Nick made excellent enchiladas in late December. One of my Christmas gifts was a meal: “soup to nuts”, “A – Z”, “start to finish”, market to cleared table and clean kitchen! I didn’t have to create a menu or lift a finger. Loved it! The dinner he planned was gluten-free and vegetarian.
Secret ingredients: GF beer (http://www.bardsbeer.com/) and baked beans (http://www.amys.com/products/product-detail/gluten-free/000517/).
Note: B&M’s Baked Bean factory is across the bridge. The aroma of molasses, and spices fills the air when they’re in production. It’d be nice to use a local product, but B&M Baked Beans aren’t certified GF (though the list of ingredients doesn’t indicate anything containing gluten) or organic, so Nick went with Amy’s. I’m not a beer drinker, so when recreating his recipe I used chicken stock. And in the interest of using the very last bits of a roasted chicken, half of my enchiladas had little roasted chicken in them. Omit the chicken and replace the stock with vegetable bouillon or stock and voila: Nick’s Vegetarian Enchiladas – tweaked ’em a little, but his are the inspiration!
Nick’s Enchiladas – Serves 4-8 for dinner or 6-8 as a side dish
1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 large carrot chopped
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
1-2 cloves garlic (you decide!)
2 teaspoons dried oregano
Optional: 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 large red potato, quartered
1 large sweet potato, peeled and quartered (I didn’t have one, so substituted 1/4 butternut squash and was very happy!)
1 large can (25 oz.) organic black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon Blackstrap molasses
1 tablespoon prepared unseeded mustard
1 tablespoon cumin powder
1 tablespoon chili powder
3 cups of your favorite salsa or enchilada sauce (Recipe for tomatillo enchilada sauce to follow, but when we’re not making our own we prefer Frontera Salsas http://www.fronterakitchens.com/.)
1-2 cups gluten-free beer or, vegetable or chicken broth
15 corn tortillas
olive oil spray, or other vegetable oil spray
1 cup grated Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese (more if you want to use some inside the enchiladas.)
Optional: 1/2 cup shredded chicken (the last bits you’ve picked off the boiled bones and 1 cup finely chopped fresh chard stems.
Garnish with guacamole (https://glutenfreegus.com/2013/01/21/three-brothers-guacamole/), corn salsa, sour cream, extra cheese, and/or chopped fresh cilantro.
1. Heat the olive oil in a large sauce pan. Add the onions and cook over a medium heat until they begin to soften. Add the carrots, oregano, cumin seeds and continue cooking until the onions become translucent.
2. Add the minced cilantro and garlic (the moisture from the cilantro will help protect the tender garlic from burning. If you don’t like cilantro – some really can’t abide – substitute parsley or minced carrot greens.) Add beer or broth as necessary to keep the vegetables from burning whilst they cook.
3. While the veggies are cooking, peel and quarter the potatoes and cook them in a small sauce pan until al dente – just soft enough to slightly pierce with a fork. Remove immediately, let cool slightly, then dice into bite sized pieces and set aside. This can be done in advance.
4. Add the beans, molasses, mustard, cumin powder, chili powder and a cup of beer or broth. Continue to cook over a medium heat 5-10 minutes as the flavors blend and some of the moisture is reduced.
5. Add the potatoes, stir to blend, and season to taste, adding beer or broth as necessary. You’ll want enchilada filling to be able to keep a mounded shape when it’s spooned onto a tortilla. At this point you’d add the chicken and sauteed chard, or roll half the enchiladas and put the chicken and chard in the second half.
6. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lay the tortillas on a baking sheet and lightly spray both sides with olive oil. When the oven has reached it’s temperature, heat the tortillas for 1-2 minutes, or until they are soft enough to roll without cracking. This is in lieu of softening them in hot oil in a frying pan which is more labor intensive and they absorb a lot of oil!
7. Lay the warm, soft tortillas on a clean counter and lay even portions of filling in a line across each one. Add cheese to some or all if you’ve chosen the “extra cheese” option.
8. Spread 1 cup of enchilada sauce or salsa in the bottom of an 8 x 12 baking pan. Lay the rolled enchiladas side by side until the pan is filled. This may take a little finessing, tucking and squeezing, but you can make the fit.
9. Pour the remaining 2 cups of enchilada sauce or salsa over the top of the enchiladas, covering them all. Sprinkle 1 cup of grated cheese over the top. Bake at 350F, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Let rest for 5 before serving.