I really like Mexican foods because they are quick to create and rely on the same basic ingredients, with variations in how the ingredients come together.
This enchiladas recipe, while it has a Mexican food origin, includes a main ingredient that I had yet to try in a Mexican dish–sweet potatoes. The recipe comes to me from a friend, via the Moosewood Low-Fat cookbook, and was on my list to try for some time. I finally got some sweet potatoes at the market this past weekend, so it was time to try this recipe out. Of course, I made a few substitutions based on what (or rather lack of what) I had on hand.
My first task was to wash and peel the sweet potatoes, which led to a surprise–the sweet potatoes were not orange, as I’m used to, but white! For a second I thought I had grabbed from the potato pile instead, because the white flesh made them look just like regular potatoes. But the skin was just like the sweet potatoes I’m used to, and the shape was long and narrow, rather than more oval. After I looked it up, I found out that orange sweet potatoes are also called yams, and that sweet potatoes vary in color from white to yellow to orange. This white variety tasted similar to the orange ones I’m used to, but not quite; they were not as sweet and the flavor was milder. While I’m glad I got to try a new variety, I think I prefer the orange ones; the color is just so vibrant, which I think makes them more fun to eat.
Anyway, after peeling and dicing the sweet potatoes (2 large ones), I placed them in slightly salted water and brought it to a boil. The potatoes boiled for 8-10 minutes until soft (the smaller you cut your dices, the less time it will take for them to turn soft. You can use a knife to check if they’re soft enough; if it goes through easily, they’re done).
While they were boiling, I rinsed a can of black beans, added diced garlic and a few squeezes of lime juice, and set that aside to sit for a while to absorb the flavors. When the sweet potatoes were done, I drained the water and placed them in a bowl to mash with a fork. Then I added 1 tsp of cumin, 1 tsp of paprika, salt, and pepper to taste.
I used flour and whole wheat tortillas, and heated them for 30 seconds in the microwave to make them soft and pliable. Then I smeared a spoonful of cream cheese (since I didn’t have any sour cream) down the middle of the tortilla and added 2 spoonfuls of sweet potato. On top of that I added 2 spoonfuls of the beans and rolled it up enchilada-style. I placed the enchiladas in a baking dish that was sprayed with non-stick cooking spray and topped them off with a (packaged) Mexican cheese blend from the grocery store. Then I baked them in a 375˚ F oven for 25 minutes until warmed through and the cheese was melted. I topped them with salsa and we ate them for lunch for the next few days.
Enchiladas are a great dish to make because they are relatively quick and make large portions, which is helpful for us because we can eat them for a few meals. I liked this particular recipe because of the addition of the sweet potatoes, which contrasted nicely with the spices of the cumin and paprika.