My knowledge of Spanish stops at “Buenos dias” and “Adios,” and apparently my ability to cook Mexican food is equally limited.
A couple of weeks ago, my mom gave me an article entitled “Enchiladas Made Easy,” with a recipe attached to the bottom. Clearly, the writer and I have very different definitions of the word ‘easy.’ After I spent way too much time stuffing and rolling the tortillas, the filling still ended up all over the pan. And the texture of the tortillas was off – they were either mushy or crunchy, with little in between. Enchilada-making is obviously not my God-given vocation.
After that mini disaster, I gave up on making enchiladas, but I still wanted a dish with the same flavor profile. Stuffing and rolling the enchiladas had been my Achilles’ heel (or Achilles’ talon, since we’re making Tex-Mex), so I decided to lay the tortillas out lasagna-style. I swapped out most of the ingredients in the enchilada recipe’s filling, opting instead for roasted summer veggies. I changed the cheese, tweaked the spices, and dialed back the heat in the sauce. The result was Enchiladas Unrolled.
If you’re one of those bizarre spicy food lovers, you could throw some jalapenos in with the roasting veggies or add more salsa verde to the sauce. I kept my lasagna pretty mild, but don’t let that stop you from jazzing it up.
As The Most Interesting Man in the World might say, “I don’t always make enchiladas, but when I do, I make Enchilada Lasagna. Stay hungry, my friends!”
2 medium zucchinis, quartered and sliced in 1/2 inch pieces
8 oz baby bella mushrooms, quartered
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 1/2 cup corn, thawed if frozen
3 garlic cloves, sliced
2 Tb olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground coriander
salt and pepper
1 cup sour cream
2 cups cilantro leaves
10-16 oz salsa verde (depending on your heat tolerance)*
18 small corn tortillas (the ones that are about 6-7″ across, not the gigantic burrito-sized tortillas)
8 oz. muenster cheese, grated or torn up slices
5 oz. grated enchilada cheese**
1) Preheat the oven to 425. Place the chopped zucchini, mushrooms, and onion on a large baking sheet, along with the corn and garlic slices. In a small bowl, mix the olive oil with the chili powder and coriander, then pour the mixture over the veggies. Stir them around until most are coated with the oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the veggies for 40-45 minutes, stirring thoroughly ever 15 minutes.
2) While the veggies are roasting, make the sauce. Combine the sour cream and cilantro in a blender (or put them in a bowl and use an immersion blender), and blend until mostly smooth. Stir in the salsa verde. As I said above, my pathetic taste buds could only handle 10 oz of the salsa, but feel free to add more if you want more heat. If you only use 10 oz of the salsa, add 1/4 c. water to the sauce.
3) When the veggies are done, let them cool for about five minutes so you don’t burn yourself putting the lasagna together. Turn the oven down to 350.
4) Reserve 1/4 cup of the sauce. Spread 1/3 cup of the sauce on the bottom of a 9×13 pan, then cover the bottom of the pan with six tortillas, overlapping them as necessary. Spread half of the roasted veggies over the tortillas. Scatter 1/3 of the muenster and enchilada cheeses over the veggies. Pour half of the remaining sauce over the veggies and cheese. Cover with six more corn tortillas. Spread the remaining veggies, another 1/3 of the cheeses, and top with the rest of the remaining sauce. Cover this layer with six more tortillas, tucking the edges down into the sides of the pan. Spoon the reserved 1/4 cup of sauce over the tortillas, and scatter the rest of the cheese on the top. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
* I found a jar of salsa verde in the Hispanic section of my grocery store. Apparently the heat in this stuff can vary a great deal by brand, so you may want to try whatever kind you buy before deciding how much to add.
** I also found the enchilada cheese in the Hispanic section of the grocery store. It’s a white cheese covered in red spices, comes in a refrigerated wheel, has medium-hardness, and needs to be grated. If you can’t find this at your store, you could probably use monterey jack or a Mexican blend of shredded cheese instead.