Are you thinking “green bean what?!?” That is what I thought the first time I was told I’d be eating green bean enchiladas for dinner; I’m not really sure where the recipe/idea came from but I learned of it from my step-father. Green Bean Enchiladas have grown on me (and TheHusband) since that first time I ate them to the point that we try to make them at least once every green bean season. The basic idea is that you fill the enchiladas with green beans. I also decided to try the Arroz Rojo (aka Mexican Rice) recipe from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman (using tomatoes from the CSA no less); I found it just so so as a recipe. We did have a slight issue with forgetting to start the timer for the enchiladas in the oven and the cheese came out a bit, err, crispy; I don’t recommend that.
Green Bean Enchiladas
- 1- 14 oz can red enchilada sauce (try Hatch if you can find it)
- 12-14 small corn tortillas
- about 3/4 lb of green beans
- 6-8 oz of jack cheese, grated
Wow, four ingredients – that makes this dish sound so simple. Of course since it is enchiladas there is the wrapping/rolling and that can be a little time consuming. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Prep your green beans by washing them and snapping the stems off – it is easier if they are nice and long – lightly dry them*. Pour about 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce in a 9 by 13 baking dish and spread it on the bottom (if you are worried about sticking oil the pan first, but I don’t think I do). Grate your cheese.
At this point I should probably mention that I make my enchiladas a little unconventionally, instead of warming the tortillas in hot oil (and/or sauce) I just briefly heat them in a small skillet – enough that they are pliable, but not so much that they start browning (or just over a flame if you are lucky enough to have a gas stove). Have everything at hand for filling and rolling the enchiladas – the pan, the green beans the tortillas. I like to roll on a small plate and work from right to left (green beans, tortillas, plate, casserole dish, sauce and cheese).
Heat your tortilla and place about 5 green beans in it toward one side, then roll it up and place it seam-down in the pan. Repeat until all tortillas are done I usually do do rows of 6 or 7 enchiladas in the 9 by 13 pan. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the enchiladas and top with the grated jack cheese. Bake for about 20-30 minutes until the cheese is melty and everything is heated throughout. I like to serve them with sour cream in case the sauce has too much spice.
*The last time I asked my mom how they made these she told me that they lightly steamed the green beans before rolling. I felt like that made the green beans over cooked and so recommend just putting the green beans in raw.
Arroz Rojo (aka Red Rice Pilaf) from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman
- 2-4 T olive oil
- 1 c chopped onion
- 1 1/2 c basmati rice
- 1 t minced garlic
- 1 c chopped tomato
- 1 3/4 c vegetable stock, warmed
- salt & pepper
- chopped parsley or cilantro*
- squeeze of lemon or lime*
Heat the oil in a pan (large & deep skillet recommended) on med-high heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, but do not let it brown (about 5 minutes). Add the rice and stir. You want it to be glossy and all the grains coated with oil and beginning to color (about 5 minutes), then add the garlic. Add salt and pepper to taste then add the tomatoes and the stock. Stir and cover. Cook for about 15 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed. Then turn the heat very low (or simply turn it off) and let it rest 15-30 minutes. Fluff with a fork, add the garnishes (the parsley/cilantro and lemon/lime).
*I didn’t add any of the garnishes, I simply forgot.