Red Chile, Black Bean & Chard Enchiladas

[Photo: Bill Robbins]

Recipe by Carolyn Malcoun

These vegetarian enchiladas are stuffed with tender chard and black beans. (Want a carnivorous version? Substitute the beans with some shredded cooked chicken, beef or pork.) The rich chile sauce is slightly bitter from all the chili powder, so the sweetness of a dark lager provides the perfect counterpoint. It’s also a little grainy, which is the hallmark of a homemade chili sauce; feel free to give it a whirl in a blender at the end of step 1.

Serves: 12 enchiladas

Ingredients:
  • CHILE SAUCE
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1 12-ounce bottle dark lager, such as Negra Modelo
  • 1 cup chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • salt to taste
  • FILLING
  • 1 bunch chard
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed
  • ENCHILADAS
  • 12 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 3 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • sliced avocado, minced white onion and sour cream for serving

Instructions:

• MAKE THE SAUCE: Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and flour and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Stir in the chili powder, oregano and clove. Whisk in the beer and broth; bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook until the sauce is reduced to 21/2 cups, about 10 minutes.
• MAKE THE FILLING: Separate the chard leaves from stems. Trim any browned ends from the stems, then slice thinly. Roughly chop the leaves. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chard stems and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the leaves and water; cook until tender and the water is evaporated, about 3 minutes. Stir in the pepper, cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the black beans.
• Preheat the oven to 350 F. Warm the tortillas: Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 1/2 cup of the sauce in the bottom of the pan. Working with one warm tortilla at a time, spoon a little of the chard filling down the middle of the tortilla. Sprinkle with about 1 tablespoon of cheese. Roll up and place seam-side down in the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling ingredients. (Cover and refrigerate leftover filling for quesadillas, or simply spread it over the top of the enchiladas.) Spoon the remaining sauce over the enchiladas and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake until the cheese is melted, about 15 minutes.
• Let the enchiladas cool for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with avocado, onion and sour cream, if desired.



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