On Saturday, we made a black and orange dinner — black bean and sweet potato enchiladas — to cheer on our black and orange team, the Giants, who won their game against the Phillies. On Sunday, we ate sushi and our team lost. Yesterday, I ate the leftover enchilada for lunch and things went better for the Giants. Good as these are, I don’t think I can commit to the same meal every time the Giants play, but I present the recipe in the hope that you can help root on our team with a team colors dinner.
This recipe is an adaptation by Tony of one he read years ago in a vegetarian cooking magazine, and I offer it here just as he wrote it down for me. It scales well, so you can make a couple pans to feed a baseball-watching crowd:
3 sweet potatoes, medium-sized
1 15 oz. can black beans
10-12 flour tortillas
1 package jack cheese, grated (grate it as big as you want — truly whatever is fastest and easiest… it’s all going to get melted)
1 big (28-32 oz.) or 2 small (~15 oz.) cans of plain tomato sauce (just not “Italian flavored”)
1 jar of salsa … thinner is actually better than thicker — I use “Mrs. Renfro’s” which is in a lot of supermarkets
(or if you find a can of “enchilada sauce” that would be fine too)
ground cumin to taste
dash of cayenne pepper or hot sauce, if desired
Peel 3 medium sweet potatoes. Cut them into large chunks and boil them until you can easily stick a fork in them. You’re going to mash these, so they’re pretty forgiving.
Drain the water, and put them back in the pot or into a big bowl. Mash the potatoes well, with a fork or potato masher.
Drain most of the water from a can of black beans and add them to the sweet potatoes
Add a liberal amount of cumin (maybe 2-3 tablespoons? Start with two and you can taste it and add more if you like )
If you’re so inclined, you could add a little heat — a dash of hot sauce or cayenne pepper. That’s the filling.
The sauce I usually just make from plain old canned tomato sauce (since it really kind of wants to be thin… not all homestyle-y like a good homemade pasta sauce). But you do want some kind of Mexican flavor in there… so essentially I just spike it with something…
Some salsa from a jar (Mrs. Renfro’s, enchilada sauce, or some other not-too-chunky salsa) It doesn’t need a ton –just a little something, maybe 1/2 to 3/4 cup. As far as quantity goes, for a big dish of enchiladas, you probably want like a 32 ounce can of sauce to start with. That’s the sauce. NOTE: you don’t even have to cook this… just mix the plain tomato sauce and whatever you’re spiking it with into a bowl.
Then it’s just putting filling into flour tortillas (I’m sure corn would be great, too, but we usually do flour just for size, if no other reason) — maybe 1/4 cup or so… add a little bit of grated cheese (jack is what we usually use), roll ’em up and tuck them in real close to each other in a big rectangular baking dish with the seam down.
It’s nice to have a tight fit… sometimes I use baking dish that’s a little smaller than the tortillas and just slice of 1/2 inch from two sides of the tortillas to “square them off” –but that’s not really necessary. Pour the sauce over and around… add some more grated cheese on top.
You can easily split this into two pans if need be… I probably get maybe 8 enchiladas in a big baking dish.
Then just bake it until it’s nice and bubbly… maybe 30-40 minutes at 350 or so… it’s all cooked, so you really just need to get it nice and hot.
I usually start with it covered with foil and then sometimes finish it with a few minutes under the broiler to let the cheese get nice and brown. The broiler’s not necessary, but you could at least just take the foil off for the last 5 minutes or so.
We usually have this with Slammin’ Rice — a really simple spanish/mexican rice.
I’m showing 3 cups of rice here, which is a lot… good if you’re serving 8.
3 cups plain-old white rice… ideally medium or long-grain rather than short grain like you might use for a stir fry
1/2 onion chopped fine
1-2 cloves garlic chopped fine (if you want)
3 cups veggie stock
2 1/2 cups plain tomato sauce (just like above for the enchiladas)
1/2 cup “thin” salsa, enchilada sauce, Mrs. Renfro’s — again same as above… you’re just “spiking” the plain tomato sauce with a little flavor.
(the key is 6 cups liquid for 3 cups rice… and you’re essentially doing half veggie stock and half spicy tomato sauce…)
So, this starts out like risotto, but just gets a lot easier because you don’t have to stir. Essentially you’re just making plain rice with 1/2 stock and 1/2 tomato sauce instead of water.
In a good size pot, saute the onion in olive oil (medium heat) until it starts to get brown. Add the garlic, if you’re using it and just saute that for a minute. You might need to add a touch more oil when you put the garlic in so it doesn’t stick.
Add the rice to the onion and garlic… stir them together and cook for 15-20 seconds.
Add all the liquid: stock, tomato sauce, and whatever you’re using to spike it (the key is to use 6 cups liquid total)
Cover the pot, turn the heat to medium high until it starts to boil, give it a good stir (Scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon and make sure nothing’s stuck) and then turn the heat really low and cook for 20 minutes with the lid on.
After 20 minutes, take the lid off, give it a good stir and scrape and see if the rice is cooked. If it seems like it needs a little more time that’s fine… once the rice is all cooked you can just leave this on the stove with the lid on and it will stay hot for awhile.
You can garnish this with the obvious — sour cream, guacamole, chopped cilantro — whatever sounds good.