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Thursday, February 21

Hope Springs or Hoping for Spring

The weather isn't looking like it'll turn anytime soon so we made these to be transported to an outdoor seating in a Mexican village, consuming authentic food.  For the past 4+ weeks, the sun attempts to shine and barely makes it out in its full glory before the clouds move in.  Fortunately today is one of those unusual days that the sun battled with the clouds and won.  Unfortunately this type of day is few and far between.  It could be worse, with meters and meters of snow, this is better than that.

Also, we're fiends for Mexican food so it was high time I made enchiladas with homemade tortillas.  Last time I made this, we made it with flour tortillas and it was just okay.  I am just not a fan of flour tortillas because they leave a sticky, clumpy white flour after taste.  So making most of the components from scratch here, we've got a keeper.  

Spinach and Black Bean Enchiladas with Red Chile Sauce
Yields 10 medium corn tortilla enchiladas, 3 servings or 2 generous servings

Red Enchilada Sauce
2 dried Ancho chilies
2 dried Guajillo chiles
1 cup water or stock

Remove the stems and seeds from the chiles.  In a medium non stick pan, toast dried chiles on medium heat.  Turn every 30 seconds to prevent burning the chiles.  Toast for 2 minutes.  Soak the toasted chiles in hot water for 20- 30 minutes. 

Once soaked, remove from the liquid.  Blend the chiles in a blender/food processor without the water.  Scrape down the bowl of the processor and blend 2 more times.  Add ½ cup liquid, salt and blend.  Scrape down the sides again and add the other 1/2 cup of water and blend until smooth.  If it isn’t pureed completely, push the sauce through a sieve into a bowl.  Discard any pieces that aren’t pureed.  This makes 1 cup of sauce.  Use half for the following recipe and save the other half for braising chicken or pork another night.

Spinach & Black bean filling
1 tablespoon pork fat or canola oil
1/2 white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1 /2 cup cream of spinach, defrosted or frozen
3/4 cup cooked black beans, drained if using canned
1/4 cup liquid from soaked chilies
1/2 cup red enchilada sauce
1/2 cup swiss cheese, shredded (cheddar, Monterey jack, fontina all work.  queso fresco is the authentic choice but that’s not available here. )
1 tablespoon green onions, finely sliced  

In a 10-inch skillet on medium heat, add pork fat (or canola oil).  Add chopped onion and cook for 1 minute.  Stir in garlic, cumin and chipotle chili powder.  Stir in spinach and black beans.  Season with salt.  Increase heat to medium high, stir in liquid from soaked chiles (making sure seeds or pepper skins don’t fall in the filling).   Once bubbling, reduce heat to medium low and cook the filling for 8- 10 minutes.  If using frozen spinach, cook for another 10 minutes.  Once cooked, the filling should be dry to fill the tortilla but still a little wet so it doesn’t dry out in the oven.

Preheat oven to 400°F or 200°C. In the bottom of an 8x8-inch square pan (or 9-inch round), spread the red enchilada sauce. Fill 10 (homemade preferred) corn tortillas with the filling and place tightly in the pan. Spread the enchiladas with 1/4 cup of red sauce. Top with shredded cheese and green onions. And finish with another 1/4 cup of red sauce.

Bake the enchiladas in the oven for 12 minutes. Once out of the oven, let it rest at room temperature for 5 minutes before serving. Rice, Guacamole, and Sour cream are great accompaniments.

1 comment:

  1. Look amazing, have pinned this to my pinterest board for the future!