Friday, July 6, 2012

Enchilada Casserole

I can't remember if I told you guys but last week we decided to go vegetarian. And it was amazing. We had the best food (possibly the best we've ever made) all week long. Plus, I've been trying to make everything from scratch to eliminate those nasty processed foods so it's been even better! This meal was one of the last things I made and it's been on my mind ever since. (I may be cooking something similar tonight!!) It was SO good. But I think the best part was the homemade enchilada sauce, to DIE FOR. 
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Anyways, enough of my rambling! Here's the recipe: 


Enchilada sauce
3-4 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbs chopped onion
15 oz can of tomato sauce
½ cup water
4 tbs chili powder
2 tbs flour
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cocoa powder
¼  tsp cayenne pepper

1.        Saute onions in vegetable oil until soft.
2.        Mix in flour and cook for about 5 minutes. (it should be a little runnier than a paste, if it’s too thick, add more oil)
3.        Combine rest of dry ingredients in small bowl.
4.        Add tomato sauce to flour/onion/oil.
5.        Add dry ingredients, whisk until well blended.
6.        Cook for about 5 more minutes.
7.        I also added the beans to this after I turned the heat off. But you can put this in the casserole mix if you’d like.

Casserole
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed (or 1½ cups cooked black beans)
1 can of corn
4 serrano chilis
5 tomatoes
 8-10 flour (or corn) tortillas
1 onion (yellow or purple)
1 green bell pepper.
3-4 green onions
½ tbsp oregano
2-3 cups monterrey jack cheese
1-2 avocados (optional)

1.        Boil a medium pot of water. Place in tomatoes and cook for about 1 minute or until skins split. Take out with slotted spoon and place in ice bath.
2.        Smash tomatoes with potato masher
3.        Stick chili’s in the oven on broil for about 3 minutes or until the tops turn brown. Flip and cook another couple of minutes until the top turns brown again. Take out and place in ice bath. Once they cool, peel off skin and dice them up.
4.        Chop up your onion and bell pepper.
5.        Saute in vegetable oil until soft.
6.        Add mashed tomatoes, corn, green onions, and oregano. You can also add in the chilis here but I left them out so I could make half the dish without them for Eliza. Cook for about 5-10 more minutes.
7.        Remove from heat.
8.       Grab your tortillas and slice them in half. I then heated them up a little in a saucepan with a little oil. Only about 30 seconds on each side.
9.        Now you start layering in a 13 x 9 glass dish. It doesn’t really matter what order you do it in but the last layer definitely needs to be enchilada sauce topped with a little cheese. And then if you’d like, dice up some avocado and put on top for the last 10 minutes of baking.
10.   For the layering, I suggest half casserole mix, 4 tortillas, half of enchilada sauce, cheese, other half of casserole mix, chilies, 4 tortillas, other half of enchilada sauce, cheese, avocado. Mine was kind of wonky, I’ll definitely use this layering next time.
11.      And bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.

  A few suggestions: Add more water to the sauce to make it a little thinner. Also, next time I think I’ll use some more tomatoes and bell peppers (maybe orange and red?) to give it a little more fluff (I won’t be using beans next time, no matter how hard I try I just do not like beans). Also, you can add some cilantro and black olives! I actually bought both of those but forgot to add them! Woops! 

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I'm sorry if the pictures don't look so neat. I kind of already dug in before I remembered to take a picture!

So today we went to the beach and the funniest thing happened! When we got there, we picked out a spot, laid out a blanket with all of our stuff and ran for the water. About an hour later, Brandon, Eliza, and I were building sand castles on shore when my sister walked in from the water and screamed, "Do you guys not see all those birds by our stuff?!" I turned around and there were about 30 sea gulls hovering around our blanket. I hopped up and ran behind my sister back to our spot. Apparently we had left a bag of chips sitting out and they had PECKED their way THROUGH the bag and were eating our chips!! Isn't that insane?! And there were so many. I just remember looking back and it was like a cloud of sea gulls above our stuff and then they just scattered when we started running towards them. We were lucky that none of them pooped on our stuff, I'm so grateful for that! But it was the craziest thing.

Well, I'm off to go make some yummy food. And I will definitely be incorporating this enchilada sauce because I'm craving it now. Hope you guys enjoy your weekend! Ta ta!

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