You gotta love enchiladas! What is not to like, pray tell me. Corn tortillas stuffed with anything you like on this earth, smothered in a spicy sauce and topped with cheese. Bake in the oven until it bubbles and everything gets happy together, and the cheese melts and becomes slightly crusty?
Veggie enchilada choices are generally limited to potato or cheese, maybe spinach. But restaurant enchiladas are most often loaded, I mean simply loaded with cheese, making it hard to enjoy them. I love my cheese, don’t misunderstand me. But there is certainly a tipping point. if you make something too cheesy, I can’t enjoy it beyond a few forkfuls and then I start getting drowsy. I prefer to have the cheesy flavors and richness just right so that I can eat the whole enchilada. And that right there is why I prefer making enchiladas at home. Well that, and the fact that a good enchilada is not that easily available where I live now.
Today I am going to show you how to make a super simple enchilada sauce. Fresh is so much better than bottled. You can adjust the flavors just the way you like them. I used a dry chipotle pepper which I bought for big bucks on Amazon India. But at least it is the authentic deal. If you guys can get the tiny ‘chipotles in adobo’ can, go for it. canned diced tomatoes or crushed tomatoes will work as well as fresh ones.
I like using veggies and beans, corn etc. as the stuffing for veggie enchiladas, or even tofu. But this time I am keeping it very simple and using sautéed spinach. I am adding some rice to give it body and then using some sharp Monterey Jack cheese. You can use any cheese you like here. A spicy Pepperjack will work really well here, or a combination of Jack cheeses and cheddar maybe.
I generally serve beans and rice on the side, but I put the rice inside the enchilada this time, and I decided to skip the beans. Just a couple of these with some sour cream make a fantastic meal. Wash it down with some chilled beer or a limey cocktail and you got a gourmet Mexican meal right at home.
It is always challenging to photograph casseroles since all the goodness is inside the top layer. And my 9×9 Pyrex pan has never yielded good photos. But it is great for baking these spicy and tangy beauties and it yields good Food.
And oh yes, as always, I made fresh corn tortillas at home. You can buy them at the store or make your own.
Here is the detailed recipe. Splurge and go for an authentic chipotle chili. It will make a world of difference in the taste.
Spinach Enchiladas with Chipotle Enchilada Sauce Recipe
- 1 large Chipotle chili soaked
- Or 2-3 chipotles in adobo
- 10-12 garlic cloves
- 1 small onion
- 2 cups tomato puree/ diced /crushed
- 2 Tbsp oil
- 2 Tbsp wheat flour
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp chili seasoning(optional)
- ½ tsp sugar
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 cup AP flour/ maida
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 Tbsp oil
- Salt to taste
- 1 cup herbed rice
- 1 cup spinach sauteed
- 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese
- 1 lime juiced
- 1-2 cups Mexican Blend cheese
- 5-6 jalapenos
- ¼ cup cilantro
- Sour cream
- Soak the dry chipotle pepper for 2-3 hours. If you are using chipotles in Adobo, this step is not required.
- Blend the onion, garlic and chili pepper to get a fine paste.
- Heat the oil and add the chili garlic paste to it. fry for 2-3 minutes until cooked.
- Add the flour and sauté until the flour becomes toasty.
- Add tomato puree and all seasonings like cumin, salt and sugar. Add water if needed.
- Bring to a boil and simmer until sauce coats the back of the spoon.
- Mix cooked rice, sauted spinach and chunks of Monterey Jack cheese. Add lime juice.
- Spoon some stuffing into the center of a tortilla and roll it. Place seam side down in baking pan.
- Repeat until you cover the base of the pan in single layer.
- Pour enchilada sauce on top.
- Add shredded cheese on top of the sauce.
- Bake in 350F oven for 20-30 minutes until sauce bubbles and cheese melts.
- Garnish with cilantro and jalapenos and serve hot with sour cream.
These enchiladas are very versatile. You can use your favorite veggies or just cheese if you are in a decadent mood. Make double the sauce because you will be eating it with everything.