During my adventurous cooking years – that would be my 7 years of poverty as a grad student – homemade refried beans were a staple. Once I discovered a recipe in New Recipes from Moosewood Restaurant, I was hooked. Their secret ingredient was soy sauce and it just makes them sing! Cooking up a batch of dried beans always makes me smug – pennies for such good food – and I love the smell of beans simmering on the stove. It has been a while since I made them and so when I had a hankering for bean enchiladas it reminded me that it was time to make a batch.
Being the DIYer I am, I also made the enchilada sauce, which was simple and shockingly easy. Pulling a few items from the pantry – tomato paste, chipotle in adobo (homemade sitting the frig) and some spices, I whipped up a delicious sauce in no time. My motto is why buy it when you can make it! I just have such a hard time spending money for someone else’s labor. Of course, I just love the satisfaction of making it myself, so don’t let me peculiarities get the way, buy sauce if you like!
The last time I made enchiladas, I went the old-fashioned route of quick frying the corn tortillas to soften them. But this time I simply heated them up while wrapped in foil to soften them – less mess, less calories. It was a shortcut easy to live with.
Don’t be put off by the length of the recipe, these were beyond delicious and so easy to make! Simple, vegetarian (vegan if you want to use non-dairy cheese) and done in an hour. It took all of my will power not to eat them all. They heat in a microwave the next day delightfully well!
Refried Bean Enchiladas
1 1/2 cups kidney beans, cooked, with their liquid (or 15 oz can plus 1/3 cup water), mashed coarsely
1 onion, minced
1 jalapeno, minced (deseed and devein for less heat)
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2/3 cup tomato paste
1 cup stock or water
1 tablespoon dried garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon chipotle in adobo sauce (no peppers)
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 lb (6 oz) shredded cheese (cheddar, colby, monterey jack or mix) or a vegan option
10 corn tortillas
To make refried beans, saute onion, garlic and jalapeno in olive oil for 4 minutes or until soft and beginning to brown. Add beans and fry over high heat for 3-5 minutes. Add cumin, chili powder and soy sauce and cook another 3-5 minutes until beans begin to look dry. Remove from heat and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In mortar and pestle, grind garlic, clove, cinnamon, cumin, oregano and salt until it forms a paste. In small sauce pan wisk stock or water with tomato paste; add spice mixture and chipotle and heat over medium heat until it begins to bubbly, whisking frequently, for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and set aside. Wrap corn tortillas in foil and heat at 300 degrees for 5 minutes until soft and pliable. Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon of beans onto flat tortilla and roll into a cigar shape, with seam side down. Repeat with remaining tortillas and beans and place in a casserole dish. Pour enchilada sauce over all and sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 15 minutes until cheese is melted. Allow to cool at least 5 minutes before serving.
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