Sunday, January 25, 2009

enchiladas cha cha cha

I might be stretching terminology a smidge to call these enchiladas. They're not exactly traditional Mexican enchiladas; I grew up on the border, I know Mexican food and this ain't it. But it is traditional April toss-together-see-what-happens-hey!-that's-good-let's-see-if-I-can-do-that-again fare, which is the birth of most dishes in my standard cooking repertoire. So maybe enchilada casserole. Dang, but I love a good casserole. Enchilada-esque, anyhow.

I took pictures of the whole process. Well, no. I took pictures from the sauce on but I forgot to grab the camera when I whizzed up the sauce. And, you know, when you're talking enchiladas, it's all about the sauce.

So this is what I do. I blend up tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, garlic, and refried beans. Yes, refried beans. A whole can. I have never made refried beans that taste they way I think refried beans should taste. So canned it is. I favor the organic spicy pinto ones from Trader Joe's, if I can get them. My trips there are infrequent these days and half the time, they're out anyway. Now, for a lot of years, the sauce was just that. But because my husband really loves the squash enchiladas with peanut mole sauce at Chez Jose in Portland, I recently attempted to replicate what they've got going with that. So in the sauce you'll see in the following pictures, it's all the stuff I just mentioned, plus peanut butter and cocoa powder. It's really good. Trust me.

I spread some sauce on the bottom of my 9 x 13 casserole dish. I don't grease it otherwise.


I layer some more sauce on a small corn tortilla and spoon on steamed chunks of butternut squash.


Next up: black beans and not-cheese sauce. Oh, let's back up a minute. I suppose you could use some other cheesey creamy something here, but I cook up a pan of the nutritional yeast sauce I use for our Macaroni and Not Cheese (with peas, please). I bet google will direct you to a recipe for it if you're so inclined. It's basically a white sauce with nutritional yeast.


Roll it up and put it in the baking dish, seam side down.


I can fit 10 rolled up corn tortillas in my dish.


No worries if they don't all roll up smoothly. Corn tortillas tend to tear and crack and a lot of loose edges stick up. The rest of sauce will keep everything in place. I pour it all over and spread it out with a spoon.


Cover the whole thing with cheese. The cheese I had on hand was an aged goat cheese.


There might be a little boy in my house who thinks olives should be a part of any meal, but on top of an enchilada casserole? Absolutely. I sliced up some regular black olives, nothing fancy.


And then it goes into the oven and stays there until its brown and bubbly and looks done.


It can be a little too soft when it first comes out, so I try to let it cool for a bit before we cut it up and eat it. It is really super delicious. It sort of all smooshes together in a very creamy spicy filling delicious way. And as good as it is just made, it is even better the next day. Some foods really shine as leftovers, don't you think? Warmed up in the toaster oven and doused with a thick coating of crushed red chile peppers (okay, that part is just me). . . mmm.

leftover enchiladas


Deb said...

Mmmmm, that looks incredible. I sure do wish I had a big plate of those leftovers for my breakfast.

Lisa said...

Yum. I've not made enchiladas in a while. And I also have a three year old who thinks olives would be great in every meal.

Anonymous said...

that looks so good! I've got to try it. I think my kids might even like it- and they hate everything!

Angelina said...

Wow. Yum. I might pass on the nutritional yeast sauce though- I got my fill of nutritional yeast growing up. My mom put it in everything. However- I love the black beans and squash filling! I am planning (finally) to make some enchilada sauce today. For the first time.