Recently I bought some dried black beans to play with and while I overcooked the first batch, this batch came out perfect. Dried black beans are stunningly pretty while they’re soaking. The color ranges from midnight black to deep purple and they’ve got a much more interesting taste than canned black beans. If you’ve got the time, try making them from scratch. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Start soaking the beans the morning you intend to cook them. Make sure to put them in a bowl that will allow them to expand as they soak. I had mine sitting in water for a good 8 hours. As mine were rather fresh, they only took an hour to cook. Though I did get distracted and let them boil over — twice. Then my husband kindly suggested I remove the lid and let them simmer without it. Then he cleaned up the stove top for me. Such a nice guy.
The idea for this recipe goes to the nice guy. While my chicken enchiladas are dynamite, he thought black beans might be a fun way to go — and what the heck, why not use salsa verde?! I made this up while I went along and I’m not changing a thing. The fresh jalapeño adds a wonderfully grassy note, so I wouldn’t omit it. But if you’re not prone to spicy things, remove the seeds and veining. I sliced mine paper thin.
I topped my enchilada with cilantro and crema, while my husband did a combo of crema and hot sauce. If you don’t have the time to make the beans from scratch, use a couple of cans of black beans. Drain them, add a little water to the pot and bring them to a simmer before assembling the enchiladas.
Black Bean Enchiladas Verde
1 C dried black beans
6 8-inch flour tortillas
1 16-oz. jar of salsa verde
1 C onion, diced
1 C cilantro
1 C jack cheese, shredded
2 poblano peppers
1 jalapeño, sliced into very thin rings
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. sour cream
2 Tbsp. heavy cream
salt to taste
Put the black beans in a large bowl and fill with water. Cover the bowl and let the beans soak for at least 8 hours.
Drain the beans and put them into a pot. Cover the beans with enough water that the beans are at least an inch below the surface of the water and bring them to a simmer. Let them simmer for at least an hour, or until they are tender and cooked through. Drain the liquid from the beans and set aside.
Mix the sour cream, heavy cream, and a pinch of salt to make the crema. Set aside while preparing everything else.
Line a baking sheet with foil. Trim off the stems of the poblanos and place them on the baking sheet. Drizzle them with olive oil and rub the oil thoroughly over the peppers. Place under the broiler and char the peppers on all sides. Remove from the broiler and let them cool before peeling and deseeding. Dice the peppers and set aside.
In a skillet, heat a small amount of olive oil and sauté the onion and garlic until nicely browned and soft. Add the onion and garlic to the diced peppers and mix. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat a large baking dish with oil and drizzle a just enough salsa verde to lightly cover the bottom of the pan.
Take one flour tortilla and place approximately 1/3 of a cup of black beans into the center. Scoop 1/6 of the pepper mix onto the black beans and sprinkle some cilantro and cheese on top. Lay 4 or 5 slices of jalapeño across the filling and fold the sides in. Place the enchilada in the baking dish and repeat with remaining tortillas. Once all of the enchiladas are assembled, pour a thick line of salsa verde over the top of each enchilada. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bake, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes. If desired, brown off the enchiladas for 2 or 3 minutes under the broiler just before serving. Serve with crema and cilantro.