I know that is a really bold title, but I promise you, the time that goes into making these beans is worth it. Long post ahead, but that too is worth it.
My friend Emily sent me this recipe a long time ago and I kind of passed it by because it seemed pretty time consuming. I recently got into making beans from dried, and picked up 2 bags of dried black beans at the store a few weeks ago for just $1 each. On Tuesday morning, I decided that I would make the beans that night because they’re best made a day ahead, so I set the beans up to soak for the whole day in the morning by just dumping the whole bag into a bowl and covering them with water.
The “trick” to delicious black beans is having them seasoned well with enough garlic, onion, and salt, and they will seriously taste unlike any other black bean you’ve ever tried.
Once your beans are done soaking (for 6 hours, all day, or overnight), you chop up one medium onion and four large cloves of garlic.
Heat 1 tbsp canola oil in a soup pot/large pan, and then add in the onion.
Once the onion gets soft (~3 minutes), add in half of the garlic and cook for another minute or so until the garlic gets fragrant. Then add in the soaked black beans (with the soaking liquid) and make sure the beans are covered by about an inch of liquid. If not, add water so they are.
Bring this to a boil and then reduce heat to low and let it simmer, covered, for one hour.
After an hour, add in the rest of the garlic, some chopped cilantro, and some salt. I added about 2 teaspoons of salt, but you can add more/less to taste. Cover it and let it cook for one more hour.
Then you are done with the simmered beans.
While 2 hours is a long time (in my opinion) to cook beans, these turn out INCREDIBLE. They are so flavorful and so worth the time. I made these Tuesday night when I was cooking the Quinoa Pasta with White Clam Sauce, so I was tortured waiting for them to be done.
While these are simmering, the sauce thickens up and the beans get soft and so well seasoned.
I couldn’t resist a few bites before putting them into the fridge overnight.
Then the main event came last night, in the form of black bean enchiladas (also courtesy of Emily).
I made some adjustments to the recipe because I froze half of the beans and kept half in the fridge, so I made 9 tortillas worth of enchiladas instead of the 12-14 recommended. I also tried to make things a little simpler.
First, I took an immersion blender (hand blender) and put it directly into the beans and blended up about half of them, so it looked like this.
I heated 1/2 tbsp canola oil with 1/2 tbsp each of ground cumin and chili powder (not toasted cumin seeds like the recipe calls for just because I didn’t have any). Then you add the half blended beans into the pan and cook for 10-15 minutes over medium heat.
They look similar to refried black beans when they are done.
Next, time to prep the tortillas.
Heat up a little canola oil, a sprinkle of cumin, a sprinkle of chili powder, and a big spoonful of tomato sauce in a pan.
Mix it all up with a wooden spoon.
One by one, soften the tortillas in the mixture for 10 or so seconds on each side, then flip them, then put them into your baking pan until you’re ready to stuff. Add more sauce and seasonings as needed until all the tortillas are done.
Now comes the fun part – assembling the enchiladas!
Take your softened tortilla and add a nice size spoonful of the refried-esque black bean mixture down the middle of the tortilla.
Add a sprinkle of cheese (I used organic monterey jack).
Roll it up and put it seam side down in a pan. Continue until all your tortillas are filled.
Then add the leftover black beans, more cheese, and some chopped cilantro. I LOVE cilantro so went a little nuts with it, but you can go a lot lighter if you so choose.
Pop these in the oven heated to 350º covered with foil for 30 minutes, and then…
Just looking at these makes me very excited for lunch today…
The only problem I had was I didn’t grease the baking pan well enough, so they were a little tough to get out of the pan.
That did not affect the flavor whatsoever, and I even went back for one more (4 total).
This was my first time ever making enchiladas, and they were pretty fun to make and so delicious. Wil had some when he got home and said they tasted so authentic and ate 2 even though he’d already eaten dinner (he’s a man).
This is an awesome entree to make that is vegetarian but will satisfy even the biggest meat craver. They taste almost meaty and are super filling from the protein in the beans. Go home and make these. I promise you won’t regret it.
What is your favorite Mexican dish to cook at home? To order in a restaurant? I make Mexican themed salads a lot at home with black beans, cheese, avocado, cilantro, lime, tortillas, etc. and I also love making nachos. In a restaurant, I always order veggie or shrimp fajitas.. or nachos if only the real thing will do.