No. 284: Slow Cooker Black Bean Enchiladas

Asheville is known to have some terrific craft breweries and restaurants. We already love Wicked Weed Brewing for their awesome atmosphere and gastropub food. I can't wait to actually drink their beer.

A few weeks ago we went to West Asheville (think cool, hipster foodie scene with lots of gentrification) and tried Buffalo Nickel. The fried Brussels sprouts were awesome.

We went for an early birthday dinner (32! Woohoo!) to Curate this week as well. It's a local tapas bar that everyone raves about and was recently written up in Bon Appetit. It was awesome. I felt like we were back in Madrid at the Mercado de San Miguel.

Sidenote: Major kudos to Mr. McC who took me to a fabulous birthday dinner and then went home and spent two hours assembling our new king bed. I'd like to say I helped, but really all I did was hand him screws here and there.

Ok, back to food. Here are some other Asheville spots I'm dying to try:

  • Biscuit Head - Their theme is "Put some South in your mouth." I'm sold already.
  • 12 Bones Smokehouse - Apparently Obama ate here? And it's supposedly the most legit Southern bbq in town.
  • King James Public House - I'm told they do these really cool 'jars' of charcuterie. That piqued my interest.
  • All Souls Pizza - This may be the one spot in town that lives up to Mr. McC's wood-fired pizza expectations. We'll see.
  • Hole - They specialize in donuts and they're closed by noon. I've driven by several times and they never look open - so mysterious.

Come visit and give me an excuse to go to brunch/dinner! :)

Slow Cooker Black Bean Enchiladas

After making heaps of chicken and pot roast over the weekend, we had plenty to nosh on throughout the first half of the week.

Then suddenly, it seemed like we were out of food. Funny, how that sneaks up on me.

This slow cooker meal looked like the perfect Thursday solution.

Ingredients

Serves 6 to 8
1 small yellow onion, diced small
1 sweet bell pepper, diced small
1 16-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups Monterey jack, colby, or other melting cheese, shredded and divided
2 (16-ounce) jars salsa, any kind
12 to 15 medium (6-inch or so) flour tortillas
1 cup leftover meat and/or veggies — chicken, pork, hamburger, beef, baked tofu, or roasted veggies (optional)

To make

In a medium bowl, mix together the onion, pepper, black beans, corn, spices, meat (if using), and just 1/2 cup of the cheese.

Mixture

Spread a cup or so of salsa over the bottom of a 6-quart (or larger) slow cooker, enough to evenly coat the bottom with a bit of sauce.

Ready to fill

Fill each of the tortillas with about 1/3 cup of the filling, roll them up as tightly as you can, and pack them seam-side down into the bottom of the slow cooker. Don't worry if some filling falls out — just tuck it back in once you've set the tortilla down.

When you complete the layer, spread another cup of salsa over the top and sprinkle with about 1/2 cup of the remaining cheese. Continue rolling the remaining tortillas with the remaining filling to make one more layer; if you have leftover filling, sprinkle this over the top. Finish by pouring another cup of salsa over the top of the enchiladas. Reserve the last 1/2 cup of cheese to add later.

Ready to bake

Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 2 to 4 hours. In the last 15 minutes of cooking, sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese over the top, re-cover the slow cooker, and finish cooking.

Finished enchiladas

Serve the enchiladas with any remaining salsa. Leftovers will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator.

Additional recipe notes from The Kitchn:

  • Gluten-Free Enchiladas: Use gluten-free corn tortillas instead of flour tortillas. These tortillas tend to fall apart a bit more during cooking, but will still be just as tasty!
  • Longer Slow-Cooker Times: You can cook the enchiladas for longer (6 to 8 hours on LOW), but the tortillas in the middle start to get very mushy while the ones touching the sides of the cooker get crispy. Still tasty, though!
  • Oven-Baked Enchiladas: To cook these enchiladas in the oven, layer the rolled tortillas in a 9x13-inch baking pan and cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with cheese, and bake uncovered for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, until the cheese has melted and the dish is bubbling.
  • Smaller Slow Cookers: To make this recipe in a smaller (3-quart or so) slow cooker, halve the recipe and make 3 layers instead of 2.
  • Doubling the Recipe: If your slow cooker is large enough, you can also double the recipe. Just continue creating layers in the slow cooker and bake as usual.

The results

You may have noticed that there was no slow cooker in the photos above. That's because my afternoon was so crazy busy that I missed my "put the enchiladas in the slow cooker window" by a mile.

Thankfully, The Kitchn is awesome about alternative cooking methods, so I ended up going the oven baked route mentioned above. So fast and easy!

Final plate

And so good.

I went light on the salsa and only did one layer of roll-ups, so this recipe stayed pretty mush-free. However, I think another layer and more salsa would have made all these layers melt together in a wonderful way.

I also mixed a cup of shredded chicken into the mixture and as yummy as it was, I doubt it was really necessary. There are so many terrific veggies that you don't need meat.

If you need to feed a crowd, this is a great way to do it! Layer up and enjoy:)

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