Sara's Enchiladas

Holiday prep is filling my free time, but I'm going to sit down for a few minutes here and post a dinner idea for you today.  Over the weekend I served our version of burrito bowls.  That's not today's recipe, but it is another good dinner idea I'll share before the enchiladas recipe.  One kind of leads to the other (i.e., I had leftover guacamole and couldn't possibly waste it).

Buy a nice rotisserie chicken at Costco.  Shred the breast meat.  Heat up a medium saucepan, add one or two tablespoons canola or olive oil and saute half a chopped white/yellow/sweet onion.  Add two or three cloves of minced garlic and saute for a minute until fragrant.  Stir in a teaspoon of cumin and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt for another minute or so.  Don't brown your garlic (I can't remind you of this enough times).  Add the shredded chicken and stir until warmed through.  Juice one lime into the pan.  Toss and serve.  Other burrito bowl ingredients to serve on your table:  heated black beans or refried beans, heated rice (there are all kinds of good rice mixes out there:  cilantro/lime, brown rice/beans/peppers, spanish rice, etc.), guacamole, salsa (love the Margaritaville fresh salsa with Peppadew peppers from Meijer and the Garden Fresh salsas - please, do not serve salsa from a jar, I implore you to treat yourself to something better), chopped lettuce, cilantro, lime wedges, sour cream (go all out and add half a lime squeezed to a 1/2 cup of light sour cream) and shredded cheese.   Just let everyone do their own thing.  In the summer I make fresh mango salsa to lighten up the flavor (dice a mango, a little chopped sweet or white onion, chopped fresh jalepeno, diced red pepper, cilantro, 1/2 tsp or less of salt and juice of a lime).

Okay, so that was easy dinner idea number one.  If you were missing your other guacamole fan from dinner number one (at my house, that's Kelly and she's busy at Purdue studying for finals) and you have leftover guacamole you will want to serve another dish that enjoys a little guacamole on the side.  It is surely cold enough to heat up the oven for as long as possible, so I thought enchiladas would be a good thing to warm up in the oven.  My carnivorous husband is in Phoenix this week enjoying the lovely warm weather and working (not necessarily in that order, he is working and is not complaining about running outside in just shorts and a t-shirt at the end of his day).  This gives me free reign to serve a meal heavier on veggies.  So my new twist on enchiladas was to stuff them with roasted vegetables.  Besides, that gets the oven up to 450 degrees and Tuesday night I believe it was about 12 degrees outside.  And Sara will eat anything with roasted vegetables.  You can obviously fill your enchiladas however the spirit and your refrigerator/freezer/pantry moves you.  But you really should try this sauce.  It's easy and really delicious.

One more tip for freezing cold winter dinners:  warm your plates before you plate or serve food.  My cabinets are on the outside wall of my kitchen and my plates are very chilly to the touch.  I grab my plates and warm them in the oven if it's not too hot (preferably while cooling down after baking something comforting) or just microwave them in a stack for a minute or two.  

roasted vegetables

assembled enchiladas

sauced and ready to bake

ready to eat!

Sara's Enchiladas

one white/sweet/yellow onion, chopped
one zucchini squash, diced
one yellow summer squash, diced
one red/yellow/orange pepper, diced
olive oil
kosher salt

Enchilada Sauce
2 T canola oil
2 T flour
1/4 C chili powder
2 C chicken stock
10-0z. tomato paste
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt

rotisserie chicken, shredded
corn tortillas (8-10)
shredded cheese (mexican blend, monterey jack, colby-jack, sharp cheddar or whatever you like)

Prepare and roast your vegetables:  toss diced/chopped vegetables with a tablespoon or so of olive oil and 1/2 tsp or so kosher salt, spread on a baking sheet and roast in a 450 degree oven, stirring once or twice for 10-12 minutes.

Make your sauce:  heat canola oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, stir in flour to make a paste, keep heat medium-high and stir in chili powder for about a minute to season paste.  Add chicken stock and bring to a boil, whisking constantly until thickened (a few minutes).  Lower heat to medium and add tomato paste, oregano, cumin and salt; stirring until well-blended.  Simmer for 15 minutes to blend flavors.

Soften your tortillas:  heat a flat griddle pan or large non-stick fry pan over medium heat, sprinkle very lightly with kosher salt, warm tortillas (mine fits 3 tortillas at a time) for about 2-3 minutes on each side, place tortillas in a stack on a warm plate and cover until ready to assemble enchiladas.

Lower your oven heat to 375 degrees.

Assemble your enchilada casserole:  spray baking dish with non-stick spray,  spoon in about 1 cup of prepared sauce to cover the bottom of the dish.  Take a warm tortilla and place chicken down the middle along with a few roasted vegetables and a nice sprinkling of cheese.  Roll up tortilla overlapping sides and place seam down in the sauce in the dish.  When you've filled your dish with enchiladas, spoon remaining sauce over top of casserole dish.  Sprinkle with a little additional cheese if desired.  Cover dish with foil and bake 20-25 minutes until hot and bubbly.

Serve with shredded lettuce, cilantro, sour cream and guacamole if desired.


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