The other week I was roaming around Pinterest and saw a pin for an awesome open-faced chicken enchilada that looked amazing. While my first inclination was to just switch the chicken tofu or chickun, I decided to take the general concept and go with it. After further “research” I found that these open faced creations are also called California Enchiladas and decided that the time had come for me to give them a whirl. I decided to avoid the tofu and go with some squash and also decided to make my own salsa verde in order to have more control over the heat involved. Everything came together in record time, probably because there was nothing to roll!
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 lb tomatillos, husked and halved
1/2 cup cilantro, loosely chopped
1 jalapenos or 1 habanero pepper, halved and deseeded (optional)
1/2 sweet onion, diced
10 corn tortillas (6in)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, finely diced
1 tbsp cayenne pepper
2 yellow squash, finely diced
2 zucchini, finely diced
1 beefsteak tomato, diced
1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese
sour cream (optional)
- Preheat oven to 475. Toss the tomatillos in the olive oil and then place on a roasting pan in a single layer. Cook for 30minutes or until outer edges are brown and the juices are bubbling. Allow to cool and then place in food processor. Add the cilantro and pepper and pulse until well blended. I like mine on the chunky side but the choice is yours. Set aside (should be around 1 1/2 cups) and turn oven to 350.
- Meanwhile heat the remaining olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, and cayenne pepper and cook for 5minutes. Add the squash and zucchini and cook for an additional 7-10minutes, or until the squash are soft and onion is transparent. Set aside
- Take 1/2 cup of salsa and spread on the bottom of a 10x10x4 (or more) pan. Place one layer of the tortillas (for mine this results in two rows of 2.5 tortillas).
- Spoon about 1 cup of the squash mixture and half of the tomatoes over the tortillas, as evenly as possible. Top with 1/2 cup of the salsa and 1/4 cup of the cheese. Add the remaining tortillas and then top with the rest of the squash, tomatoes, salsa, and cheese trying to be as even as possible.
- Bake for 35minutes, the cheese should be starting to brown around the edges. Serve topped with the sour cream and/or guacamole.
I wound up being really bad at being even with my squash layering which resulted in some very cheesy end pieces and an insanely deep center. Not that it stopped any of us
Salsa verde is probably my favorite salsa out there, followed by Texas Caviar (yum!), and one of these days I’m going to remember to save the seeds from some tomatillos so that I can attempt to grow my own. I also need to remember to save the seeds from my other vegetables so that I can cut down on next year’s gardening costs. If anyone has any tips for drying seeds please send them my way!