Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Colorful Vegetable Enchiladas

It's Freestyle Week at Just Vegging Out!

I didn't have time this weekend to research any recipes to try or to even make up a grocery list. Instead, I went to the grocery store on Sunday without a list and, while there, sort of figured out what I was going to cook for dinner this week.

I knew there was some leftover monterey jack cheese from when I made chiles rellenos con queso two weeks ago. I definitely wanted to use the remainder before it went bad.

For Sunday's meal, I decided to shred the monterey jack cheese to make vegetable enchiladas. I rolled colorful chopped veggies in corn tortillas, which I topped with the cheese and salsa, and baked in the oven.

I thought the end result was really good, especially the vegetable mixture, which had lots of flavor and was very filling. I would definitely make this dish again. The next time, though, I will probably try using flour, rather than corn, tortillas. I know that corn tortillas are more authentic. But I found them difficult to work with. They kept tearing as I was trying to fill them and roll them. It was kind of frustrating.

I will also make sure to use freshly made salsa, rather than the unfortunately tasting jarred salsa I ended up using. The jarred salsa was not by choice. The grocery store was out of both freshly made red and green salsas. The jarred salsa was a bit too sweet and had an odd jelly-like texture that practically screamed, "I am full of artificial preservatives!"

Aside from the salsa, I would deem this freestyle attempt a success. A good way to start the week off!

Colorful Vegetable Enchiladas
Serves approximately 4

1 small yellow squash, diced (1/2 inch)
1 small zucchini, diced (1/2 inch)
1 red bell pepper, chopped (1/2 inch)
orange bell pepper, chopped (1/2 inch)
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 inch)
1 medium-sized potato, diced (1/2 inch)
1 cup button mushrooms, diced (1/2 inch)

1 cup frozen corn

1 tablespoon garlic
1 teaspoon cumin

1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (minced), plus 2 tablespoons of adobo sauce

Salt and pepper, to taste

12 corn tortillas (at least), 6 inches in diameter

4 cups shredded monterey jack cheese

2 cups red or green salsa (freshly made preferred)

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Cilantro, freshly chopped, for garnishing

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bring a small pot of water to boil. Add the diced potatoes to the boiling water and blanch for about 2 minutes. Drain potatoes in a colander, run cold water over them, and set them aside.

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, mushrooms, and garlic, and cook until the onions and mushrooms become soft, about 3 minutes.

Add the yellow squash, zucchini, bell peppers, and frozen corn to the skillet, and continue cooking, about 3 minutes. Add the potatoes to the skillet and stir in the cumin, chipotle pepper, and adobo sauce. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Remove the skillet from the heat and set it aside.

Add enough canola oil or vegetable oil in another skillet so that it comes up approximately 1/4 inch from the bottom. Heat the oil over medium-high heat. Place each tortilla in the skillet for about 5 seconds on each side. Remove and blot with paper towels.

Take a tortilla and add about 2 tablespoons (heapings) of vegetables to the center. Carefully roll the tortilla and place in a baking dish with the seam side down. (You will probably need 2 baking dishes, with each dish holding 6 enchiladas.) After 12 enchiladas have been assembled, spoon any remaining vegetable mixture along the sides of the baking dish(es).

Sprinkle shredded cheese on the top of the rolled tortillas and then pour the salsa over the shredded cheese. Cover with foil and bake for about 15 minutes, until the cheese has melted. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro and serve.

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