Thursday, February 14, 2013

Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas

I should be writing about brownies, adorable hand-made candies or even aphrodisiac red wine and oyster concoctions. Alas, I'm getting into the Valentine spirit with the least romantic of cuisines.... Mexican and beans. Well, if you're interested in saying "fuck it" and farting on the couch all night, whilst cursing and watching Bridget Jones' Diary, you're all set. 

I'm actually not a Valentine hater. The lovely husband always makes me feel special and we have a date night planned. But after all of my crazy work and travel, this was the last recipe left in my queue. So let's just embrace the anti-romance, shall we?  

Mexican food does seem to get a bad wrap, both for its date-friendliness and ill reputation for health. I mean, you social handling of digestion is your business, but Mexican food doesn't have to be bad for you. While many restaurants express these famed flavors in a bath of cheese and lard, at the core there are many fresh ingredients bathed in flavor. These enchiladas are plumped full of sweet potatoes, black beans and spinach. With minimal cheese they're not so decadent, but the chipotle sauce provides the fullest bite.

Roasting the potatoes does dirty another dish, but the flavor benefits are worth it. Forgoing boiling also keeps things from getting too starchy.

The sauce is chock-full of flavorful goodies -- like chipotle chilis, adobo sauce, tomatoes, garlic and onion. Not to mention cumin and cayenne.

After the potatoes have roasted, saute together onion, green pepper, black beans, corn and spinach. Such a colorful enchilada party.

A bit of sauce at the bottom of the pan will keep things from drying out.

Rolled and ready. When I made these I made two full pans and froze one for a later dinner. If you're freezing,line the pan with foil, leaving 2-inches on each side, then assemble. Freeze in the dish and once frozen solid remove using the foil handles. Wrap carefully in plastic and keep in the freezer. When ready to bake, just unwrap and pop back into the same pan you froze it in.

Serve with cilantro, lime and a bit of avocado. Thank your cat for tolerating your gas and for being the bestest Valentine ever. You're a beautiful, smart woman... don't even let this damn holiday get you down. Another round of enchiladas on the house!

Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 teaspoons chili powder
3 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon salt, divided
Fresh ground black pepper
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 15-oz can fire roasted tomatoes with green chiles
1 small can chipotle chilis in adobo sauce (3-5 chopped chilis and 2 tablespoons adobo)
1 cup chicken stock
1 green pepper, chopped
1 15-oz can black beans
1 cup corn
1 cup spinach, drained
12-15 corn tortillas
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Minced cilantro, for garnish
Sliced avocado, for garnish
Sliced lime, for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss sweet potatoes in 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Roast in oven for 25-30 minutes until potatoes have just begun to soften.

While potatoes bake, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add 1/2 chopped onion and saute until translucent, then add garlic and cook for 2 minutes more. Add tomatoes, chipotle chilis, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon cumin and chicken stock. Simmer for 10 minutes and remove from heat. Allow to cool for 5 before pureeing in a food processor or blender.

Wipe out dutch oven and heat remaining olive oil over medium heat. Add remaining onion and green pepper; saute until softened. Add remaining chili powder, cumin and salt and once fragrant add black beans, corn, spinach and sweet potato; stirring until combined.

In a 9x11 baking dish spoon out 1 cup of sauce, spreading to cover the bottom of the dish. Fill individual tortillas with vegetable filling and place seam side down in the dish. Once dish is full, cover with remaining sauce and cheese. This will easily fill two 9x11 baking dishes, depending on how filled each enchilada is. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until cheese begins to brown.

Serve with a sprinkling of cilantro, a squeeze of lime juice and sliced avocado.

*This dish freezes very well. Assemble and freeze in foil-lined dish. Once frozen solid, remove from dish and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. When ready to eat, replace in dish and bake for 1 hour.

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