Save the Ales

In the summer we like to visit the Boundary Bay Brewery in Bellingham Washington. They have great food, but more importantly to a certain family member, great beer. After living with only the likes of mediocre to poor Asian beers, or the occasional Carlsberg or Heineken, the return to the land of microbrews is more than welcome.
On a visit last summer I finally got around to trying their much talked about Yam Alechiladas. A sweet potato black bean enchilada with Mole Poblano.  Why had I spent any time ordering anything but this dish? It was exceptional, sweet, salty, creamy, spicy....good enough to make me ask the chef for the recipe. My request was denied (I have to go on record to say that I hate that) but I was given a list of the ingredients.

Gee thanks.

My thoughts of the enchiladas dropped off the radar, only every so slightly, until I spied a butternut squash lingering on our kitchen counter begging to be used. I have been trying to make a point of using up as many ingredients in our cupboard as I can since I really don't want to ship things and risk them spoiling as they sit in the hot African sun for a few months awaiting our arrival in Tunisia.

To go along with the squash I found some chipotle peppers, black beans, chicken broth and tortillas. A quick Internet search to review other similar recipes and I came up with this version.

I'll even share the recipe with you.  I'm just that kind of gal.

I used the butternut squash but I wrote the recipe with sweet potatoes in mind.  Use whichever you like, I think you'll find either is just delicious! How good were they?

There was a race to the last one.

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas with Quick Mole Poblano

Serves 4-6
4 large Sweet Potatoes scrubbed clean, peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 can of black beans drained and rinsed
½ teaspoon of cumin
1 medium onion chopped
3 cloves of garlic chopped
1, 4oz can of diced green chiles
1-2 chipotle peppers canned with adobo, finely chopped
1-2 tablespoons of chili powder
1 teaspoon of cumin
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1, 14 oz can of diced tomatoes drained
2 tablespoon peanut butter
2 cups of chicken broth
1 cup Ale of your choice
8 flour tortillas
1 ½ cups of grated Monterey Jack cheese
Garnish (optional): sliced avocado, cilantro, sour cream, sliced green onion

Preheat the oven to 400.

Place the sweet potato into a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with some olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake the sweet potatoes for 45min to 1 hour or until they are soft and caramelized. Remove from oven, transfer to a mixing bowl, and lightly mash. You want a slightly chunky mixture. Add the black beans and cumin. Gently mix together.

Reduce heat to 350.

Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add onion and sauté for 3 minutes. Add garlic and diced green chiles and sauté for 2 minutes. Add chipotle pepper, chili powder, and cumin, salt, cinnamon and cocoa powder. Sauté until fragrant about 1 minute and then add sugar, tomatoes and peanut butter. Stir quickly to melt the peanut butter. Add the chicken broth and Ale, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove mole from the heat and strain. Puree the solids in a food processor until very smooth. Return the pureed solids to the liquid, stir well to combine and taste for seasoning.

To assemble: Place ½ of mole in the bottom of a 9X13 baking dish. Divide the sweet potato mixture evenly among 8 tortillas, roll up and place in the baking dish. Pour 2 cups of mole over the enchiladas and sprinkle evenly with the cheese. Bake until the cheese is melted and the tortillas have lightly browned, about 35-40 minutes.

Serve with diced avocado, sour cream, cilantro, or green onions if desired.

*Note: My family isn’t big on a lot of heat so we used the lesser amount of chili powder and chipotle pepper and found this dish to be nicely spiced. You can also replace the sweet potato with butternut squash with good results.


  1. Would you believe as many times as I've been to Boundary Bay Brewery, I've never had the Alechiladas? True. But I'll check them out next time...and hopefully try yours out some time soon as well :)

  2. I've had this meal pretty much every time I visit Bellingham...LOVE IT! I live in Prague and sometimes crave a little taste of home. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I am with you, once we're in Bellingham I count the hours until we get to Boundary Bay. It's the only thing I order from their menu. So. Very. Good.