Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Rosie Makes Enchiladas.

After having some lovely chile rellenos,

I was still on a Mexican bent, so I decided to go with enchiladas.  If you recall, I'd made a big batch of red sauce (Here's the recipe.), used some of it for the rellenos, and froze the rest.  I did save a bit of the sauce to use on these enchiladas.

An enchilada, in case you don't know, is simply a rolled tortilla, typically filled with a variety of ingredients - meat, rice, vegetables, cheese, and/or beans, and served with an enchilada sauce, which is a savory red chile sauce.  Click here for the chile rellenos and the enchilada sauce.

For my filling, I'm simply using rice and black beans, onions and peppers.

You can use canned beans, although I've never liked them.  I use dried beans whenever I have a recipe that uses beans.  And you really don't need to soak beans overnight, like the directions always tell you to do.  Am I the only one who sees the irony in soaking beans overnight?  The reason you soak beans for a looooooong time is to shorten the cooking time.  So, like I said, you don't need to soak for hours.  Just simmer the beans longer and you'll have cooked beans on the same day you started.  Makes sense to me.

 Now, here's a Rosie Tip for faster bean cooking:  Add a little baking soda to the cooking water.  The baking soda changes the pH of the liquid and an alkaline environment causes the cell structure of the beans to break down, resulting in tender beans in shorter time.  I use about 1/4-1/2 tsp for a quart of water and a cup or so of dried beans.  Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let simmer until al dente.  I like a bit of "tooth" to my beans, as opposed to al mushe.
Be sure to rinse off the baking soda after cooking and draining the beans.

For the enchilada filling, first I sautéed about 1/2 cup each chopped onion and pepper.  Then I added a cup or so each of cooked black beans and cooked rice.  Season to taste with kosher salt, freshly ground pepper, and a few shakes of oregano and cumin.

Spoon the filling onto the flour tortillas and...

add some shredded Monterey Jack cheese.

Roll up tortillas and place seam-side down on a pool of the enchilada sauce.

Add some more sauce on top.

And give it some more cheese lovin'.

Bake in a 350° oven for 20-30 minutes or until cheese is melted and gooey and starting to brown..

Serve with some fresh salsa and cilantro just picked out of your garden.

A little plop of sour cream never hurt anything.

Now, this doesn't have to be vegetarian.
If you wanted to brown up some hamburger meat, maybe with a bit of garlic, and add that to the beans and rice and pepper and onion, I'd say go right ahead.


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