Working from home the other day while contractors injected insulation into my roof and walls, I had the time to let a sauce simmer on the stove and make something a little more complicated for dinner. I also had a some leftover groceries from Trader Joe’s, and a hankering for enchiladas, and this recipe was born.
1Tbs. olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, diced
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 long, green chili peppers, roasted and seeded
3 pints tomato sauce (home-canned or organic is best)
1 dried ancho pepper
1/2 tsp. mexican oregano
1/2 tsp. marjoram
Secure the chili peppers on a fork, and roast directly over the flame of a gas stove until charred. Place in a paper bag, top closed, for 15 minutes and let the pepper sweat. Remove and, under cold water, peel off the charred skin. Slice the pepper in half, and pull out the seeds. Slice the pepper thinly.
Heat the oil on a medium saucepan, then add the garlic, onion, and chili peppers. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the onion is translucent. Add the tomato sauce, ancho pepper, oregano, marjoram, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer on low heat, half-covered, until the sauce reduces (about 40 minutes). Remove the ancho pepper before using or remove, dice, and return to the sauce for a deeper spiciness.
Chorizo Enchilada Filling
1 tsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 link of soy chorizo (Trader Joe’s makes an inexpensive version)
1 can of black beans, drained
6 oz. frozen spinach
1 c. cooked brown rice
3/4 c. enchilada sauce
salt to taste
In a large frying pan, fry the garlic in the oil until it is golden. Remove the plastic casing on the chorizo and add to the “meat” to the pan, breaking up the link with a spatula and frying it lightly. Chorizo is a fatty “meat” so don’t add any extra oil to the pan. When the chorizo is slightly browned, add the beans,frozen spinach and enchilada sauce and cook, covered, unti the spinach thaws. Add the brown rice, mixing all ingredients until you have an even distribution of ingredients and the mixture is heated through. Add more sauce, if it seems to dry, and saltto taste. Chorizo is very salty, so make sure you try the filling before salting.
8 lg. whole-wheat tortillas (I like the ones with flax seed from Trader Joe’s)
8oz. goat cheddar cheese, grated (or cow’s milk cheddar, if you prefer)
Place 1 cup of sauce in the bottom of a 11X13 casserole pan. On the left third of a tortilla, place 1/2 cup of the filling. Roll the tortilla from left to right, tuck the ends under, and place in the left side of the pan. Continue to fill and roll the tortillas, placing then next to each other in the pan, until it is tightly filled. Pour remaining sauce (about 1 cup) over the rolled tortillas, spreading evenly with a spatula. Cover the tortillas with the grated cheddar. Tightly cover the pan with tin foil and bake in a 350 degree oven, in the top third of the oven, for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until the cheese is melted and golden, about 12 minutes. Let cool slightly, cut (you may want to cut into individual “rolls,” or not) and serve with toppings.
I made a toppings plate of fresh cilantro, diced onion, pomegranate seeds, and lime wedges. I also prepared a plate of fresh avocado slices, and a lime-yogurt crema, which is lower in fat and has more flavor than plain sour creme. This recipe is loosely based on the one in Veganomican, but with less salt and more cilantro.
Lime Yogurt Crema
3/4 cup plain yogurt (use low or full-fat, as you prefer)
3 Tbs. lime juice
1 Tbs. olive oil (optional)
1/4 c. chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp. salt
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, then serve over the enchiladas. Add additional toppings, as desired.
Alongside the enchiladas, I served a simple salad of thinly sliced Romain lettuce and carrot ribbons (made with my vegetable peeler) with a spicy citrus dressing. Senor Lanky brought pineapple upside cake (his specialty) to dinner and he and Medstudent, my roommate, declared it to be in the top five meals I have ever made. It was their reward for helping to move all my furniture back into place after the contractors left.