Comfort food… It’s not so much food as a source of delight and happiness, but as a source of, well, comfort! Something that is simple, unpretentious, delicious and most importantly, not fat/sugar-free.
I suppose everyone has their specific comfort food. Finding your own comfort food is especially necessary in these cold climates where I live, because it truly has the power to comfort you through out the long and cold winter. I know many people who like their comfort food light and energizing, like veggie soups and stews. I mean, I love veggie soups and stews and I cook them often myself too. But I like my comfort food heavy and tasty. The more chili, the better. I specifically associate it to be part of winter, or at least some cool days, and would not probably cook it in the blistering summer heat.
But yesterday, in the honor of April, we got more snow here up North. So it was more than a perfect day for my comfort food. Actually I have two favorites, both rich in flavor and calories. Out of those two (the other is Thai curry) I ended up cooking Mexican enchiladas.
There are trillions of recipes for enchiladas, and I have tried some different ones too. This one, however, is the one I always return to when I need something quick, simple and always as delicious. I usually do this without measuring any, so it might be necessary to add some spices if the amounts seem too small.
Comforting Chicken and Brown Bean Enchiladas
6-8 wheat tortillas
3 tablespoons canola oil
450g chicken file, cut in small pieces (you can also use minced meat, I prefer not to)
400g canned brown beans, washed and drained
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
70g tomato paste
250ml crushed canned tomatoes (I used one seasoned with salt, pepper and chili)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika powder
2 teaspoons ground fresh chili paste
100g frozen or canned corn, drained
100g cheddar (or any other mild yellow cheese), shredded
salt and black pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons scallions, thinly sliced
handful of chopped fresh coriander
handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
crème fraiche or sour cream
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet and add chicken. Sautee until the pieces are almost cooked. Add onion and garlic and keep stirring for a few minutes more. At the same time crush the chicken pieces smaller with a spatula.
When the onion and garlic have gotten a little color add dry spices and sautée for 2 minutes until the flavors of the spices start coming out. Add the tomato paste and canned beans and stir so that the flavors mix evenly.
Add 3 tablespoons of crushed tomatoes and the corn. Mix well and season with salt and pepper to your taste. Let simmer slowly for a few minutes and remove from the heat. I like my enchilada filling mushy and thick like this, but you can also add a splash of water in it.
Spread the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil on the bottom of a large casserole or pan. Spoon 3 heaping tablespoons of the filling on each wheat tortilla and spread it vertically in the middle as a stripe. Roll the tortillas so that the filling stays inside, but you don’t need to be too strict with this.
Place the rolls into the pan seam down, spoon on top your remaining crushed tomatoes and sprinkle with cheddar. Bake in 200 C for about 20 minutes or until the cheese has melted and golden brown.
Garnish with scallions, coriander and cherry tomatoes.
Serve with crème fraiche or sour cream.
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