Wednesday, April 23, 2008
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
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! :)