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polenta and black bean enchiladas with tomato sauce and avocado platter.jpg

All my cornmeal lovers, today is your day. Fluffy polenta, earthy black beans, a spicy tomato sauce, and creamy slices of avocado all inside a warm hug of corn tortillas: what's not to love?

polenta and black bean enchiladas with tomato sauce and avocado plate.jpg

These guys take just a touch longer than MSV's other easy enchiladas because, hey, that's the price you pay for tomato sauce, which needs a little extra time to cook. The bright side is that there's still very little effort. Since the sauce is blended, you roughly chop the bits for the sauce and let your food processor take it from there.

The rest is pure convenience: canned black beans join up with grated prepared polenta to warm up in a skillet. The liquid from the beans (and heat, of course) will soften the polenta, and the final result is a pillowy filling soft enough to stay fluffy, but stiff enough not to ooze out of your tortillas. It's not much to look at, and the textures aren't as varied as you'd normally expect, but it works. Brunch doesn't get much more comforting than this.

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Polenta and Black Bean Enchiladas with Tomato Sauce and Avocado

Print the recipe

serves 3-4 (yields 9 enchiladas), sauce adapted from Enchiladas

For the sauce:

1 1/2 lbs Roma tomatoes, quartered

2 serrano peppers, stemmed and halved (seeded and trimmed, if desired, to reduce heat)

2 cloves garlic

1/4 cup loosely packed cilantro

4 scallions, divided

1 no-salt added vegetable bouillon cube

1 TBSP olive oil

1/2 cup water

1/4-1/2 tsp fine sea or kosher salt, to taste

For the filling:

1 TBSP olive oil

1 18-oz tube prepared polenta

1 15-oz can black beans

freshly cracked black pepper

1/2 tsp fine sea or kosher salt

To assemble:

9 six-inch corn tortillas

sliced avocado

chopped cilantro, optional

sliced scallion tops, optional

Heat oven to 350.

Begin with the sauce. Add tomatoes, peppers, garlic, cilantro, white and firm green portions of scallions (set tender dark green top aside), and bouillon cube to a food processor. Blend until smooth. Heat oil in a medium pot over medium heat and add sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes—the mixture will turn deep red. Add 1/2 cup water, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, another 20 minutes. Salt to taste.

Meanwhile, divide tortillas into three stacks of three. Wrap each stack securely in foil and heat in oven for 20 minutes.

To prepare the filling, heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Grate polenta into skillet and spread out. Let cook, undisturbed, for two minutes. Use a wide plastic spatula to flip polenta. Continue to let cook, flipping every couple of minutes, until fluffy and heated through, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, use the lid of the bean can to drain off excess liquid. Do not drain further. Add beans to skillet, add black pepper, to taste, and salt, and flip the whole thing a few times to combine. Continue to let cook, flipping every couple of minutes, until beans are hot, about five minutes. Remove from heat and keep warm.

While the tortillas and sauce finish, chop scallion tops and cilantro to garnish, if using, and slice avocado. To serve, carefully open a foil packet (leave remaining stacks wrapped until you're ready to work with them) and take a warm tortilla from the top. Place a generous spoonful of filling just off-center, fold over, and repeat with remaining tortillas, working quickly. Pour or spoon sauce over top, garnish with scallions, cilantro, and avocado, and serve at once.