If you read my post earlier this week, you know that I made carnitas tacos for Texas Independence Day on Monday. You also know that I struggled to spell “independence” as a kid (though I tactfully withheld the fact that my struggle with that particular word followed me into high school, when one of my teachers finally broke it to me that I misspelled with a Texas accent.) And you also know that today, March 6, is the anniversary of the Battle of the Alamo.
Today also happens to be National Frozen Food Day. Not Frozen, as in, Princess Elsa-themed food. Frozen as in, like, freezer food. Like, make-it-ahead, save-it-for-a-rainy-day, get-the-most-out-of-your-leftovers kinda food. I am a huge fan of the freezer — its highest and best use is obviously ice cream. But the freezer has also become my means for breaking things up, giving myself a change of pace. In the winter, there is something so soothing about making a big pot of soup. But the thing about a big pot of soup is it’s big. And I used to end up eating the soup every day for 10 days until I was so sick of it the sight made me want to puke. The freezer seems like an obvious solution now, but it took me a while to come around. Now when I make a big pot of soup, I usually freeze about half, in big gallon-sized ziploc bags, with 4 servings in each bag. That way, when I defrost the bag, I’ll have just 2 servings each for me and the Boyfriend. It’s hard to get to puking-level of sickness of a food when you have just two servings at a time.
So in honor of both National Freezer Day and the anniversary of the Battle of the Alamo, I present carnitas and black bean enchiladas verdes. These are filled with a mix of leftover carnitas and smashed black beans, and topped with my famous tomatillo salsa — all leftover from taco night. They were assembled in a plastic-wrap-lined baking sheet, then double-wrapped and frozen. They were then unwrapped and defrosted and warmed up and broiled until the cheese on top got brown and gooey for an easy after-work dinner. My only tip: if you’re going to freeze the enchiladas, do it without the cheese, which will get supppppppper dried out in the freezer. Which doesn’t sound like a big deal, except that dry cheese isn’t melty cheese. So if you want that gooey, browed, stringy cheese atop your enchiladas, freeze them just tortillas and sauce, and add the cheese just before baking!
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat butter in a large pot over medium heat until foamy. Add the black beans to the butter, and mash until you get a good refried beans texture. Stir in the carnitas until evenly mixed.
- Spread 1 cup of tomatillo salsa evenly across the bottom of a large baking sheet or cake pan.
- Wrap the corn tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds, until softened.
- Scoop ¼ cup of the bean-carnitas mix into the middle of a warmed tortilla and spread in a single line across the tortilla. Wrap the tortilla around the bean mixture, and lay seam side down in the tomatillos salsa. Repeat until all tortillas are full and arranged in the baking sheet.
- Spread the remaining 2 cups of salsa evenly across the enchiladas, and top with the shredded cheese.
- Bake for 15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly.