Two Bean Enchiladas

12 Apr

I am about to take you on a journey. A journey that is sometimes hectic, a little messy and long. But let me assure you, the destination is worth the treacherous steps. If you aren’t afraid to literally get your hands dirty and possibly ‘blow up’ your kitchen with a plethora of used pots and pans, then you are ready for this delicious but slightly challenging enchiladas recipe. I hope I didn’t scare anyone away.

This is my tweak on the wonderful Pioneer Woman’s “Simple, Perfect Enchiladas” recipe that appears in her The Pioneer Woman Cooks book on pages 176-178.

As you can see, I give the book an enthusiastic thumb up. Her recipes are often a little more complex than I usually attempt on a normal weekday, but the results are without fail delicious. I think her dishes are perfect for a special meal with guests.

So if you think you have what it takes to tackle these bad boys then read on. But don’t say I didn’t (eloquently) warn you.

Everything you need. Things are about to get real.

Ok, the book breaks the recipe into phases. I do too. We both start with the sauce.

The Sauce Players

1 TB Oil

2 TB Flour

1 28-ounce can red enchilada sauce

1 16-ounce can chicken broth

½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

2 TB chopped cilantro

1. Combine oil and flour over medium heat. Whisk mixture for about 1 minute. It should get bubbly.

2. Add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil. If you want to learn from my mistakes don’t add the cilantro at this time. I don’t think it affects the taste, but it makes the leaves sad and wilt-y. Wait to do it until I say so. Is that clear? I speak sternly because I’m thinking of you.

3. Now put the sauce on auto-pilot. Lower heat, simmer and forget about it for now.

On to phase two! So far so good, right?

The ‘Meaty’ Filling Players

I tweaked this phase the most. I substituted two cans of beans for the 1 pound ground beef. I also substituted a can of Rotel for her prescribed two cans of diced green chilies. Whatever filling you choose, the action is the same. Neither way is better, and each is special in its own way. Awwww.

2 cans beans (I went for variety and got 1 can of black beans and 1 can of pintos – go with your heart on your bean selection)

½ Medium Onion – I don’t know why, but I always just add half an onion to all of my recipes and it works fine and the onion goes farther.

1 can Rotel

½ tsp salt

The Filling Action

1. Chop the onion. I of course use my assistant and my food processor as often as I can for minimal crying and time spent.

2. Combine all ingredients in skillet and heat through.

3. Remove from heat, and set aside.

The Assembly Players

I bet you’ve been waiting for the ‘hard’ part. Well here it is – the assembly (que menacing laughter).

First, here’s what you need.

Oil for fryin’

10 corn tortillas I inevitably rip one beyond use, but have no fear, nine will still feed a large crew.

For a little bit later you’ll need this stuff

The sauce

The meaty filling

Generous handfuls of cheese

1 cup chopped green onions

And we omitted black olives (thanks Ike!) but if you like them, prepare to have ½ cup on hand.

The Assembly Action

Part I: Frying

1. In a small skillet, warm tortillas by dipping both sides in heated oil. Be careful. My fingers have yet to escape without slight burnage.

2. Pat ‘fried’ (dirty word, I know) tortillas with paper towel.

Part II: The Sauce Bath

Take this time to do a little prep work. Set oven to 350. Spread ½ C sauce into your favorite 9 x 13 dish.

4. After all tortillas are oiled up; it is time for them to meet the lovely sauce. Here is my suggestion for successful sauce dunking. Place the tortilla on a plastic flipper and then dip the tortilla into the sauce. It will save you most of the “I just ripped this tortilla” heartbreak.

5. Place sauced tortillas on a cookie sheet. Yea more dirty dishes! A necessary evil.

Part III: Fill, Roll and Place

6. After you have dipped the tortillas, it is time to a) fill those bad boys and b) get your hands dirty. To do this, spoon out some of the bean filling and top with a sprinkling of chopped green onion and cheese.

7. Now for the messy part, roll the tortilla up and place seam side down in prepared 9 x 13 dish. We are reaching the end, I promise! Oh yeah, repeat until your hands are covered in sauce and all the tortillas are in their final pan resting place.

Part III: Cheese and Bake

8. Now you can add cilantro to the sauce! I know you’ve been anticipating this step. Pour the rest of the sauce onto the waiting tortillas.

9. Top with cheese. Give yourself a pat on the back for making it.

10. Bake for 20 minutes. Things should get bubbly.

11. It should look a little something like this.

The enchiladas are delicious, filling and worth it. Pair with chips and salsa, sweet relaxation and good times with friends. Until tomorrow.

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