Black bean enchiladas are a great vegetarian staple and one of my wife's favorites. Where we live, there are no good Mexican restaurants, so I have to make something resembling Mexican food at least once every two weeks. This particular recipe is simple, inexpensive, and makes enough to last for a couple of days, so it's one I turn to pretty often.
First, preheat your oven to 350°. Then seed your jalapeños (unless you want your enchiladas to be extra spicy) and throw them into a small food processor along with your garlic and onion. Give them a few pulses to mince the mixture. You can do this by hand if you want, but the food processor is easier. Then heat up a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the oil and the onion and pepper mixture. Let cook for 3-5 minutes until softened, stirring occasionally.
Add the beans (both the drained and the undrained), along with a heavy pinch of salt. Let cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. While the beans are cooking, wrap the tortillas in aluminum foil and warm them up in the oven for about 8 minutes, so that they will be pliable.
With a potato masher, mash up half of the beans. Then add the corn, stir it all together, and turn off the heat.
Pour a few tablespoons of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of a lasagna pan and spread it around so that the bottom is coated. Unwrap the tortillas. Add a big spoonful of the bean mixture (shoot for an eighth of the total) onto the center of the top tortilla. Then sprinkle on about a tablespoon of shredded cheese.
The way I fold the enchiladas is not standard, but it is ridiculously easy and makes for a package that is the perfect size for the lasagna pan. Start your fold at the bottom, and then fold down the left side, followed by the top side, and finish with the right side. Place the enchilada, folded side down, in the lasagna pan. Repeat the entire process for every tortilla, until you have all eight filled and ready to go.
Once all eight enchiladas are snugly in the pan, cover them with the rest of the enchilada sauce, followed by the rest of the cheese. Cover the pan with aluminum foil (if you didn't rip it or throw it away, the foil you wrapped the tortillas in might work) and let it bake for half an hour.
Once half an hour is up, remove the aluminum foil and place the pan back in the oven for another 15-20 minutes. Once it is done, let it rest for at least 10 minutes before serving. Serve each enchilada with a dollup of sour cream on top. You can also put guacamole on top, if you're into that sort of thing, but I cannot be held responsible for the results.
-e. magill 8/19/2010
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