Truth: Up until a few years ago, I really had no idea what an "enchilada" was. Were enchiladas casseroles? Were they like tacos? What aaaaaaaaaaaare they???? (I enjoy wining. And also whining.)
Once I figured it out--a filling wrapped in a tortilla that is then topped with cheese and baked--I wondered why enchiladas and I had not always been friends. A filling wrapped up and topped with cheese and baked until said cheese is bubbling and delicious? That's the best of everything!!
This recipe from America's Test Kitchen is pretty fabulous. That should come as no surprise, because I love most of the recipes they develop. This meal, while a little time-consuming for a weeknight, is delicious and filling. Even Hannah loved eating "itchy wobbles" for dinner.
(Adapted from America's Test Kitchen)
1 tsp. vegetable oil
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 T. chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. sugar
2 8-oz. cans plain tomato sauce
1/2-3/4 c. water
Salt and pepper to taste
1 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed (or 15 oz. cooked black beans)
1 T. vegetable oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, diced finely
1 zucchini, halved lengthwise, seeded, and chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 c. enchilada sauce (above), divided
1 c. finely crumbled queso fresco or cojita cheese
1/2 c. fresh cilantro, minced
1 4-oz. can chopped green chilies, drained
Salt and pepper, to taste
12 6-in. corn tortillas
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
For the enchilada sauce, heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cool until softened, 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and sugar and cook till fragrant, 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato sauce and water (1/2 c.) and cook until thickened, 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Heat your oven to 450* F. In a large bowl, mash the black beans until chunky. (You want some of them to be smooth, and some to remain whole.) Set aside. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion and bell pepper and cook until softened, 5 minutes. Add zucchini and cook until just tender, 3 minutes. Add in garlic and cook until just fragrant, approximately 30 seconds. Stir in the beans and cook until warmed through, 2-3 minutes.
Transfer vegetable mix to a large bowl and had 1/2 c. enchilada sauce, queso fresco, cilantro, and chilies. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
To assemble enchiladas, briefly warm tortillas in the oven or microwave for 30 seconds, until warm and pliable. Place 1/3 c. of the filling mixture in the middle of each tortilla. Roll up the tortillas tightly and place in a greased 9x13 in. baking dish, seam side down. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Pour 1 c. of the enchilada sauce over the wrapped enchiladas. Top with shredded cheese, cover with foil, and bake until the enchiladas are heated through, 10 minutes. Remove foil and bake until cheese is melted and bubbling, 3-7 minutes more. Sprinkle with additional cheese and cilantro to serve, if desired.
- This makes more sauce than you will need, so freeze the remainder and use it next time you need it.
- I've taken to making many of my crutch items (working on more!) so I used dried beans that I soaked and cooked, then froze in 15 oz. portions. Since you drain and rinse the canned beans, you don't need any of the liquid that comes with. If you go this route, be sure to season properly, since the dried beans are missing the excess sodium in the canned beans.