May 4, 2009
Bobby Flay’s Goat Cheese Enchiladas are on my Cooking Bucket List, and I thought about making them for Cinco de Mayo but didn’t really want to go the high-fat route right now, since I ate more than usual on vacation and I’m trying to get back to my more disciplined way of eating. So I compromised. I made my version of Bobby’s enchilada sauce, but instead of cheese enchiladas, I made spinach mushroom enchiladas with whole grain tortillas. They aren’t totally guilt-free since I’m still using a moderate amount of cheese (what would enchiladas BE without cheese?), but it’s all about balance, right? If you want to go totally vegan and healthy, use agave nectar instead of the honey and eliminate the cheese altogether or use a non-dairy cheese. If you have a non-dairy cheese that you love, please let me know about it!
I made the sauce a day in advance, and would recommend that since it takes a little while. Plus, the flavor has a chance to develop overnight, and just makes it even better. This sauce takes some doing, but I think it’s worth it. It’s really delicious and has great depth to it. Make sure that you use the Mexican oregano, not the usual Turkish oregano that you might have for Italian cooking. The Mexican variety is not as sweet, and works great with the smoky cumin. You can get a small jar of it at Penzeys for $1.49, so try to find it if you can. You might be able to get it at the Latin foods market, which is where I found my dried ancho chiles.
(adapted from Bobby Flay’s Red Chile-Tomato Sauce)
3 ancho chiles
3 Tblsp vegetable oil
1/2 large red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 Tblsp ground cumin
1 Tblsp Mexican oregano
1 28-oz can crushed fire roasted tomatoes
4 cups vegetable stock
1 to 2 Tblsp honey
Salt and pepper to taste
Microwave 2 cups of water to boiling point, and carefully pour over ancho chiles in small bowl. Let soften for 30 minutes. Remove stems and seeds from chiles and puree in food processor or blender.
In a large saucepan or dutch oven, saute the onion in vegetable oil over medium heat until soft. Add crushed garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add cumin and oregano and cook for 1 minute. Add ancho puree and cook for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and stock and simmer for 30 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and honey to taste. Leave chunky or use an immersion blender for a smoother consistency. This recipe makes a large quantity, so you may want to freeze what you don’t use in this batch of enchiladas. Just don’t let it go to waste!
Spinach Mushroom Enchiladas
1 Tblsp butter
1/2 large red onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, pressed
1-1/2 lb mushrooms, wiped clean and chopped
8 cups (packed) fresh baby spinach
Salt, pepper and Frank’s Red Hot sauce to taste
1-1/2 cups shredded cheese of your choice (I used a mixture of monterrey jack and mexican blend cheeses)
8 multi-grain tortillas
2 cups Enchilada Sauce
Cotija cheese for garnish, optional
Melt butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add onions, garlic and mushrooms and cook until they are soft and liquid has evaporated. Add the spinach and cook until spinach is wilted and liquid has evaporated again. Add salt, pepper and Frank’s Red Hot to taste. Mix in one cup of the shredded cheese.
Place 1/2 cup enchilada sauce in bottom of 9 x 13 pan. Wrap the tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave for a few seconds until softened enough to roll. Place a generous 1/4 cup of the spinach mushroom filling into the center of a tortilla and roll up. Place in the pan, and repeat until all tortillas are filled, snuggling them in tightly. Cover with remaining 1-1/2 cups of enchilada sauce, and sprinkle with the rest of the cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees until bubbly throughout and cheese is melted, about 30-35 minutes. Serve with a sprinkle of cotija cheese if desired.