood where I can get great fresh handmade corn tortillas, I prefer the taste and texture of flour tortillas. Maybe it has something to do with my midwest upbringing, the only corn tacos I like are hard shell ground beef tacos like Mom used to make out of a kit. As always, the choice is yours. If you use corn tortillas, be sure to prep them properly or you’ll have a tray of mush.
This pseudo-refried black bean mixture is my house base for most Tex Mex cooking. It’s great as a burrito or taco filling. Plays well with mushroom or meat additions. Makes a great base for scrambled eggs or a hearty egg sandwich. It also keeps for a few days in the refrigerator so put any leftover filling in an airtight container for a couple of quick meals.
DO YOU LIKE BEAN ENCHILADAS
Black beans, peppers, onions, cheddar cheese, enchilada sauce, flour tortillas
Makes 8 enchiladas
2 15-ounce cans of black beans, drained but not rinsed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 poblano peppers, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper (or red pepper flakes)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
8oz cheddar, shredded
2 cups enchilada sauce (see recipe below)
8 flour tortillas
Makes 2 cups
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon ground chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place rack in center of oven.
The enchilada sauce comes together quickly once you get started, so measure the dry ingredients (flour, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, oregano, salt, cinnamon, and black pepper) into a small bowl and place it near the stove. Place the tomato paste and broth near the stove as well.
In a medium-sized pot over medium heat, heat the oil until it’s hot enough that a light sprinkle of the flour/spice mixture sizzles on contact. This might take a couple of minutes, so be patient and don’t step away from the stove!
Once the oil is ready, pour in the flour and spice mixture. Whisk constantly, cooking until fragrant and slightly deepened in color, about 1 minute. Whisk the tomato paste into the mixture, then slowly pour in the broth while whisking constantly to remove any lumps.
Raise heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce heat as necessary to a gentle simmer. Cook, whisking often, for about 5 to 7 minutes, until the sauce has thickened. Remove from heat and whisk in the vinegar. The sauce will thicken a bit as it cools. Set aside.
Drain but don’t rinse the black beans. Place in a bowl and mash with a fork until 90% mashed. Leave a few unmashed beans. Set aside.
Heat oil in a skillet. When shimmering, add onion and cook until onion is translucent. Add peppers and cook until peppers are tender-crisp, about 6 minutes. Add spices and cook 1 minute until fragrant. Add the black beans. Stir to combine thoroughly. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes to lightly fry the beans and blend all the flavors. Remove from heat.
Spray an 11×9 baking dish with cooking spray. Coat the bottom of the dish with 1/3 of the enchilada sauce making sure to spread it evenly. Take a tortilla and place 2 tablespoons of the bean mixture slightly off-center. Roll up and place seam side down in baking dish. Repeat for remaining tortillas.
Pour remaining sauce over the tortillas in the tray and top with cheese. Bake for 20 minutes until cheese has melted and sauce is bubbling. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
NOTE: Mexican Oregano can be found at most specialty spice stores and Latin markets. It has a more grassy, minty flavor than Italian oregano. If you can’t find Mexican Oregano, you can substitute Italian Oregano.