yam & black bean enchiladas with cilantro & sunflower seed pesto


Making my grocery list I was thinking about my adult daughter coming home soon for Christmas– Hallelujah! Her favorite childhood meal was always my tofu enchiladas, and long past her graduation from college “tofu enchiladas” was still her answer when I’d ask what she’d like me to make for her first meal at home. She’s had her own kitchen now for many years, and she texts or calls me sometimes when that’s what she’s cooking.

So that’s how I came to be thinking about making enchiladas. I was also thinking I craved a good pesto, but not a basil pesto, not on classic Italian pasta. I wanted cilantro, and black beans, maybe salmon? Then the thoughts blended together and I contemplated making a New Enchilada recipe. Would she think that sacrilege? I considered new growth…  Having “tested” it, I can say I think they’re tasty! When my daughter arrives home in time for dinner tonight I have New Enchilada left overs for us.  (And, while grocery shopping I also bought beer, tofu and Ezekiel tortillas, so if she answers “tofu enchiladas”  I will smile knowing “mom’s enchiladas are best”. I’ll hand her a cold beer and enjoy her updates while I easily put those together, knowing the recipe by heart.

 

enchilada ingredients:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 jewel yam, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 T cumin
  • 1/4 t sea salt, fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2-2 c cooked black beans, or 1 can, well rinsed
  • 1-2 T fresh lime juice
  • 6 organic corn tortillas, softened

enchilada instructions:

Preheat oven to 350F. Saute chopped yam in 1-2 T olive oil  in large skillet, adding cumin after a minute or two. Continue stirring until yam is just starting to brown, then add a couple T fresh water, reduce heat and simmer covered for 3-4 minutes, until yam just beginning to soften. Add chopped red pepper and continue to steam for 2 minutes. Test for doneness, cooking until yam and red pepper are just soft but still bright, not mushy. Add black beans, salt and black pepper to taste, and mix all together well. Prepare 9×9 baking dish with a little olive oil. Soften corn tortillas (in fry pan or pre-heating oven), spoon yam and bean mixture into tortillas, roll and place into baking pan. Top with pesto (recipe follows.) Pour lime juice over top, then bake covered for about 20 minutes. Serve garnished with reserved toasted sunflower seeds.

pesto ingredients:

  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, about 2 cups
  • 3 medium cloves garlic
  • 1 lemon drop hot pepper
  • 1/2 c raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 c pecorino or parmesan grated cheese
  • 1/8 – 1/4 t cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 -1/2 t sea salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 T fresh lime juice

pesto instructions:

Using dry cast iron or ceramic skillet, toast raw sunflower seeds over medium heat stirring constantly. Set aside. Place garlic in food processor, mince finely, then add hot pepper to running food processor. Add 1/4 cup of toasted sunflower seeds, the cilantro, grated cheese, salt and pepper, process until all chopped finely and well mixed. With food processor running, add lime juice then olive oil slowly– until mixture reaches your desired consistency. Store in a glass jar with tight lid in refrigerator for 3-5 days, or place large “dollops” into center of squares cut of plastic wrap, twist wrap tightly around each dollop of pesto, then place dollops into tightly sealed plastic bag in freezer. Will store in freezer for several months.

 

 

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