This is a really satisfying vegetarian enchilada. The beans are loaded with flavour, and the avocado adds a lovely creaminess. Making this the first time was a bit of an experiment, as I was testing out what it would be like to bake the enchiladas with the avocado stuffed inside them – and it’s awesome!
The beans need to be soaked a day in advance, and then they take over an hour to cook. I made the beans and sauce ahead of time, so it was really quick to just roll the enchiladas, bake, and eat. It’s a bit of an involved recipe, but it makes a lot of delicious food that is excellent as leftovers.
The recipe for the sauce is from the Thug Kitchen cookbook, and the filling is my own creation. I prefer to make the beans myself instead of using canned ones; when you cook them yourself you can add all those great flavours. Plus it’s really cheap.
What you need for the beans:
- 1 cup dry pinto beans
- about 4 cups vegetable stock, or water and a bouillon cube
- 1 sweet onion, diced
- 3 dry Morita chilis
- 1 stalk celery, whole
- 1 carrot, whole
- 1 bunch cilantro stems, minced
- 1 clove garlic, smashed
- 2 bay leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
What you need for the Enchilada Sauce:
- 2 & 1/4 cups vegetable broth
- 1/3 cup tomato paste
- 2 & 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 & 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
The other ingredients:
- 5-6 flour or corn tortillas
- 2 avocados
- the greens from the cilantro, chopped
- lime juice
- 1-2 cups grated aged cheddar
- salsa or hot sauce to serve
- yogurt or sour cream to serve
What you do:
- Begin by soaking the beans the night before you want to cook them.
- Drain the beans and add the broth, or the water and bouillon. Add the onion, Morita chilis, celery, carrot, cilantro stems, garlic, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for about 1 hour and 45 minutes, or until the beans are soft. Add a little boiling water if they start looking too dry.
- At this point I cook off any excess liquid by raising the heat and stirring. Keeping all that concentrated liquid retains its flavour, making the beans irresistible.
- Discard the vegetable pieces and bay leaves.
- The enchilada sauce can also be made ahead of time and refrigerated. Put all the ingredients for the sauce except the lime juice into a medium saucepan. Whisk the tomato paste and let the sauce simmer for 10-15 minutes until it has thickened up a bit. Add the lime juice and take the sauce off the heat. Let the sauce cool before making the enchiladas.
- Preheat the oven to 375F. To make the enchiladas, begin by spreading some of the sauce in the bottom of a large baking dish. Mix the beans with the chopped avocado, chopped cilantro, and some lime juice. Dip a tortilla in the tomato sauce so that there is some on both sides. Spread the bean mixture in down the centre of the tortilla and top it with some grated cheese. Roll it up and place it in the pan seam-side down. Do the same with the rest of the filling.
- Add any remaining sauce to the top of the enchiladas, and then sprinkle on the remaining cheese. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake 5 minutes more. Let the enchiladas sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.
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