The Netherlands is kind of devoid of good Mexican food, a cuisine I rarely enjoy yet is ubiquitous in California. I guess that latent presence really made an impression because I saw this recipe for vegetarian black bean enchiladas while I was still in The Hague and it was still on my mind when I got home. Also, Tom, who lived in Texas for a few years, apparently liked Mexican food, which I never really knew because I never venture to eat it or cook it at home. So I suppose my first ever venture was much appreciated.
The original recipe used a can of black beans, tri-color bell peppers, medium salsa, brown rice, and a pack of Trader Joe’s taco seasoning. I added corn and green onions and reduced the amount of seasoning because the packet contained a LOT of seasoning and it was getting pretty spicy. I used the remaining seasoning to make the enchilada sauce after I ran out of salsa.
The recipe I worked off of used more salsa to coat the bottom of the baking dish and on top of the rolled tortillas, but I ran out of salsa so I had to whip up some enchilada sauce pretty quickly. I used an Emeril recipe from Food Network that was basically a roux of vegetable oil and flour with tomato paste, some leftover taco seasoning, and a cup of chicken stock (Better Than Bouillon–a total pantry staple for me now–and hot water). It came together really well.
I had a lot of filling leftover, so I turned them into huevos rancheros for breakfast the next morning. A runny yolk from a fried or poached egg really makes anything taste heavenly.
Bonus: while I was gone, Tom had a bit of fun at the Japanese market and bought some more ice ball molds. A few months before I left, I bought some cheap ones online to drink with whisky and other alcoholic beverages because the large spheres melt slower and complement some liquors much better than crushed or cubed ice. (Learned this from our favorite San Jose speakeasy-style bar, singlebarrel, now with more hipsters.) Not to mention that these beautiful spheres of ice make cocktails a little more sophisticated. Plus, I’m not very good at drinking whisky neat, so it’s great to let it mellow without getting watered down. Tom tried to get Fuji to appreciate it as much as we do, but Fuji appeared uninterested.