Thursday, July 15, 2010

Black Bean and Summer Squash Enchiladas and a GIVEAWAY!

Happy 2-year Blogiversary to me! I can't believe it's been 2 years since I started this blog on the urging of Joe. I remember that I showed him an article about Elise from Simply Recipes, and he said, "You should start a food blog!" In those two years, I've had my share of successes and failures, but I've learned that I love to cook. I have a lot more that I would like to learn and blog about, but I would like to thank you all for reading and supporting my efforts. I know this isn't the fanciest food blog out there, but it's been a great project for me. So to thank you, I am giving away a copy of Robb Walsh's The Tex-Mex Cookbook: A History in Recipes and Photos.

Robb Walsh is one of my favorite food writers, and he has a passion for Texas cuisine, particularly the origins of Tex-Mex (which is different from authentic Mexican and other regional variations such as New Mexican). For a while, Robb Walsh was the restaurant critic for the alternative weekly newspaper in Houston, the Houston Press, but now, the rumor is that he is opening his own restaurant. My enchiladas below certainly won't compare to anything you'll find in this book!

Enchiladas are notoriously difficult to photograph, and after a while, they all look the same. But, as with people, it's what's inside that counts, and these are filled with a well-spiced mixture of black beans and fresh summer squash. When I told Joe what was for dinner, he feigned excitement, but after eating them, he requested the leftovers for lunch the next day. He even admitted his prejudice and remarked that he liked how the squash was finely diced but not mushy. These could also be served in individual dishes for a fancier presentation, particularly if you happen to be having any vegan guests for dinner. Even if you don't have any vegan friends, this is a nice, light, summer version of enchiladas, especially contrasted with the heavy, greasy, cheesy enchiladas that I get at our Mexican restaurant.

Black Bean and Summer Squash Enchiladas
Source: Fat Free Vegan Kitchen
Yields 4 servings (2 enchiladas each)

1 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup green or red bell pepper, chopped
12 ounces patty pan, zucchini, or yellow summer squash, diced (about 2 medium squash)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Ancho chile powder (or mild chili powder)
1/8 -1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder (or to taste)
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans, well rinsed and drained
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 can enchilada sauce (or 10 ounces homemade sauce)
8 corn tortillas
chopped green onions, for serving

Saute the onion in the olive oil in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat until it begins to soften. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in the bell pepper and squash and cook, stirring, for about two minutes, until squash is just beginning to become tender. Add the cumin, chile powders, black beans, and salt. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the nutritional yeast and lime juice. Check seasoning and adjust to taste.
Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Lightly spray one large rectangular baking dish or 4 individual baking dishes with olive oil. Place a thin layer of enchilada sauce on the bottom of each dish, reserving most of it to go on top. Microwave the tortillas for about 20 seconds to soften them. Place a tortilla in front of you and arrange about 1/4 cup of the bean mixture across the center. Roll up and place seam-side down into the baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas and beans. Pour the remaining sauce over the top.
Bake for about 20 minutes, or until hot and bubbling. Sprinkle with sliced green onions to serve.

To win Robb Walsh's The Tex-Mex Cookbook, comment below by and answer the question: What would you like to learn to do in the next year? It can be cooking or baking related or just something else you want to learn. How to sew? How to take a killer portrait shot? Just comment below by Monday, July 19th at 11:59 PM Central Time. And make sure you leave an e-mail address or a means by which to contact you! A number will be drawn randomly, and the winner will be contacted by July 20th.