I love Mexican food. The deep, smoky flavors of cumin and chili powder, the brightness of a salsa or tomatillo sauce. I’ll find any excuse to make it. There’s just one thing about my love for Mexican food, I’ve never actually been to Mexico. Sure, I’ve been to restaurants that boast ‘authentic’ cuisine, and while it may be good, I always wonder how close to the real thing it actually is. Later this spring, I’ll get to find out, as I make my way south of the border for the first time. Until then I’ll just enjoy my own, made at home, midwest version.
Pinto beans are a staple in my pantry. I keep both the dried and canned (for when I’m in a pinch) variety around to make all kinds of meals. Most often I make them into refried beans. I love ’100 Days of Real Foods’ method of cooking beans in your slow cooker, but have also tried the no-soak oven recipe over on ‘The Kitchn’. Each week, I’ll make a big batch of refried beans for us to eat off. We’ll have them as dip with blue corn chips, in a bowl with brown rice, avocado (oh, how I love them), salsa, jalapeno and green onions as a quick lunch, or as filling for these very simple enchiladas.
Refried Bean Enchiladas
6-10 Whole Wheat tortillas
Refried beans — 2 cans pre made or make your own
2 cups mild shredded cheddar or Queso Fresco, crumbled
1 bunch green onions, chopped
Cilantro for garnish
Easy Enchilada Sauce
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon flour
1/4 cup chili powder — I especially like to use Ancho chili powder, it just adds a little more of a smoky flavor
2 cups tomato puree
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a medium saucepan heat oil, add flour, smoothing and stirring with a wooden spoon. Cook for 1 minute. Add chili powder and cook for 30 seconds. Add tomato puree, oregano, and cumin. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. The sauce will thicken and smooth as it simmers. Adjust the seasonings as needed.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a 9×13 or 8×8 baking dish spread a small amount of sauce to prevent sticking. Take one tortilla and spread a large spoonful of refried beans in center of tortilla. Roll tortilla and place in baking dish. Repeat until all the refried beans are used. Pour enchilada sauce over top and sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Bake in oven at 425 degrees until beans are heated through and cheese is melted and bubbling. Top with sliced green onions and cilantro, of course a few slices of avocado are always a welcome addition too.
We enjoy any leftovers the next day for lunch, sometimes my 10 year old will even request them for breakfast!
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Sharing her love for photography, cooking and adventures of mothering 3 boys, 'this homemade life', is a blog written by Alison Bickel.