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Thursday, September 15, 2005

Sister act
On the surface, M. and I couldn't be more different. She's the black hooded sweatshirt to my twirly pink skirt, the dry turkey sandwich to my overstuffed quesadilla. Her music tastes run more to Metallica and Eminem than Joni Mitchell and Death Cab for Cutie. Dig a little deeper, though, and the similarities begin to emerge. You have only to see me eating a bagel (edges first, then the middle) and M.'s demolition of a plate of IHOP pancakes (she peels the top layer off first) to know that we're from the same family.

M. was in Seattle for three days. When we weren't shopping downtown or watching seaplanes land on Lake Union, we were eating. We had pho twice (and discovered that we may both be mildly allergic). We had IHOP pancakes twice (the waitress looked at M.'s deconstructed pancakes and said, "You were here yesterday, weren't you?"). A trip to Sushi Express? Check. Margaritas at the Broadway Grill? Check. On this trip, however, we had decided to branch out. We were going to make dinner.

Easier said than done. First, we had to think of something we'd both want to eat. Fortunately, we share an love of beans in nearly all their forms (I draw the line at green ones). The latest issue of Light and Tasty had the answer: refried bean enchiladas.

We had high hopes for our enchiladas, and, despite a messy sauce and a few dropped tortillas, we weren't disappointed. They weren't exactly pretty, but they tasted great, especially accompanied by orangeade and a few spoonfuls of strawberry-kiwi Jell-O at 10 p.m.

The next day, I had to put her on the train home, and there was some sniffling. But the thought of food is usually enough to cheer me up, and those weren't just any leftovers waiting in my fridge. Nope, those were leftovers made by me and my sister.

Refried bean enchiladas
adapted from a recipe in Light and Tasty magazine

You will need:
1 can refried beans. Now, our tastes differ when it comes to refried beans, too: she's a Rosarita girl, and I prefer the Amy's organic refried black beans which go for the exorbitant price of $2.39 (does anyone else REALLY miss the old Trader Joe's refried black beans? The new ones just don't do it for me). Since M. already had a stash of Rosaritas, though, we went with those. I'll probably use my favorites next time, and I bet these would be great with some of Erin's homemade refried black beans, too.
1 cup, plus a little more, cottage cheese
Six flour tortillas (medium size)
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 teaspoons chili powder
3 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups water
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon dried minced onion, divided

Preheat oven to 350.

For the filling, mix refried beans with cottage cheese and half of the minced onion and set aside. That was easy, huh? It should be noted that the original recipe calls for some shredded cheese -- cheddar, I think -- to go in the filling and also on top of the enchiladas. M. doesn't care much for cheese, though, so we left it out, and they were still great.

For the sauce, whisk olive oil, chili powder, flour, and salt in a medium skillet until they form a paste. Add the water, cider vinegar, and minced onion, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and stir until sauce thickens. Remove from heat.

This is the messy part, but it's worth it. Dip each tortilla into the pan of sauce, then fill with the bean mixture and roll. We found that although the recipe claimed it would make 12 enchiladas, there was only enough filling for six. Bake enchiladas for 20-25 minutes, and enjoy, preferably with your sister, mom, or fellow-chef of your choice.

posted by shan at 12:09 AM;

Blogger lauren said...

Yum. I'm totally going to make this. I'm going to use extra cheese though to make up for your lack of cheese. The universe must have a cheese balance, you know.

2:42 PM  
Blogger shan said...

it's true. We wouldn't want to upset the cosmic cheese balance of the universe. We might experience plagues as a punishment. Rains of grated parmesan. The rivers will turn to ricotta.

10:43 AM  
Blogger lauren said...

Rains of grated parmesan! I want that. Tho' ricotta cheese rivers would be kind of unfortunate.

12:07 PM  

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