Chipotle Plantain Enchiladas

When my mother came to visit me in Brussels back in November, I asked her to bring some hard-to-find American treats with her, and she graciously complied. At the top of my list were maple syrup and chipotles in adobo sauce, the one being outrageously expensive, and the latter being very hard to track down in Brussels. And although I whipped through that maple syrup, the chipotles have been sitting in my cupboard, taunting me. No recipe seemed special enough to use them up, the precious things. They waited so long, I even packed them along with me to bring to Berlin. Then, just in time for Cinco de Mayo, inspiration struck.

I wanted to make enchiladas for S., figuring that they were the perfect thing to introduce him to the wonders of chipotles while providing me with little breaks from paper writing throughout the day- make the sauce, wait an hour, make the filling, wait an hour, bake, wait an hour, etc. I originally intended to make sweet potato and black bean enchiladas, but a local "Afro-Asian-Spanish" market was lacking on the "Süßkartoffels" but had plenty of tempting, perfectly blackened plantains. So instead I envisioned my dream chipotle-tomato sauce blanketing flour tortillas with starchy black beans, garlicky mushrooms, and meaty, slightly sweet roasted plantains. And wouldn't you know, these things turned out amazing. S. wants me to make them once a week. (We'll see.) Finally, a dish deserving my well-loved and well-traveled can of chipotles.

So here's the recipe, and although there are several different steps, they are all pretty easy. And the results are worth the effort. Give them a try the next time you have an afternoon and some ripe plantains on your hands.

Chipotle Plantain Enchiladas
Serves 4

Roasted Plantains
-vegetable oil
-2 large plantains, sliced into about 3/4" rounds
-agave nectar (or sub maple syrup)

Chipotle Enchilada Sauce
-1 medium red onion, diced
-1 tsp. marjoram
-1/2 tsp. cumin
-1 large can whole plum tomatoes in their sauce
-2-3 chipotles, chopped + 3 tbs. adobo sauce* (see directions)
-1 heaping tsp. brown sugar
-salt, pepper

Mushroom Black Bean and Plantain Filling
-3 cloves garlic, diced
-1 can black beans, drained
-3 large or 10 medium mushrooms, sliced
-roasted plantains, quartered

Extras and optionals
-8 Flour Tortillas
-soy sour cream (or cashew sour cream, yum)
-guac or mangos
-soy cheese

1.) First roast the plantains. Take 2 large, nearly blackened plantains and remove the skin by hand or with a paring knife. Cut into small rounds of about 3/4". In a bowl, combine rounds with a decent drizzle of oil and a little drizzle of agave nectar, then sprinkle liberally with cinnamon and salt. Toss with your hands. Place apart on a greased cookie sheet (or parchment paper) and bake on 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes, flipping once halfway through. (This time will vary- I'm using a weird euro-oven.) Keep an eye on them and remove from the oven when they are browned and caramelized. Set aside. (At NYAM there is a nice detailed explanation of the process, with tips and photos for plantain-phobics.)

2.) Next make the sauce. Cook onions in a good dollop of oil over medium heat. Add in cumin, majoram, and a healthy pinch of salt. Cook until fragrant, then add in remaining ingredients, mashing the whole tomatoes as you go. (Be careful with chipotle if you aren't a spicy foods person- your best bet is to start off smaller than my recipe calls for and add in more to taste.) Raise heat to high then remove from heat when sauce starts to bubble. When cool enough, taste and adjust spices if necessary. When cooled, blend with an immersion blender and set aside.

3.) Now make the filling. Heat garlic in oil over medium heat, then add in diced mushrooms when garlic is fragrant. While sauteeing mushrooms, cut cooled, roasted plantain slices into fourths (little triangles) with a sharp knife. When mushrooms are browned, add in black beans and plantain pieces and cook for 2-3 more minutes, until mixed and heated, then remove from heat. Preheat oven to 350.

4.) Now make the enchiladas! Preheat oven to 350 (175 celcius). Spread some sauce onto a large casserole dish (or two small ones) and plop a tortilla in the middle, then flip it over so it gets nice and saucy. Then, add a ladleful of filling mixture, and carefully wrap up. Continue, placing each filled enchilada snugly next to the others for support, until you are finished with all of the tortillas and filling. Ladle some more sauce on top, then cover with tin foil and bake for 30 minutes, plus 10 more without the tin foil. (But watch them- some ovens are hotter than others.)

5.) Serve with leftover enchilada sauce, plenty of sour cream and a side of mango or avocado if desired. (My Mango Avacado Salsa is always a good cool down as well.) Leftovers are also delish. :)

Song of the Day: Bamboleo- Gypsy Kings

More Plantains: BBQ Tofu and Plantain Tacos w/ Avocado Cream
More Mexican: Vegan Mole Power
More Casseroles: Beet, Mushroom and Potato Casserole


Jennifer (It Ain't Meat, Babe) said...

Those look fantastic! I'd never made enchiladas before I tried the Veganomicon potato kale ones and I can't believe what I was missing.

jessy said...

sweet awesomenesses, T! your chipotle plantain enchiladas look stellar! all of the components sound perfect together, and i always find that a "mulit-step" recipe like yours always makes for one rock'n dish! what a great way to enjoy the hell outta some chipotle yummies - we've got some in our freezer from the last can we opened a while back and now i know just what to make. w00t!

Sara said...

Thanks for posting your enchilada sauce recipe--I'm totally making some tonight!

Trinity (of haiku tofu) said...

Those look so AMAZING! I made a cuban dish with plantains this week- now I wish I'd made your dish instead. If you ever need more chipotles, maybe we can do a cool international trade!

The Ordinary Vegetarian said...

What what! You have got to be kidding me with these enchiladas. Outrageous!

T said...

Hey Sara- only problem is I'm not sure what the size equivalent is for the plum tomatoes I used- I think 28oz. I'm sure a huge jar of diced tomatoes would be about the same.

Also, for you, since you like spicies, you could up the spicy ante- I used 4 big chipotles and 1-2 tbs of the sauce and it was pretty damn hot but just right.

And Haiku I would def be up for an international trade... let me think of some vegan yummies you can't get in the US!

Mihl said...

Those look absolutely wonderful! I am so happy and thankful to have learned about the existence of chipotles. They should be a staple everywherre.

Morgan-- said...

Those look delicious!!

Anonymous said...

Enchiladas rule! I haven't made any in forever, come to think of it.
It's so funny how things vary from country to country! In France you can buy maple syrup everywhere & peanutbutter, too. In Germany you Mihl finds tons of stuff I can't get here, and you can't get maple syrup! Frustration!

Bianca said...

Yum! I don't know if I could live without access to chipotles in adobo! That's a staple in my house....

Anonymous said...

Looks FABULOUS I love chipotles and plantains, they are dirt cheap here we should do some sort of trade!

HayMarket8 said...

Anything with Chipotle I am in! I love the sliced mango on the side too! yum!

miss v said...

yum - I love chipotle peppers! These look (and sound) awesome!

Bliss Doubt said...

Wow! They say that necessity is the mother of invention. In this case, being away from home and craving treats, necessity is the mother of deliciousness. I wish I could have a bite.

Morgan-- said...

Those enchiladas look so good!!!