Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Chicken & Black Bean Enchiladas with Cumin and Jalapeño Sauce

I woke craving Enchiladas yesterday.
When I have a hankering like that it generally becomes dinner.
I'm not good at letting cravings go by unnoticed.
I need to sate them.

When I mentioned it to my kids at the breakfast table they replied with "What are Enchiladas?'
I was kind of gobsmacked.
How was it that all these years have gone by and I haven't made them Enchys?!

As I set about sating my craving by heading out with the kids to get the ingredients, I felt like mixing it up a little.
I didn't really want a tomato based sauce so I made up a sauce that I felt would work.
It worked really well and I am pretty sure that I will be making this again- my kids LOVED it.

I am not one to stick to the rules and this dish shows that- I use recipes and flavours as a base and then let what I have in the pantry or what flavours I crave be my guide from there. Although having said that, there is a time to follow rules in the kitchen, and even I do it sometimes!
I think it is one of the reasons I love cooking so much.
Once you get a few good skills and the knowledge of flavours under your belt you can be free to experiment.
Although I do get into trouble for it here (my Cornish Pasties was one of those......soooo many emails about how they were not actually proper Cornish pasties).
The internet can be a strange strange place.
Let it be known that I never said I was a traditionalist.......And I never said that my way is the only way OR the right way.
It is just my way.
Take it or leave it.
I only know how to be me after all.
And me is what you will get here.

Chicken & Black Bean Enchiladas with Cumin and Jalapeño sauce.
This recipe uses Black Turtle beans which are a very common ingredient in Mexican food. If you are vegetarian these Enchiladas would be equally delicious just using the Black beans- I have added instructions for the Vego version in the recipe also.
I find them easiest to find in Asian grocery stores- I know this seems a little strange but they are used a bit on Vietnamese cuisine also and so can be found there (usually amongst the lentils etc)


  • 500g Chicken things, sliced finely
  • 200g black Turtle beans soaked (or boiled until soft)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 cob of corn, charred over gas flame and kernels sliced off
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 heaped tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons sliced jalapeño
  • 4 soft tortillas (we used organic Quinoa wraps as that was what I had in the cupboard- they were delicious)
  • oil
  • 50g butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • S & P
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 cup grated cheese (or more if you like it super cheesy!)
  • 1 cup chicken/vegie stock.
  • large bunch fresh coriander, rinsed well and chopped (set stems aside separately, chopped finely)
  • lime

Pre-Heat oven to 175C.

Place the Jalapeños and garlic and a few salt flakes into a Mortar and Pestle and grind to a paste.
Set aside one heaped tablespoon of this paste for the sauce- the rest will be used in the chicken & Black bean mix.

In a large saucepan, heat a good glug of oil to medium high and add the onion.
Fry gently til translucent.
Now add the sliced chicken and turn up heat to high (omit this step if making vego version).
Cook till brown.
Add the cumin & jalapeño paste. Stir well. Add the Paprika and Oregano & fresh Coriander stems.
Stir to coat all of the chicken.
Now add the black beans and the corn & finally the stock.
Bring to boil. Turn heat down to low and simmer for 10- 15 minutes.

While the bean mix is cooking, make the Cumin & Jalapeño sauce by melting butter in a separate saucepan.
Once butter is melted add flour and stir for a minute to cook flour. Add the reserved tablespoon of cumin & jalapeño paste (add a few more slices of jalapeño if you wish- I added lots as we love it spicy!)
Add milk and bring heat to high. Stir the entire time with a whisk, to prevent lumps, until the mix has thickened nicely.

Take a large rectangular oven dish and lay the tortilla flat. Spread some of the chicken bean mix across the middle, roll the sides over and lay so folds are at the bottom (this prevents the enchiladas opening as they cook).

Repeat for all enchiladas.
Now pour over the Cumin & Jalapeño sauce and sprinkle with grated cheese.

Place into oven for 20 minutes or until the top looks deliciously brown and the cheese is gooey and scrumptious!

I served ours with lots of cubed avocadoes, red onion, coriander, sour cream, extra jalapeños, and lime juice and also with a delicious Slaw.
Sooooooo good!