Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Stacked Veggie Enchiladas

I have been trying to come up with a really good recipe to break my blogging fast, but we haven't been cooking much recently.  I've been busy with work and we have been a little lazy of late - when we do cook, we tend to stick with easy riffs on dishes we have made in the past.  I just don't have the energy to make elaborate meals when I am this busy.  Alex has also been pretty busy with school so he hasn't had the time to cook either so the blog has just been kind of hanging out there all alone.  Sorry blog - I just don't have time for you like I used to.  And I can't see that changing anytime in the near future.  I salute anyone who works full time and still manages to post several times a week, but I don't think I can do it anymore.  Anyway, I kept trying to come up with something really amazing for the blog (rather than the random salads and such we have been making recently), but I finally decided that I needed to just post the next thing I made that was new.

I'm not sure why or how I started thinking about making enchiladas, but this dish has been a few weeks in the making.  It's the end of the summer and a lot of my favorite vegetables (like corn) are about to disappear from the farmers' market so I wanted to take advantage of them while I can for this dish.  I was originally going to make chicken and zucchini enchiladas with salsa verde, but I changed my mind once I saw fresh corn at the market.  I also abandoned the idea of salsa verde once I realized that I had everything I needed at the apartment to make a quasi-traditional red enchilada sauce.  I used a recipe from Homesick Texan for the sauce and then started playing around.  I threw onions, zucchini (also from the farmers' market) and corn in the enchilada filling.  I also added some cilantro stems, which is a recent thing that I secretly love doing.  It's my new little thing.  I didn't feel like going through the process of rolling my enchiladas so I stacked them instead (kind of like a Mexican lasagna with corn tortillas instead of noodles).  And then I threw it all in the oven and baked it.

All things considered, I think this was pretty successful.  We have only made enchiladas once or twice before (and never stacked enchiladas) and I'm always pretty happy with myself when we are winging it on something this new and it turns out.  I would probably play with the recipe a bit in the future to make it perfect, but it was pretty good.  The sauce had good flavor - nice and smoky, with some heat without being bitter or gritty.  The vegetables had good flavor too (although you could swap out the veggies we used for whatever was in season).  I had originally worried that the vegetable filling wouldn't be filling enough without some black beans or another zucchini, but I think we ended up with just the right amount (and it was plenty filling).  One thing we did mess up on - we forgot to cover the enchiladas with tin foil for the first 20 minutes, which would have helped the enchiladas stay moister/saucier.  Oops.  That was both Alex's and my chief complaint - that the enchiladas dried out a bit.  I would definitely cover them in the future. 

Recipe after the jump!

Stacked Vegetable Enchiladas
10 dried New Mexico chile
2 chipotle chiles, in adobo, roughly chopped
1 tsp of adobo sauce
2-3 large cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
1 medium yellow onion, diced (separated)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 cups of chicken broth or water
1 tbsp evoo
1 large zucchini, diced
kernels from 2 ears of corn
2 tbsp cilantro stems, minced
12 corn tortillas (taco-sized)
1 cup of shredded Mexican cheese blend (cheddar and Monterrey Jack), plus additional 2 tbsp for garnish
1/4 cup Cotija cheese, crumbled, plus additional 1 tbsp for topping
2 scallions, greens and whites, thinly sliced

Remove stems and seeds from dried chiles.  Bring a pot of water to boil.  While the water is heating, cook dried chiles in a cast-iron skillet on medium high until chiles are fragrant and puffed up, about 3 minutes.  Place dried chiles in boiling water and turn off heat.  Leave chiles in water until they’re soft, about 15 minutes.

Put softened chiles, chipotles, adobo, garlic, 1/4 cup of the diced onions, cumin and chicken broth in a blender.  Puree until everything is mixed together.  Set aside.

Heat evoo in a large saute pan over moderately-high heat.  Add onions and saute until beginning to soften, about 2 minutes.  Add zucchini and corn.  Saute until zucchini and corn are softened, about 3 additional minutes.  Season with s&p, add cilantro stems and stir to combine.  Remove from heat.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Spread 3 tbsp of enchilada sauce in an 8x8-inch baking dish (we actually used a 2-quart Pyrex baking dish) and top with 3 tortillas.  Top with 1/3 of the sauteed vegetable mixture and a combination of cheeses.  Drizzle with enchilada sauce.  Repeat process until you use up all of the veggies and cheese (except for the 2 tbsp of Mexican cheese blend and 1 tbsp of Cotija).  Top with remaining enchilada sauce and sprinkle with cheese.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake, covered, for 20 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes.

Allow to cool for 10 minutes.  Garnish with scallions.  


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