Thursday, 7 May 2015

Cocoa and Bean Enchiladas


This recipe is a perfect way to make half a pack of soft tortillas stretch to make a meal for the whole family.  We love fajitas, but the ingredients can be costly.  This is a way of still getting those flavours and textures but as a "proper knife and fork meal" and it costs less.

Now I don't actually mean "cocoa bean" enchiladas, though it could, I guess; I mean that this recipe combines kidney and cannellini beans, but it does also benefit from the depth of cocoa, an ingredient often added to chilli.

I love adding wild greens in lieu of coriander leaf to this sort of Tex-Mex inspired fare, so feel free to do likewise but you can substitute it with either coriander leaf or a mild green such as spinach or hawthorn.

We keep it smoky, sweet and mild with smoked paprika - I find this gives vegetables a lovely umami chargrilled aroma and flavour - but it can be substituted with chilli powder for a hotter dish.

When it comes to the stock for savoury sauces, I like to use the brine from a jar of green olives - it brings a gorgeous fullness of flavour to a cheesy or white sauce (and if I am being indulgent, along with a splash of white wine or very dry cider.)  But whichever mild stock is around will do fine.



3 - 4 soft tortillas (we used 50/50 wholemeal/white)
1 onion, chopped
400g tin of kidney beans, drained
400g tin of baked beans
1 tbsp. tomato puree
1 tsp oregano
A few chopped thyme leaves or 1scant tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika (or chilli)
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp. crumbled frozen dandy greens or other greens (see above, and this post)
175ml mild stock (see above)
175ml milk (I use soya sweetened with apple extract, *why?)
2 tsp cornflour
1 tbsp. cheese sauce mix (I use this one - you could replace it with actual cheese and up the cornflour to 1 tbsp.)
1 slice of bread
Pinch of salt and drizzle of olive oil

Whiz the kidney beans to a rough mash, then mix in the baked beans, tomato puree, oregano, thyme, cinnamon, cumin, paprika, garlic, cocoa, salt, pepper and greens.  Use this mixture to fill the tortillas, rolling them up loosely and placing seam down in an oven dish.  Mix the cornflour and cheese sauce mix with a little cold milk to a smooth paste, then mix in the remaining milk and stock; pour over the top of the tortillas.  Pop into a 180C oven for 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, rub the bread between your fingertips or blitz to make crumbs; mix with the salt and oil.  Sprinkle the crumbs over the top of the now thickened cheese sauce and return to the oven for 10 minutes.

Serve with long grain rice, cooked with a bay leaf and pinch of salt.

Costings: approximately £1.40 for the whole meal, or £1.50 with 250g rice (50-75g is 1 portion)


Why? I like to use soya milk sweetened with apple extract (supermarket brands usually are) which is around the same cost as dairy milks but with less saturated fat and is good if you worry about the free-range etc side of things - it also has the advantage of making cakes suitable for the oft-cited 70% of the world's population who are lactose intolerant! If you only have dairy milk in the fridge, then there is no reason that this recipe wouldn't work with that instead.

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