Black bean & butternut squash enchiladas

Enchiladas

What makes these Halloween-y? They’re black and orange, of course! They’re also a welcome warm and spicy meal on a cold autumn night. The earthiness of the black beans and the spinach contrasts nicely with the sweetness of the squash. Chipotle puree and red pepper flakes add some zing, and fennel and cilantro brighten it all up. The sauce is a spicy tomato-almond sauce, and it’s delicious! These enchiladas are not drowned in sauce or cheese, they’re lighter and dryer, and the tortillas become nice and crispy on the edge.

Here’s Enchilada by the Scamps. Enchilaaaaaaaada….enchilaaaaaaaaaaada! The maniacal laughter makes it a good halloween song, too!

7 flour tortillas (about 8″ across)
FILLING
olive oil
1 shallot, finely diced
1 clove of garlic, finely diced
1 t. oregano
1 t. sage
red pepper flakes – to desired spiciness
1 butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and about 1/2 inch dice
1 can black beans – rinsed and drained
2 T. diced tomatoes
1/2 t. chipotle puree (or more if you like it spicy!)
1 cup spinach, washed and roughly chopped
1/2 bulb fennel, diced
1 cup brocoli cut into small pieces
3 T cilantro (or more if you really like it. Or none, if you really don’t like it)
Salt/pepper
2-3 cups grated cheese of your choice. I used sharp cheddar, but others would work well, too, like Jack cheese, or even something smoked.

SAUCE
olive oil
1 shallot finely diced
1 garlic clove, finely diced
1 can (minus 2 T) fire roasted diced tomatoes
1/3 cup finely ground almonds
1 t. oregano
1 t. paprika
red pepper flakes – to desired spiciness
chipotle puree – to desired spiciness
1 T butter
1 t. balsamic
salt/pepper

1. put the squash pieces on a baking sheet with olive oil to coat, and the sage leaves. Roast in a 425 oven until starting to brown and caramelize. 30-40 minutes.

2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil, fry the shallots and then the garlic until they start to brown. Add the oregano and red pepper flakes. Add the fennel and cook until it’s translucent and starting to brown slightly. Add the chipotle puree, stir to coat. Add the black beans and stir everything together. Cook for a few minutes, and then add enough water to make a saucy sauce. Add the spinach and cook until the pan starts to dry out. Add the broccoli, cover, and cook just till it starts to turn bright green.

3. Stir in the cilantro, and the butternut squash, and set the filling aside while you make the sauce.

4. To make the sauce, start with the olive oil, shallot and garlic, just like we always seem to do. Add the chipotle puree, the red pepper flakes, the oregano. Cook for a minute or two. Add the paprika. Add the tomatoes and the almonds, stir and cook till everything is heated through and reduced slightly. You can add some water if it starts to stick. You don’t want it to be too thick or too thin. Add the butter and balsamic, and then puree in the blender until it’s lovely and smooth.

5. Lightly oil a baking dish. Put a warm tortilla in (I warm them in the toaster oven while I’m cooking everything else.) Put a line of filling in the center…about an inch thick all the way along. Add cheese to cover. Then roll it up and put it face-down in the pan.

6. When you have a whole row, cover a swath down the middle with sauce, and then a put a layer of cheese on top of that. Cook at 400 until the cheese is melted and starting to brown. About 20 minutes. I serve this with basmati rice.

NOTE: I usually like to cook with cumin when I cook with black beans. I didn’t this time, but you could, and it would taste very good. You could also add corn, to add some bright sweetness to the dish.

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