Chipotle and Black Bean Enchiladas

Tonight L made enchiladas for some friends. We just got back to town and we made this up out of what was in the cabinet and fridge. It was pretty good and we didn’t even have to go to the store.

The Upshot

Tasty and enjoyed by all. Adding the chipotle to the slow cooker with the beans is genius — it adds a nice sublte smokiness. In thins case keeping the chipotle for the sauce made it super smoky.

The Recipe

2 cups dried black (turtle) beans
1 bay leaf
1 whole, dried chipotle pepper
4 tomatoes from a can of fire-roasted tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
½ salt
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
¼ lb extra sharp cheddar

Rinse beans and put into a slow cooker with the bay leaf and chipotle pod. Cover with plenty of water and cook on low for 5-6 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Drain the beans, disposing of the bay leaf and reserving the chipotle.

To make the sauce, put the tomatoes into a food processor with the chipotle, garlic, salt and red pepper. Process until smooth.

In a small sauce pan, about the diameter of your tortillas, heat the sauce a cup at a time, or enough to fill the pan to one inch. Keep the flame low and bring it up to warm, but below a simmer (you don’t want to burn your fingers). Place a tortilla in the pan, buried in the sauce and let cook for about a minute. You want the tortilla to soften enough to roll, but not so much that it falls apart. When the tortilla is soft, remove from pan and place into a 9×13 baking dish.

Immediately start another tortilla in the pan.

Place a generous handful of beans in the middle of the tortilla, spread into a line from one side to another. Roll the tortilla until it’s wrapped itself and push to the edge of the pan.

Repeat this with the next tortilla, pushing up against the one previous one in the pan. My preferred pan fits two rows of 6 tortillas perfectly. Feel free to move and adjust the tortillas to get as many enchiladas in the baking dish as you can.

When the baking dish in packed, pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas, being sure to cover the edges. The tortilla edges that are rolled to the top may burn or dry out when cooked if they don’t have some sauce on them. Spread the cheese on top, adding more if desired.

Put the enchiladas in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes. The cheese should be melted, the filling should be hot, but you don’t want to dry them out.

Serves 6.


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