Monthly Archives: February 2011

Black Bean and Butternut Squash Enchiladas

The nice little summer we’ve been having around here (June-uary) left us for a few days and was replaced by wind and rain.

I ventured to Isla Vista on Friday night for lazy night of Phó, wine, and a movie. Severe weather warnings dubbed over the CLIMATIC WEREWOLF FIGHT SCENE in Wolfman (epic thriller, Black Swan-shwan.) and then the power switched out just as the credits rolled. Oh- it was also a full moon and a tree fell over outside the house. But nothing will stop IV, even if their bass speakers are off.

I like living away from it all. Here in this tiny, slanted house that’s smack in the middle of Goleta and downtown Santa Barbara, I feel peaceful.

And that of course makes me want to cook.

I like the chocolate-y smell of Pasilla (or Ancho) chiles- the rich sauce goes really well with the sweetness of the roasted butternut squash. This dish is so warm in every way. I love it. Share it with someone you really like.

Pasilla Enchilada Sauce
I read from different sources that you need to scrape the chile membrane from its skin in order to not have a bitter aftertaste. But I was in a hurry so I just puréed them whole. It was a little bitter…but not bad.

3 oz dry Pasilla chiles
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. olive oil
½ t. cumin
½ t. cinnamon
2 round T. tomato paste
2 c. vegetable broth
2 round T. unsweetened cocoa powder
salt to taste

Slit dry chiles open and remove stem, seeds, and veins. Heat a large skillet and press the chiles flat, skin side up. Toast for about 5 seconds (the first time I made this, I burnt the chiles, be careful!). Add chiles to a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and then let soak for 10-15 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of liquid. In the meantime, heat oil and garlic in a skillet until garlic has softened. Add cumin and cinnamon and heat for about 30 seconds.

Purée chiles, garlic-spice mixture, tomato paste and vegetable broth in a food processor. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve and add reserved chile-water and salt (taste). Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Wisk in cocoa powder.

Black Bean and Butternut Squash Enchiladas
I have also made these with corn tortillas!


1 small butternut squash, cubed (about 5 cups)
olive oil & coarse sea salt
2 c. cooked black beans (I defrosted some I cooked myself, but you can use canned)
12 oz shredded Jack, mozzarella, or queso fresco
2 1/2 c. enchilada sauce
½ sweet onion, sliced in wedges
7-9 flour tortillas (I used “fajita” sized)
cilantro, plain Greek yogurt (You can use sour cream, but I like the taste of yogurt better- plus I always have it in my fridge), and avocado slices

Heat oven to 400 F. Coat squash with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle with salt, spread out on a large pan and roast for 30 minutes (more info on this here).

Turn oven down to 350.

Sauté the onion with a little olive oil until just soft.

Spread about 1/3 cup of enchilada sauce on the bottom of a casserole dish. Coat both sides of a tortilla with the sauce in the dish. Fill with a couple tablespoons of beans, cubed squash, and cheese, along with some of the sautéed onion. Roll up and arrange seam side down. Repeat until your dish fills up!

Cover with the rest of the sauce and cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Serve with the avocado, yogurt, and cilantro!


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Filed under Entrées

V********s Day: Fettuccine with Almond Basil Pesto and Roasted Tomatoes

I like flowers. I like going out to dinner. And I also like getting to see my boyfriend, who lives 5 hours away. If it happens to be on a certain consumerist/hallmark/excluding holiday, I am not going to complain. It’s not like I got a giant teddy bear and some cheesy heart shaped things- that makes it ok- right? Plus we celebrated it on Saturday***, February 12th. Capitalist crisis averted.

Joey and also I rode bikes a lot- while at the moment it’s cold and rainy here in Santa blabla- this weekend was sunny and delicious. One afternoon we rode to Whole Foods and walked around for a while before splitting a sandwich and brown rice sushi outside. I’m lucky to have a man who will let me spend tons of time in a grocery store and only come out with 3 items.

I love food shopping. Trying on clothes wears me out but I could stay in the produce section for hours. I remember in high school one of my favorite things to do was go to the grocery store late at night and just walk through the deserted isles. I probably wouldn’t survive very long in a zombie attack.

Anyhow, I kept the weekend light and fresh, sorry to those in the rest of the world who are cold and still in soup phases.

***The Day-of-Day-of, I spent cleaning my tiny, but dirty house. This is very important when your bathroom is so small that mold grows overnight and the downward slope of your kitchen collects water in weird places.





Fettuccine with Almond Basil Pesto and Roasted Tomatoes

Make sure you get good tomatoes. I am serious. Santa Barbara has the great advantage of year-round produce, but if you are somewhere colder try it with cherry tomatoes- they are more consistently sweet. Just cut the roasting time to 30 minutes.

2 lb vine-ripened golden tomatoes

olive oil and coarse sea salt

1/4 cup raw almonds

2 cloves garlic

2 cups roughly chopped basil

1/3 cup grated Parmesan

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

1/2 cup (more or less) olive oil

16 oz Fettuccine

Heat Oven to 300 F. Slice tomatoes in half and place, cut side up, on a baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil and salt. Roast for 50 minutes.

In the meantime, chop the garlic and almonds in your food processor. Add basil, Parm, lemon juice, and olive oil. Blend and add more olive oil if needed.

After tomatoes soft, turn on the broiler. Place the tomatoes under direct heat for a few minutes until slightly black on the edges. Flip and brown them on the other side.

Cook pasta according to package directions, or until al dente.

Toss together the pesto and pasta. Gently fold in the tomatoes (and all their juice).


Filed under Pasta