Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Vegetable Enchiladas

I don't know about you, but I love enchiladas. All types just make me plain happy! I made these on a night where I didn't feel like eating meat. Ok, ok. I know that totally contradicts with everything I said in my last post, but so what? Believe it or not, there really are days when I don't feel like eating meat. There, I admitted it. Hey, even carnivores need their veggies sometimes, right? :)

I had a bunch of random vegetables in the fridge and thought, "Why not make enchiladas with these?" The result was definitely a home run! Even my husband didn't mind eating his veggies that night. He's going to kill me for that one, but oh, well!

Back to actual food talk... You can really use just about any veggie you want here. I used bell peppers, eggplant, zucchini, and tomatoes. For flavor, I used Mexican chili powder, cumin powder and oregano as well as chipotle peppers. Chipotles are smoked jalapeno peppers. I buy them canned in adobo sauce, which is a red, somewhat tangy sauce. They keep in the fridge for months with no problem. If you've never tried them, they give your food a spicy (duh!), smoky bite which is really addictive.

I chose to make my own red sauce, but feel free to buy your own or use green sauce (made from tomatillos). You can even use store bought salsa (green or red) or enchilada sauce as your topping sauce. The recipe might look a little long, but it's really not complicated. I promise!



Bell pepper, any color - 2 medium, chopped
Eggplants - 4-5 small, chopped
Zucchini - 1 large, chopped
Onions - 1 medium, diced
Tomatoes - 2 medium, chopped
Garlic - 4 cloves, ground to paste
Mexican chili powder - 1 tbsp
Cumin powder - 2 tsp
Dried oregano - 1 tsp, crushed
Chipotle in adobo - 3, chopped - increase if you want it more spicy
Salt to taste

Scallions - 1 small bunch, chopped
Pepper jack cheese - 2 cups, shredded
Tortillas - 10-12 flour or corn, softened per package directions

For sauce:

Garlic - 1 clove, grated or finely chopped
Chili powder - 1 tsp
Chipotle in adobo - 1, chopped (optional)
Tomato sauce - 1 28 oz can
Sugar - 1/2 tsp (optional)
Salt to taste


1. Heat oil in a pan. Fry onions until softened. Then add the chopped veggies (tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplants, zucchini) and garlic. Saute until the vegetables are cooked. Add chili powder, cumin powder, oregano, salt, and chipotle. Toss for a minute until the raw smell is gone and everything has come together. Turn the heat off and let this cool.

2. In a small saucepan, combine the sauce ingredients and allow to simmer until thickened and the flavors have melded. Takes about 10 minutes. Keep aside.

3. Preheat oven to 375 F. Prepare a 9x13 pan by sprinkling a few drops of oil and a spoonful of the sauce on top.

4. When ready to assemble, keep the filling, sauce, cheese and tortillas ready. Take a tortilla and place some cheese in the middle (say 1-2 tbsp). Then, put some of the filling on top of the cheese, being sure not to overfill. Fold the sides in (like you would for a wrap) and place in prepared pan, seam side down. Repeat for the rest of the tortillas. Note: You might not be able to fit all of the enchiladas in one pan. If so, just prepare another pan in the same manner and continue.

5. Once all of the enchiladas have been placed in the pan, pour the remaining sauce on top. Then sprinkle the rest of the cheese as well as the scallions. Sometimes, I do green chillies on top as well!

6. Now, bake the whole thing covered (use some aluminum foil to cover the pan) for about 15 minutes at 375 F. Then, broil the top, if desired for 1-2 minutes until bubbly and slightly browned. Let it rest for 5 minutes and serve with sour cream, jalapenos, etc.

I'm sending this in to sweet Dhivi for her AWED - Mexican food event. Hope you all enjoyed this one! :)


kamala said...

Kalai this is something new to me.Looks yummy

Cham said...

Lovely Kalai! And congrats to be Crown 4 BitterGourd award! BG presentation was simply superb. Those enchiladas are Yum yum Dear!

Revathi said...

Your enchiladas look gorgeous. Ravi loves them somehow I hate to see the restaurant version - stringyy chicken inside the tacos surrounded by a mound of cheese - Just the sheer size of the plates in the mexican restaurant scares me

Revathi said...

Oh and I forgot ! Congrats of winning VoW !!

Divya Vikram said...

Kalai first of all Congrats on ur award..So happy for u..And I love these enchiladas..I have them Everytime I go to a nearby mexican restaurant

Dhivya said...

wow!amazing kalai!my all time favorite one:)))and Congrats of winning VoW !!Keep going

indosungod said...

Enchilladas do jazz up a meal. I used canned sauce the last time I made them. Should make them fresh next time. Meat has its day and so do the veggies.

kamala said...

Congrats on ur award kalai

Richa said...

me too, me too, love 'em enchi...:)
urs look very appetising.

ANJALI J. said...

Ahh mexican vegetarian dish.. i had been hunting for them last week. i wil bookmark ur recipe :)

Thanks for asking me. I will take sometime to adjust, new place, new surroundings, new people.. but its fun in MI than NY :)

ANJALI J. said...

Kalai congrats on ur award.. keep up the good work.

Divya said...

Great recipe ...and congrats on winning !! your presentation is really amazing ..keep it up

Red Chillies said...

I love enchiladas too anytime. I have never made this at home. Maybe I should try this. thanks for sharing Kalai.

Madhavi said...

WOW this is my fav, looks delicious, mouthwatering :))

Rina said...

Wow!!! romba nella irukku. Very unique and looks tempting, enough for me to try.

Rina said...

Looks so different and nice kalai. Tempting enough for me to try. Presentation Romba nella irukku!!!

Uma said...

a great recipe, Kalai! wonderful entry.

congrats on winning Vow!

Kalai said...

Thanks, Kamala and Cham!

Revathi, mikka nanri! I almost sent you Mexican chilli powder and then read your post abt being freaked out by food in Mexican restaurants, so changed my mind. :)

Divya, thank you for the sweet wishes! :)

Dhivya, I love this too! :)

Kalai said...

My thoughts exactly, Indo! :)

Richa, thanks, dear! :)

Let me know how it comes out, Anjali! Yes, it takes time, but it will be ok in the end. :)

Divya, thanks! :)

RC, my pleasure. It's not that much work, so I hope you will try it sometime. :)

Madhavi, thank you!! :)

Kalai said...

Rina, thanks, ma! :)

Uma, thank you so much! :)

DK said...

Your 2nd pic esp blew me away! Virtual treats are cool but sometimes they r torture to the growling stomach! I got so hungry the min I saw that pic. They luk amazing Kalai and thanks a bunch for sending them across to me :)

Suganya said...

My enchilada casserole always disintegrates. How do you manage to keep the tortillas intact? I did try using less sauce, that made the tortillas crsipy.

Namratha said...

I loveee Enchiladas and these look gr8 Kalai...yummy!! Feel like having some now...

Siri said...

I absolutely adore Enchiladas Kalai and those are the ones, I first think of as soon as I step into a Mexican Restaurant..the pic looks gorgeous..:D


Miri said...

These look really delicious and at the same time not overloaded like the restaurant versions...!

Mansi Desai said...

enchilada sauce is one thing my hubby is an expert at making! your look beautiful kalai!:)

Kalai said...

Dhivi, thanks!! I totally know what you mean abt torture! :)

Suganya, I had the same problem with corn tortillas. Flour ones seem to behave better for me. Will let you know if I find any surefire solutions!

Siri, thanks so much!! :)

Miri, my thoughts exactly! :)

Mansi, now that's a tempting thought! You should totally post his recipe sometime. :)