Monday, December 5, 2011

Sweet-Potato Black-Bean "Enchiladas"

I saw this recipe in a recent Penzeys catalog, and it looked too tasty and intriguing to pass up.

In retrospect, I really wish I'd cut the "enchilada" open so you could see the filling in this photo.

2 large sweet potatoes, diced (no need to peel them)
1/2 c. shoyu (soy sauce) or tamari
1 c. apple cider vinegar, divided
1 T. (or so) neutral-tasting cooking oil (I used canola)
2 leeks, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 lb. chorizo (optional; we opted for it)
1 t. (or so) cumin
Red pepper flakes, to taste
One 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed (or about 1/2 c. dried black beans, soaked overnight)
3 c. (or so) shredded cheddar, divided
Flour tortillas (6 big ones if you want huge enchiladas, or maybe 12 medium ones for more reasonable-sized portions. I used 6 huge ones and ended up eating half of one, because it was ridiculously enormous.)
Sour cream

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Put the potatoes, shoyu/tamari, and 2/3 c. of the apple cider vinegar into a large saucepan over medium-ish heat. Bring the liquid to a boil. Cover the saucepan and boil, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potatoes are very soft and the liquid is mostly absorbed (30 minutes or so).* Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks and garlic, stir to coat, then add the chorizo and cumin and cook until everything is wonderfully fragrant and the chorizo is cooked through. Add the remaining 1/3 c. of apple cider vinegar, the pepper flakes, and the black beans. Turn the heat down to medium-low, cover the pan, and continue to cook until it looks and smells too delicious not to taste. When the sweet potatoes are soft, mash them (but leave them somewhat lumpy). Combine the sweet potatoes with the chorizo/bean deliciousness, and stir in 1 c. of the cheddar. Divide the mixture evenly between the tortillas. Fold and roll each filled tortilla the way you would a chimichanga (go to the link and scroll down for photos of this process; skip the toothpick part unless you want to be picking splinters out of your teeth). Snuggle the filled tortillas together in a lightly greased 9x13" pan. Even if you pack them super tightly, you may end up needing a smaller auxiliary pan to hold the overflow tortillas. Top the tortillas with the rest of the cheddar. Bake them at 375 degrees F for 25 minutes, or until the cheese starts to bubble. Then broil them for 3-5 minutes more, until the cheese is golden brown. Serve with salsa and sour cream.

*I actually had a lot of trouble with this step. I cooked those darned sweet potatoes for a long time, and I kept having to add more vinegar and shoyu, because it was absorbing (I suspect it was actually evaporating) at a rapid rate, while the sweet potatoes remained resolutely firm. I think part of the issue was that I cut the sweet potatoes into large-ish chunks. Dice would've cooked through more quickly. I've also upped the amount of liquid in the recipe to help, and I think covering the saucepan (which the source recipe didn't mention and I didn't do) should keep the liquid around longer. I'll admit that the instructions I've posted in the recipe are a bit of a guess; I'll update the recipe more firmly once I've tried my new method (I'd welcome your comments if you try it). It's possible that you may actually end up needing to uncover the saucepan to allow some liquid to evaporate once the sweet potatoes soften. I do think this recipe is worth a try, though. After all, I loved the finished product despite the procedural difficulties.

These were delicious. We all liked them well, and we'll definitely make them again. The cheese on top formed a delicious crust on the flour tortillas, and the filling had a wonderful spicy-sweetness to it. I put enchiladas in quotation marks in the recipe title, because these are not like any enchiladas I've ever had. I'm used to my enchiladas being made with corn tortillas and drenched in sauce. These were much drier (prior to the application of salsa and sour cream). And in texture, they were really more like chimichangas, though without the deep-frying.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I did't think the sweet potatoes would cook well, so I chopped then into small cubes and steamed them first. then I added them to the soy and cider vinegar. I was worried that the added water from steaming might be too much but it turned out perfect.