Black Bean Enchiladas
Lettuce Entertain You
2 Tbsp safflower or vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups black beans
6 cups water
1 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp cilantro
1 Tbsp cumin
1 Tbsp chili powder
Wash the beans and soak in the water overnight or for several hours. In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan or bean pot sauté the onion and garlic in the oil until tender. Add the beans and water and bring to a boil. Add salt, cover, and reduce heat. Simmer 2 hours, until the beans are soft and their liquid is thick and soupy. After the first hour add the cilantro and, if you wish, more garlic.
Pour off half the liquid from the beans. Puree half the beans with the cumin and chili in a blender or food processor, using some of the liquid to liquefy. Return the puree to the pot and heat through slowly, stirring over low heat. Set aside until you are ready to make the enchiladas.
1 1/2 to 2 dozen corn tortillas
8 ounces tomato sauce
safflower or vegetable oil, salt, cumin, and chili powder as needed
3/4 pound medium or sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 onion, finely minced
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
2 Tbsp cilantro leaves for garnish (optional)
1/2 to 1 cup hot sauce, served separately in a bowl
In a heavy-bottomed skillet heat 3 tablespoons oil, 3 tablespoons tomato sauce, and a sprinkling each of chili powder, cumin, and salt. Heat the tortillas through on both sides until soft and saturated with the flavors. Don’t leave too long or they’ll become crisp. Drain on paper towels. Repeat the process, adding oil, tomato sauce, and seasonings as needed.
Set aside 1 1/2 cups black beans, 1/2 cup grated cheese, and 3 to 4 Tbsp minced onions.
To assemble the enchiladas, spread a large spoonful of black beans over each tortilla, then a layer of grated cheddar and a thin sprinkling of minced onions. Roll up and place in a 2- or 3-quart oiled baking dish; place them sealed side down. When the pan is full, top the enchiladas with remaining black beans, grated cheese, minced onions, and walnuts. If you need to make a second layer, place a piece of foil, oiled on both sides, in between and set aside enough beans, cheese, onions, and walnuts to top this second layer. Cover with foil and bake in preheated oven at 325 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove the foil, garnish with cilantro, and serve.