Joe’s Corner: Enchiladas

Every Thursday I get to try my hand at cooking. Since Amanda decided to start blogging her recipes, we figured I might as well share as well. Though I have yet to pick my own recipe, let alone design one, I can manage to put some together that she finds elsewhere. One that she thinks are “simple” enough for me to handle. I asked her for a challenge this week and she modified a recipe for Enchiladas found at the Fat Free Vegan blog, one of her favorites. Hopefully this can show you that you don’t have to acquainted with the kitchen to cook. And by acquainted I mean you don’t know have to know that garbanzo beans are actually chick peas… cause I didn’t. That being said, here are my tips for a relatively problem free meal.

Step 1: Make sure you actually have the ingredients. Better yet, have your better half show you where they all are before they disappear (if they’re brave enough to leave you alone).
Step 2: Start early. What would take her 30 minutes to prepare is going to take me an hour to an hour and a half. I have a new appreciation for slicing dicing chopping mincing and the other 100 ways cooks have figured out how to say cut.
Step 3: Don’t ask for help! I’ve learned more having to figure it out and make it work than when I can simply ask.
So, on to the Enchiladas…

(inspired by the Fat Free Vegan blog)
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 green or red bell peper, chopped
1 cup fresh or frozen corn
1 yellow squash, diced
1 zucchini (green squash), diced
3.5 oz Tofu, firm or regular, cubed
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can enchilada sauce
8 tortillas
1/2 cup shredded mexican cheese
Saute the onion in a medium-sized saucepan until it begins to soften. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in the bell pepper, corn, and squash and cook, stirring until squash is just beginning to become tender. Add the tofu, chili powder/flakes, and black beans. Simmer for 5 minutes. Check seasoning and adjust to taste.
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly spray one large rectangular baking dish with olive oil. Place a thin layer of enchilada sauce on the bottom of each dish, reserving most of it to go on top. Microwave the tortillas for about 20 seconds to soften them. Place a tortilla in front of you and arrange about 1/4 cup of the bean mixture across the center. Roll up and place seam-side down into the baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas and beans. Pour the remaining sauce over the top.
Cover with tinfoil and bake for about 20 minutes. Add cheese to top and bake an additional 10 minutes or until all the cheese has melted and sauce is nice and bubbling.
Now I followed the directions fairly well here. Usually though I don’t follow the ingredients precisely, and to be honest, I have more fun and I think the dish turns out better. I tend to focus more on what I will actually enjoy eating in the dish. I nearly doubled the amount of tofu and pepper used. I didn’t measure the chili powder or red pepper flakes, I simply added a bunch early and added as I tasted throughout. And since the cheese is to cover the top… well I just poured cheese until we ran out. Probably about a cup? Oh and I mixed some in before rolling them up. Who doesn’t like cheese?
Be warned: rolling enchiladas is hard. In fact, I’d argue with the amount food and the size of a regular tortilla, it’s simply impossible. So instead of trying a fancy roll with closed ends, I simply plopped the food in the middle rolled one side to the other, putting it seam-side down as instructed. You’re gonna eat with a fork anyway, who cares if it’s messy?
See ya next week!