Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Many Steps to Tasty Deliciousness

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Most weeknights I really am not in the mood to tackle a recipe that requires me to:

1) Set aside more than an hour to prep and cook (unless a slow-cooker is involved)

2) Decipher new techniques I've never heard of or tried before

3) Purchase a plethora of ingredients

Last week I was brave (read: stupid) and decided to fly in the face of two of these points and make a recipe I've been wanting to try for a few months. Veggie Enchiladas. Sounds innocuous enough, right?

Honestly it wasn't too bad, it just had so many ingredients and steps that at times I felt myself disconnecting mentally and wandering off into more interesting places (read: wishing the next book in the Harry Dresden series was out already) instead of focusing on the task at hand.

I could have cut my prep time in half by using a jarred enchilada sauce, but I really wanted to take a crack at the recipe and do it all from scratch (again, read: stupid). It's the kind of recipe I would usually save for a weekend...and probably will in the future.

These enchiladas were delicious. Worth more than an hour of my life? Ok, well fine - they were. I was just bored with all the prep and assemblage. The original recipe can be found on one of my new favorite blogs: Annie's Eats. I was turned onto this site a few months ago by my friend Gail (hi Gail!!!) and I am eternally grateful. I've already used so many recipes from the sites, mostly her dessert options, and can't wait to try her latest: Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes.

If you want the original Veggie Enchilada recipe, just click here. I didn't change much, just omitted a few ingredients that were either too pricey at our grocery store or that we don't really care for. I think next time I make these I'll add in some other veggies like eggplant, mushrooms and maybe corn. If you want to meat these up, I'd suggest shredded chicken or pork.

Veggie Enchiladas

Ingredients for the Sauce
1 tsp. canola oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. cayenne
2 tsp. sugar
2 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
½-¾ cup water (to thin the sauce to your liking)
Salt and pepper

Ingredients For the filling:
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tbsp. canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped fine
1 (8 oz.) zucchini, halved lengthwise, seeded and chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1½ cups enchilada sauce (recipe above), divided
1 cup finely shredded Mexican blend or cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper

Ingredients For Assembly:
8 (burrito-sized) flour tortillas
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


To make the enchilada sauce, heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, spices and sugar and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

2. Stir in the tomato sauce and water, bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. My husband and I are fans of lots of sauce, so we used it all on the enchiladas. If you don't like your enchiladas to be saucy, just save the extra in the freezer.

Preheat the oven to 450˚ F. Transfer half of the black beans to a bowl and mash with a fork until almost completely smooth. Set aside. Add the oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook until slightly softened, 5-7 minutes.

Next, add the zucchini (and any other veggies you like) and cook just until tender, 3-5 minutes more. Stir in the garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the mashed beans and remaining whole beans and cook until warmed through, about 2 minutes.

5. Transfer the veggie mixture to a large bowl and stir in ½ cup of the enchilada sauce, cumin and the cup of shredded cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

6. To assemble, briefly microwave the tortillas until warm and pliable, about 30 seconds. Place 1/3 cup of the filling mixture down the center of a tortilla. Tightly roll up the tortilla and place in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining filling and tortillas.

7. Pour 1 cup of the sauce over the enchiladas, spreading it evenly. Sprinkle the shredded cheddar over the top of the sauce. Cover with foil and bake until the enchiladas are heated through, about 10 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the cheese is melted, 3-5 minutes more.

Serve 'em up with whatever toppings you like. I'm partial to shredded lettuce, tomato, sour cream and guacamole (if we have it!) and a side of re-fried beans - yum!

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