Day sixteen of vegan recipe challenge: a Sunday cooking investment pays off

Confession: I had never – even in my pre-vegan days – made enchiladas. And, growing up in the Southwest, making enchiladas were practically a rite of passage. Regardless, I still ate them like they were hot cakes – covered in cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeze (I really wanted to emphasize the layers of cheese typically covering this dish. Can you feel the gooey weight?)

SO, this past Sunday, while the Detroit Lions battled the Dallas Cowboys upstairs (to no avail in the land of football playoffs), I took on another Veganomicon recipe: Potato and Kale Enchiladas.

onions
Sweat baby sweat

Fair warning: it took me about 30 – 45 minutes longer than the hour time projection from the cookbook. I can certainly take the fall for being a little slower than the average bear in the kitchen, but it was one of those meals where I wished that I had a cooking partner or a few additional limbs to help out. Still, it was worth every minute. We enjoyed the leftovers for the next two days. AND THE ENCHILADA SAUCE is just divine – rich and spicy and I will make this and pour it on other dishes (I ate it directly out of the pot multiple times).

INGREDIENTS:
Enchilada Chile Sauce:
2 Tbs grapeseed oil or olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 large green chilies (such as Anaheim or Italian-style long green peppers), roasted, seeded, peeled and coarsely chopped (I did roast my own chilies – oh my! So much fresh flavor. If you have to use canned chilies, go for it. If you can roast them the day before, do it! I chose not to peel mine either)
2-3 tsp Ancho chili pepper power (I used chipotle because I bought the wrong spice – it was still good)
1-1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp marjoram or Mexican oregano (epazote)
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes, roasted preferred
1 tsp sugar (I used agave)
1-1/2 tsp salt

Potato and Kale Filling:
1 lb waxy potatoes (Yukon gold or red) – I used Yukon
1/2 lb kale, washed, trimmed and chopped finely
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 C vegetable broth or water
3 Tbs lime juice
1/4 C toasted pumpkin seeds
1 1/2 tsp salt (I used just one teaspoon – I still found this dish salty so I would reduce further in future making sessions or remove it altogether)
12 – 14 corn tortillas

Directions: [Note: I am pulling these instructions from Epicurian Vegan because they are FABULOUS. Check out this site for so many more amazing recipes!]

Preheat oven to 375. Use a 11.5″x7.5″ casserole dish. To save yourself a headache: first, get the kale washed, trimmed and chopped, and peel and dice the potatoes.

To prepare the sauce, saute the onion and oil in a large skillet over medium heat, about 4-7 minutes. Add remaining sauce ingredients, bring to a simmer.

Remove from the heat, let cool, then taste it to adjust seasoning, if necessary. Puree in an immersion or regular blender until smooth. (I used the food processor). – I used my blender!

To prepare the filling, boil the potatoes until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside. (This next step, I recommend doing while the potatoes are cooking) Cook the grapeseed oil and minced garlic in a sauce pot (I used the same skillet from the sauce–just washed it out) over medium heat until garlic just begins to brown. Add the kale, sprinkle with some salt and stir often. Partially cover the pot and steam the kale about 4-6 minutes. Then add the potatoes, broth (or water), lime juice, pumpkin seeds, and salt. Mash the potatoes a little bit with a spoon. Cook another 3-4 minutes.

To create these fabulous enchiladas . . . finally. . . the recipe says to ladle some sauce in a shallow dish and a heated griddle. Seriously?! My kitchen already looked like the Swedish Chef had made a 10-course meal in it and adding another pan to my already-crowded workspace just wasn’t going to happen. Plus, the tortillas I used are perfect for rolling—they’re soft enough already that they won’t crack. So if you wish to torture yourself, this is what the original recipe says: Ladle a bit of sauce onto the bottom of the casserole dish (ok, I did do that). Take a corn tortilla, place it on the heated griddle for 30 seconds, flip over and heat until soft and pliable. Drop the tortilla into the sauce and cover it completely with sauce. Place it in the casserole dish and layer it with another heat, sauce-covered tortilla (or use one. Or don’t do it that way at all). Seriously, too messy and labor-intensive. Fill with potato filling and roll up. Ok, I took the easy epicurean vegan way. After adding a layer of sauce on the bottom, I scooped some filling into my already soft and wonderfully pliable tortilla, rolled it up and placedit in the pan. That easy. Continue until the pan is filled.

Katie interjection: Here’s my “enchilada making station.” And I definitely did not heat up my tortillas because at this point, I was also wiped and just wanted to eat:

stationAlmost looks like cinnamon applesauce. I need to learn how to take better food photos.

After reserving about 1-1/2 cups of the sauce, pour the rest over the enchiladas. Now, I can’t imagine enchiladas without cheese, so I sprinkled some Daiya cheese shreds on top. – I left mine cheese-less and I still thought they were great. Will definitely try with cheese next time!

Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 10-15 minutes. Top individual servings with the extra sauce (that you’ve warmed up). You may not recognize your kitchen once these are in the oven, but at least while they bake, you’ll have time to reclaim your space

So, here’s what mine looked like –

enchilNo wonder they grow so much cheese on it. I may not have let them “cool” long enough before I attacked with my spatula. The end result = messchiladas.

I even threw some avocados on top during my lunch reheats. Yum. Yum. Yum.

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