Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sturm und Drang und Three Sisters Enchiladas

It has been a time of much turmoil here in Vegan Squared land, nearly all of it revolving in some way around my capacity for traveling. Much drama, beaurocracy, and a very near collision with an unsuspecting cow. Because this is a food blog, and not my old rant-about-stuff blog, I'll spare you the details. Suffice it to say, from out of this dark time of turmoil and uncertainty comes at least one recipe and one exciting new development. The latter should be fairly obvious. After muddling through for a while with the camera on my not particularly spectacular little cell phone, C and I ponied up the cash for a new digital camera. It's pretty sweet. The pictures are much clearer and much easier to take, which is particularly important considering my poor skill level when it comes to such things. I'm on my learning curve. While I'm sure to barrage my facebook page with my amateur floral photography, I'll stick to food for this particular venue.

Enchiladas are one of my favorite things to make, largely because of how amazingly flexible they are as a dish. Though I've been assured on more than one occasion that what I think of as enchiladas are nothing like the authentic Mexican dish, I'm pretty happy with my culinary inauthenticity. I like to switch up the sauces. Sometimes I'm into the smokiness of a chipotle-laced red sauce. Other times, I like the tanginess of the verde. Rather like lasagna and other ubiqitous casseroles of various stripes, everyone has their own way of making these. (Ignore the pronoun-antecedent problem. I do, usually.) My mom likes to make them with cabbage and whatever else she has kicking around. I tend to go for a more three sisters type approach: squash, beans, and corn. The enchiladas I made the other night when we had my brother over for dinner represented all three only if you count the corn tortillas, which I'm totally going to. They come together really quickly if you make the sauce in advance, and they freeze really well.

Three Sisters Verde Enchiladas

1 recipe verde sauce (below)
1 recipe enchilada filling (also below)
12 corn tortillas (do yourself a favor and get the ones without lots of incredients--just corn, salt, and lime)
1/2 c Daiya (can I get a promotion deal from them already? Seriously.)

Preheat oven to 350. Put about 1/2 cup of the verde sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. This not only seasons the bottoms of the enchiladas but prevents them from sticking to the pan. Awesome, right? Heat the tortillas slightly on the stove. If you take the time to do this step, they won't crack on you and create an embarrassingly unruly pan of enchiladas (ahem, like mine). Fill each tortilla with a good spoonful of enchilada filling, roll it up, and set it seam-side down in the pan. I can usually get two rows of five with two in the middle. If you wind up with some extra filling, just tuck it down in the creases between the tortillas. No big. If you find that you overfilled your tortillas and run out of filling too soon...well, that sucks for you. Be more careful next time.

Pour the rest of the sauce over the enchiladas, taking care to cover as much of the exposed tortillas as you can. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove from oven and sprinkle the top with cheese. Bake for 10 minutes more, then remove from oven. Allow to sit for at least 10 minutes before attempting to serve. As with all such saucy dishes, this holds up even better the next day. I like to serve these with grapefruit and avocado salad and brown rice. 

Verde Enchilada Sauce

1 1/2 pounds tomatillos, diced
1/2 large sweet onion
4 cloves garlic
1/2 jalapeno (or more, depending on your palate and how hot the pepper is)
2 cups vegetable broth
2 limes
2 T flour
1 bunch chopped cilantro (unless you're one of those people who think it tastes like soap)

In a medium saucepan, saute garlic and onion in a bit of olive oil just until they start to soften. Add tomatillos and jalapeno and stir well. Cook on medium heat for about three minutes. Add the broth and cook an additional 15-20 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and stir well as it cooks. You want the sauce to thicken up a bit. Remove from heat. Add cilantro and juice from limes. Season to taste. Puree, in batches if necessary, in a blender or food processor.

Three Sisters Enchilda Filling

1 small squash, cubed (I used butternut both because it's available almost all year long and you don't have     to peel it. Delicata or carnivale squashes are also easy and delicious. Acorn would be fine if you have a year to deal with it.
1 large can pinto beans (or whatever kind of bean you prefer)
1 bunch dark, leafy greens
1/2 large sweet onion, chopped
chili powder

Saute the onion over medium to low heat for about 3 minutes. Add squash and cook until soft. Add beans and greens and season to taste. I used about 2 T of chili powder and 1 T cumin. Again, this is one of those things that changes pretty dramatically depending on how fresh and spicy your herbs are, as well as how resilient your palate is.

We also had dessert, of course. I made chocolate chip strawberry shortcake with coconut whipped cream. My brother ate the amount you see in this picture twice, if you can believe it. I made the scone recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance, and added chocolate chips. The whipped cream didn't have as long in the fridge as I would have liked to achieve a more solid consistency, but nobody complained.


b3carmain said...

SO. I am not feeling the love. Squash. No recipe for coco-whip-a-licious. No recipe for scones. Is this also a 'Guess the Recipe' blog??
And Vegan Squared ROCKS!

Marla said...

Oh, Bethree. I will totally post the recipe for the whipped creamaliciousness. Thing is, I want to devote a whole post to it, and I put together this dinner in such a hurry that I didn't have time to take pics while I was cooking. The scone recipe is from VwaV, and I'll have to check and see if it's already posted somewhere online. Probably it is because that books is such a bfd. For real.