vegetarian enchiladas

until last thursday, i had never made enchiladas in my life.

when i searched my go-to recipe books: The Joy of Cooking and Best New Recipe, and found nothing—i was miffed. when the inquiries to friends and family came up empty, i was intimidated. i just make them. she just makes them. just stuff tortillas and cover them in sauce. 

turns out that i don't start well without instruction.
the vegetarian requirement wasn't helping me out much either.

eventually, i just jumped in. and this is what i came up with:

enchilada sauce (c/o emeril lagasse )
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/4 cup chili powder (could easily use less)
  • 2 cups chicken (vegetable) stock
  • 10 ounces tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
in a medium saucepan heat oil, add flour, smoothing and stirring with a wooden spoon. cook for 1 minute. add chili powder and cook for 30 seconds. add stock, tomato paste, oregano, and cumin. stir to combine. bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. the sauce will thicken and smooth out. adjust the seasonings. serve atop your favorite enchiladas.
enchilada filling
  • 1 med/large onion, chopped
  • 1+ cup (frozen) corn
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed thoroughly
  • 3-4 cups spinach, rinsed and chopped
  • 2 cups cheese, shredded (pepper jack, queso fresco, cheddar—any will work)
in saucepan, heat a tablespoon or so of oil. add onion and cook until soft and translucent. toss in frozen corn, stir and cook a bit longer. after a few minutes, add beans. after a few more minutes, add chopped spinach and stir. allow spinach to wilt a little and turn bright green—i like to turn the heat off and cover with a saucepan lid for a few minutes. once the spinach bright and limp, remove pan from heat.


using a frying pan or oven, heat up corn tortillas until soft enough to mold. fill each tortilla with filling, add some cheese and place in casserole. filling should easily fill 8-10 corn tortillas. cover tortillas with sauce, and additional grated cheese. cover with tin foil and bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until bubbling with melted cheese. let set for a few minutes before dishing up.

my only notes would be that the sauce was very spicy. it could have easily been made with less chili powder and in the future i might sauté some peppers before getting it going for an additional level of flavor. otherwise, quite delicious. already making plans to cook up and freeze several batches.


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