Easy Enchilada Twice Baked Potatoes

Easy Enchilada Twice Baked Potatoes combine the comforting flavors of a warm enchilada sauce with sharp Cheddar cheese, soft black beans, and cool Queso Fresco for the finishing touch. An interesting and fun way to enjoy the essence of an enchilada.
I’m writing today with a lot of excitement. Tonight is date night.
Date nights are those elusive things that seem to become so rare after adding a little one (or little ones) to your life. I remember the freedom before a baby when it felt like any night had the potential to be a date night. Going to dinner on a whim, happy hour drinks, it didn’t matter the time or day. As I mention in a previous post, the thing about life before kids is that your time always belongs to you. Once you add a child into the mix, well, your time is basically belonging to someone else…their schedule, their needs…and you just try and find a hidden chunk of time here and there to fit in some “you” time, or in this case, “us” time. 
We’re actually celebrating tonight which is why tonight’s date night is a bit more special than others. June 18 will be our 3 year wedding anniversary! To say time has flown by is an understatement. It feels like all the anticipation and nervous energy and extensive planning was only a year ago. Has it really been 3 years?So much change in only a few years. For those of you who might now know, this is my second marriage. I remember a time after my ex and I had recently split and the thought of marrying again seemed too scary. I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to have kids, I was on the fence. But here we are, 5 years together, 3 years married, and one incredibly smart and beautiful little girl. I’m truly happy.
So Enchilada Twice Baked Potatoes. Ok, I have terrible segues from the content of my post to the actual food part. Sorry. But you’re going to love these because they fall into the category of easy to make after working all day. Making enchilada sauce is SO easy, and it doesn’t even compare to the canned kind you can buy. Seriously, please please do not buy the canned sauce and then try and make this. The flavor isn’t the same and I don’t think you’ll like these without the homemade kind, it takes about 15 minutes to make the sauce, that’s it! Also, this does make more sauce than you might need. I usually like having more sauce for leftovers or for dipping on the side. If you have extra sauce just store it in a container in the fridge and use it on some chicken or ground beef the next day. Another note, I totally use a hack and microwave the potatoes instead of baking them first in the oven. You can absolutely bake them instead, but my goal here is to get a quick dinner on the table so it helps to speed things up and during these crazy hot summer days it helps to have a day where I don’t need to crank up the oven and make my kitchen feel like the depths of hell.
Make these Easy Enchilada Twice Baked potatoes for dinner this week!

The best part is finishing them off with a generous amount of crumbled queso fresco and dollops of sour cream. Don’t skip the queso fresco! It adds a very crucial coolness to the little spice of the enchilada sauce.
 Packed with sharp Cheddar cheese, black beans, pools of homemade enchilada sauce and that pillowy sour cream. You’ll be happy there is leftovers! 
Food Exhibit
Refer to this photo when I mention cutting around the permimeter of the potato to make and outline of how to scoop out the cooked potato.

For the Potatoes – Yields 8 potatoes
-4 baking potatoes
-3 tablespoons salted butter
-3 tablespoons milk or cream
-2 tablespoons cream cheese
-3 tablespoons sour cream
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
-3/4 cup canned corn, drained
-3/4 cup canned black beans, drained
-1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
-1 10oz wheel Queso Fresco 
-Sour cream for garnishing
-Paprika for garnishing 
-Oil for brushing potato skins
For the Enchilada Sauce
-1 tablespoon vegetable oil
-1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
-Dash of chili powder (you can use more if you love heat, but I like mine mild)
-1 15.5oz can crushed tomatoes
-1 cup water
-1/2 tablespoon onion powder
-1 teaspoon garlic powder
-1 teaspoon cumin
-1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Poke each potato several times with a fork, microwave for 13-15 minutes until cooked. Pre-heat oven to 350.
2. While the potatoes are cooking, start making the enchilada sauce. Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium high heat, then add the flour and stir until the flour has absorbed the oil. Reduce the heat to medium and stir for about 30 seconds, then pour in the crushed tomatoes, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin and salt. Lastly stir in the water. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10-15 minutes until thickened. If the sauce is too thick, add water a little at a time. If it is too thin or watery, you can add corn starch about a teaspoon at a time and that will thicken a sauce. Any time you add corn starch to thicken a sauce you need to bring the sauce up to almost boiling so it’s very bubbly, then reduce heat to low again.
3. In a large bowl, place the butter and cream cheese. Once the potatoes are done, carefully remove them from the microwave and place them on a cutting board. Slice open each potato in half so that you have two long halves. Then, using your knife cut along the inside perimeter to give yourself a guide for scooping out the inside. See Food Exhibit photo above for instructions. Scoop out the inside of each potato, being careful not to break the skins. Place all of the potato in the bowl on top of the butter and cream cheese, and place the empty skins on a large baking sheet. Lightly brush the potato skins with some oil and sprinkle with a little garlic powder just to give them some taste.
4. To the bowl of potato, add the milk and sour cream. With a potato masher or large fork, mash until everything is combined, you do NOT want a mashed potato consistency. There needs to be some lumps and structure to the potatoes. If it is too thick, add milk a tablespoon at a time to loosen the mixture. Stir in the corn, then last the black beans. You want to be very gentle with the black beans so that you don’t break them apart and create too much of a black color to the potatoes.
5. To assemble, fill each potato skin with the potato mixture, top each potato generously with the sharp Cheddar cheese. Bake for 15 minutes.
6. To serve, generously spoon the enchilada sauce over each potato, then lots of crumbled queso fresco, and lastly a dollop of sour cream.

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