Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas

I. Miss. Mexican. Food.

Don’t get me wrong, I love living here in Tennessee.  This summer has been beautiful.  We have wonderful friends.  My home is more than I ever dreamed I would have.  But California has some of the best Mexican food on the planet.  I miss it – A LOT.

This recipe is from the Penzey’s catalog, I’m not sure which edition.

Substitutions made, noted below.

sweet potato enchiladas 1

Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas

5 to 6 large tortillas
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled if desired
1/4 c soy sauce, regular or low sodium
2/3 c apple cider vinegar, divided
2 leeks, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 dried hot chili pepper, crushed – I used chili powder
1 15 oz can black beans
3 c grated sharp cheddar cheese – divided – I used Trader Joes 3 cheese blend
vegetable or corn oil

Optional:
1/2 lb. chorizo
1 to 2 c salsa
1/2 to 1 c sour cream
1 to 2 tblsp fresh cilantro

enchilada Collage

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Wash and cut the sweet potatoes into bit-sized chunks.  Put the potatoes, soy sauce and 1/3 c of the cider vinegar into a large pot and boil until the potatoes are very soft and the liquid is mostly absorbed, about 30 minutes. – After 30 minutes my potatoes were still somewhat firm and the liquid was absorbed.  I added about a 1/2c of water and covered.  It took another 15ish minutes for the potatoes to soften.

In the meantime, saute the leeks, chorizo (if using) and garlic (if using fresh) over med-high heat in a little oil with the cumin until you can smell it halfway out the door.  Then add the remaining cider vinegar, chili pepper, the black bean and the garlic (if using dry).  Turn the heat down to medium, cover the pan and take a break until the potatoes are done.

When the potatoes are finished, mash them, leaving a fair number of lumps.  Fold the beans and 1 cup of the cheese into the potatoes.  Fill the tortillas with about a handful of filling, roll and pack tightly into a lightly greased 9×13 pan.  Top the enchiladas with the remaining cheese, and bake at 375 for 25 minutes, or until the cheese starts to bubble.  After it’s finished baking, broil for about 5 minutes, to get the cheese really golden brown and toasty.  – Mine baked and was golden in the 25 minutes flat.  I didn’t need to broil at all.

Serve hot with lots of salsa, sour cream, cilantro and napkins.

sweet potato enchiladas 2

cartoon-strawberry-9This was a little less enchilada and a little more baked flauta.  As you can see from the picture, I used a whole package of tortillas, 11 total; with another scoop or two of filling left over.  The sweet potato and the oniony leeks are a great combo.  The taste had melded much better the next day.  In the future making this exact recipe, I’d make the filling the day before and roll the enchiladas the next day.

What I think I’d do in the future is cut down to 1 large sweet potato, add in a cup to cup and a half of shredded chicken and cover the enchiladas in the ranchero sauce from the Black Bean & Enchilada recipe, then cover with the 2 cups of cheese.

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Black Bean & Cheese Enchiladas with Ranchero Sauce

I did it again.  Made a new recipe for dinner, didn’t take a single picture.  Made new recipe a second time and took a ton of pictures.

This recipe is from Cooking Light, October 2011.

Substitutions made, noted below.

BB enchiladas 3

Black Bean & Cheese Enchiladas w/ Ranchero Sauce

2 dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
2 c water
2 tsp olive oil
1 c shopped yellow onion – I used sweet onion
5 garlic cloves, sliced
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 c organic vegetable broth
2 tblsp chopped fresh oregano
2 tblsp no-salt-added tomato paste
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tblsp fresh lime juice
1/8 tsp ground red pepper
1 15oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 c (8 oz) preshredded Mexican blend cheese, divided – I used cheddar
3 thinly sliced green onions, divided
Cooking Spray
12 (6 inch) corn tortillas
6 tblsp light sour cream

BB enchiladas 1

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Combine chiles and 2 c water in a saucepan; bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.  Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes.  Drain chiles in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1c cooking liquid.

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over high heat.  Add onion; sauté 1 minute.  Reduce heat to medium; add garlic and salt. Cook 5 minutes or until golden, stirring occasionally.  Add broth and next 3 ingredients (through cumin); cook 8 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.

Pour onion mixture into a blender; add chiles and reserved liquid.  Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure lid on blender.  Please a clean towel over opening in lid.  Blend until smooth; stir in lime juice and red pepper.  – I blended this in the pot with my hand held blender.

BB enchiladas 2

Combine the beans, 1 c cheese, and half the green onions in a bowl.  Spread ½ c sauce in the bottom of a 13×9 glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Warm tortillas according to package directions.  Spoon 3 tblsp bean mixture down center of each tortilla; roll up.  Place, seam-side down, in prepared dish.  Pour remaining sauce over filled tortillas.  Top with the remaining cheese.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.  Sprinkle with remaining green onions; serve with sour cream.

BB enchiladas 5

cartoon-strawberry-9If these hadn’t been good, I wouldn’t have made them twice.  The Ranchero Sauce alone is worth the recipe.  The sauce can been made a day or two ahead of time and refrigerated.  I would have liked the filling to be a little more substantial.  To do this I would add another 1/2 c of cheese and a half or full can of black refried beans.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

When I was a working girl, one of my favorite lunch spots was Hof’s Hut.  A bowl of steamy chicken tortilla soup, a cool crisp salad and a side of garlic bread – heaven.  When I started to cook on my own more, I created my own version of chicken tortilla soup.  It changes a bit each time I make it, seasonings, ingredients, crockpot or stove top.  But each time it’s hot and filling and good.

chicken tortilla

Chicken Tortilla Soup

14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
2 – 13 oz canned in water chicken breast pieces
4 oz can green chilies
15 oz can black beans – rinsed
1 cup corn – I like the fire roasted corn from Trader Joes
3/4 c to 1 cup chopped carrots
3/4 c to 1 cup chopped celery
3/4 c to 1 cup chopped onion
4 c low sodium chicken broth
2 to 3 c water (if needed)

All seasonings to taste:
salt – table or smoked sea salt (Trader Joes)
pepper
garlic
celery seed
onion powder
chili powder
cumin
few dashes of hot sauce
black pepper sauce (Trader Joes)
dried basil
South African smoke seasoning (Trader Joes)

Crock-Pot.  Combine tomatoes through onions in a 5 quart crock pot.  Pour in chicken broth and add water if needed to cover ingredients.  Season soup and turn on low setting for 5-6 hours.  Stir occasionally and taste to see if any further seasoning is needed.

Stove-Top.  Use a 5 quart dutch oven or heavy stock pot.  On medium to med-high heat, coat bottom of pot with olive oil.  Start with the onions and garlic, saute till the onions begin to turn clear.  Add carrots and celery, saute for another 2 minutes.  Add in corn and chicken, saute for another couple minutes, then add the tomatoes, chilies, beans and broth, using water if needed to cover ingredients.  Season your soup, and bring to a low simmer.  Turn heat to low and let sit until everything is heated through.

Serve with: Tortilla chips, shredded cheese, sour cream or black olives.