Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Beef & Black Bean Enchiladas with Restaurant Style Salsa

Well, I was supposed to make this enchilada recipe several weeks ago but somehow, we never got around to it. I did half of the work and then stuck it in the freezer. This made dinner last night really easy to assemble - thaw out the enchilada sauce and meat, combine with cheese, cilantro and jalapeno, then assemble. Not a bad weeknight meal plan! The meat and beans were also great in tacos so if you have the meat already cooked and simmered, it makes for an even quicker meal.

Using ground beef and black beans instead of steak really helped to make this an economical meal. I had also stocked up on 100% vegetarian, non-antibiotic ground sirloin when it went on a big sale (and then froze it in 1/2 pound increments), making it even cheaper to make.

This salsa recipe tastes like it came straight from a Mexican restaurant...delicious! I had halved the recipe but it still made a TON. Which is fine with me - we'll be having this salsa again and again. I still haven't quite figured out how to make "medium" salsa - taking out the seeds of the jalapeno is too mild but when I keep them in (as I did in this case), it was too hot for us! But even though I'm still figuring out the right amount of heat for us, this recipe tastes pretty auténtico to me! It's also quite easy to make -- just throw in all the ingredients to a blender.

Beef and Black Bean Enchiladas
Taken from: Cook's Country TV

  • 3 garlic cloves , minced
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ - 3/4 pound ground beef (preferably 85% lean or leaner)
  • 2-3 cups black beans
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions , chopped
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce (I used fresh tomatoes pureed in the food processor)
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (you can use part-skim mozzarella, Monterey Jack cheese, cheddar cheese or a combination)
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 jalapeno, finely chopped (remove seeds to make it milder)
  • Corn or whole wheat tortillas
-Combine garlic, chili powder, coriander, cumin, sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt in small bowl. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Cook meat until browned (about 6 min), then drain off fat. Transfer meat to plate.
-Add onions to pot and cook over medium heat until golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic mixture and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomato sauce and water and bring to boil. Return meat, beans and juices to pot, cover, reduce heat to low, and gently simmer, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
-Strain beef mixture over medium bowl, pressing on mixture to break meat into small pieces and extract as much sauce as possible; reserve sauce. At this point, you could refrigerate the meat and sauce for up to 2 days or freeze each for up to a month.
-Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees.
-Transfer meat to medium bowl and mix with 1 cup cheese, cilantro, and jalapeños.
-Spread 3/4 cup sauce in bottom of 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Microwave 6 tortillas on plate on high power until soft, about 1 minute (if necessary). Spread 1/3 cup beef mixture down center of each tortilla, roll tortillas tightly, and set in baking pan seam side down. Repeat with remaining tortillas and beef mixture.
-Pour remaining sauce over enchiladas and spread to coat evenly. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup cheese evenly over enchiladas, wrap with aluminum foil, and bake until heated through, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking until cheese browns slightly, 5 to 10 minutes. Serve.

Restaurant-Style Salsa
Taken from: Good Life Eats

  • 1 - 14 ounce can Whole Tomatoes With Juice (I used 2 fresh tomatoes instead)
  • 1 - 10 ounce can Rotel Original (diced Tomatoes And Green Chilies) or Rotel Mexican (diced Tomatoes with Lime and Cilantro)
  • 1/4 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeno, roughly chopped(seeds removed for milder salsa)
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar or honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
-Combine tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, garlic, sugar, salt, cumin, lime juice, and cilantro in a blender or food processor. Pulse until you get the salsa to the consistency you’d like—about 5 to 15 pulses. Test seasonings and adjust as needed.
-Refrigerate salsa for at least an hour before serving.


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