June 4, 2015

Whole Enchiladas

"Whole" enchilada is a traditional Mexican recipe where stuffed (usually black-beans for vegetarian option) tortillas (I made multi-grain tortillas) are covered and cooked in tomatoes & chile based "enchilada" sauce. I served whole-enchiladas with a Corn-Mango-Avocado salsa (recipe below) on the side.


Though there are lot of elements (like stuffing, tortillas, sauce, salsa and so on...) in making this recipe, you can very well substitute them with store-brought ones. However, as clichéd as it might sound, nothing tastes better than homemade food. No matter how many ever brands of sauces & tortillas you might find in a store, they will never compare to the fresh, delicious taste of homemade food.

But, the big challenge with homemade food is in finding time to make it, especially with a recipe like this. Good news - tortillas and enchilada sauce are make-ahead recipes. While the sauce keeps well in refrigerator, tortillas can be stored in air-tight containers until you need them. Tortillas can be freshened up in microwave or on the griddle. With little planning, you can make & enjoy this recipe just the way you do with store-bought ones.


Yes, I know what you are thinking - why make tortilla & sauce at home, when you can buy them easily at store? Well, making your own tortilla/sauce lets you have a control on the ingredients, decide what must/mustn't go into the recipe and thus, customize the final flavor to your liking, minus all those free sodium/MSG that comes with the bottled ones. Above all, making food from scratch is fun, healthy & so very satisfying!! Enjoy!


Basic Info
Complexity - Medium
Prep time - 20 mins
Cook time - 30 mins
Serves -

Ingredients

Black-bean Stuffing
1 cup raw Black beans

2 tsp Oil
1/2 Onion, thinly sliced
1/2 green Bell pepper, cut into thin strips
3/4 tsp cumin powder
2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp dried oregano

Corn-Mango-Avocado Salsa
2 Corn on the cob
1 ripe Mango (ataulfo variety), chopped into 1 inch cubes
2 Avocado, chopped in 1 inch cubes
Juice from 1 lime
1/8 cup chopped cilantro
Salt & pepper to taste

Mexican cheese blend - as needed
Chopped cilantro as garnish

Method
Black-bean Stuffing
Soak black beans overnight. In a medium pan, bring enough water to a rolling boil. To this, add black beans, salt and boil until black beans are soft & cooked. Drain and set it aside until use.

In a separate pan, heat 2 tsp of oil. Sauté onion & bell pepper until soft. To this, add cooked black beans, cumin powder, oregano, cilantro and give a good mix. Adjust salt and cook until the mixture gets heated through. Set it aside.

Corn-Mango-Avocado Salsa
Roast the ear of corn on grill/oven, remove the corn kernels. In a large bowl, mix corn kernels, mango, avocado, cilantro, salt, pepper & lime juice until well mixed.


Assemble & Bake
(Note: I baked the whole enchiladas in 2 batches, four tortillas at a time)

Preheat oven to 350 deg F.

Take a small baking tray and spoon the enchilada sauce as the base. 

Add 1/4 cup of black beans onto a tortilla and roll it into a burrito; set it aside. Repeat with the other 3 tortillas. 

Now, arrange all the 4 black-bean stuffed burritos side-by-side on top of the sauce in the center of the tray. Spoon some more sauce over the arranged burritos, top it liberally with cheese and bake for 15-20 mins or until the cheese is all melted. Now, switch to broiler settings and broil until the cheese is browned on top.

Remove from heat, sprinkle chopped cilantro on top and serve hot!



Notes
- Optionally, you can also dip tortillas into the sauce until thoroughly coated, and then go about stuffing it with black-beans. That way, tortillas gets softer and soaks-up more flavors.

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