Sunday, May 6, 2012

Cinco de 'Ladas

You didn't think I'd miss out on the Cinco de Mayo fun, did you? Now, granted, this is posting the day after Cinco, that probably means we celebrated the day of. And we did!

I have never made enchiladas before. Never. Probably because enchiladas are not my favorite Mexican dish, but gooey melted cheese and spinach are two of my favorite foods--why not stuff the enchiladas with them? This recipe is easier than I thought, with only 10 minutes oven time. We used Boca crumbles (soy-based ground "meat"), and I honestly thought it was beef inside of the enchiladas. Of course, you can used any ground or chopped meat that you like, but the crumbles are a really nice alternative that come seasoned.

Ole Enchiladas
Makes 16 enchiladas, or 8 servings

2 TB olive oil
1 onion
1 green bell pepper
7 garlic cloves (2 TB)
4 jalapenos
1/2 t. sea salt + 1/4 t. pepper + 2 TB cumin + 1/4 cup chili powder
16 corn tortillas (I used white corn)
Can of nonstick spray
2  28-oz cans of diced tomatoes, drained
12 oz. frozen spinach (1 box) + 1/4 cup water
2 cups chopped 'meat' (I used Boca seasoned crumbles)
3-4 cups shredded cheese
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

step one: Chop the onion, bell pepper, garlic and jalapeno (seeds and veins removed). In a large saute pan (or wok), heat oil over medium high. Add your chopped veggies + salt and pepper and cook for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent and slightly brown on the edges.  Add the cumin and chili powder and stir. Turn heat down to medium.

step two: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Open the cans of tomatoes and drain them. Add the tomatoes to the veggie mixture. In a second saute pan, cook the frozen spinach and water until thawed and warm. Drain and add to the veggie mixture. In the same pan, cook the 'meat'; season with salt and pepper, if not already seasoned. Once cooked, add to the veggie mixture and stir.

step three: Take out a baking sheet. Using the nonstick cooking spray, spray each side of 16 tortillas and layer onto the baking sheet. Cover with a sheet of foil and bake for 5 minutes, or until tortillas are soft and 'rollable.' Leave the oven on.

step four: Letting the tortillas cool for a couple of minutes, spray a 9X12 pan with nonstick spray. Spread 1/2 cup of sauce in the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle 2 TB of shredded cheese and 2 TB of sauce into each tortilla. Roll it up and place it, seam side down, in a row in the baking pan. Repeat this for all 16 tortillas (you might need a small bread pan if they don't all fit in one pan). Pour the remaining sauce over all of the enchiladas and sprinkle with 1-2 cups of cheese. Bake for 10 minutes and serve piping hot. Serve with guacamole and chips, rice and beans, or salad on the side.

Cilantro Rice
8 servings, 1/2 cup each

2 cups brown rice
4 cups water
1/2 t. sea salt and 3 dashes of pepper
3 TB butter or margarine
2 TB cumin (optional)
1/2 chopped cilantro

In a large pot on high heat, combine rice, water, salt and pepper. Heat until rapidly boiling, then reduce heat to a simmer and cover the pot. Cook for 25 minutes, or until water is absorbed and rice is soft and cooked thoroughly. Fluff with a fork and toss in cumin and cilantro.

Happy eating!

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