Monday, August 9, 2010

Summer Squash Enchiladas

These were delicious!  

I have never been crazy about enchiladas.  I think I sometimes ate enchiladas as a young child.  And, I guess, I love my favorite New Mexican green chile enchiladas.  But, I don't even think I have ever made a traditional red batch of enchiladas.  

One reason is because I don't like store bought enchilada sauce.  I think it tastes like a cross between ketchup, dirt, salt and raw, stingy jalapenos.

This sauce is the best enchiladas sauce I have had.  And I love that these are vegetarian.  Mexican is so rarely vegetarian. 

One change I would make is to fry the corn tortillas before wrappin' and rollin'.  I normally do, but this time wanted to try just warmed the corn tortillas in the oven, as the recipe states.  Even after dredging it in sauce and covered it with cheese, I still think corn tortillas taste too raw/dry if they aren't fried.  You can just fry them each in a couple of tablespoons of oil.  

Also, we ate these with some cilantro-lime rice.  

Summer Squash Enchiladas

For the enchilada sauce:
10 dried cascabel chiles or 6 dried guajillo chiles
1 canned chipotle chile
2 teaspoons of oil, divided
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
1 15-oz. canned tomatoes, drained
2 cups of chicken broth
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
Salt and black pepper to taste

For the filling:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, stems and seeds removed, diced
2 zucchini and 2 yellow squash, diced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt, cayenne and black pepper to taste

For the enchiladas:
12 corn tortillas
2 cups shredded cheese, a mix of Monterey Jack and cheddar

To make the sauce, in a dry skillet heated on high, take the chiles and toast the chiles on each side for about 10 seconds or just until they start to puff. Leave the heat on and cover the chiles with water. When the water begins to boil and then turn off the heat and let chiles soak until soft, about 30 minutes. Drain the chiles and add to a blender.

Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a skillet and cook the onions for 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Place onions and garlic into a blender. Add the canned chipotle chile, the tomatoes, chicken broth, cumin, oregano and blend until smooth.

In a pot, heat 1 teaspoon of oil on low heat, pour in the sauce and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and black pepper to taste and adjust other seasonings as needed.

To make the filling, in a large skillet, heat up the oil on medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeños and cook for a minute. Add the diced zucchini and yellow squash, cilantro, cumin and sauté for 10 minutes. Add salt, cayenne and black pepper to taste.

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9x13 baking dish. Wrap the tortillas in foil and place in the oven for 5 minutes while the oven is preheating.

Remove tortillas from oven, open the foil (be careful as there may be hot steam), take a tortilla and with tongs dip it into the sauce. Shake off most of the sauce, but make sure that it’s moist enough to be pliable. Lay the tortilla on a plate or clean cooking surface, add a spoonful of the filling down the center of it and then roll the tortilla. Place rolled enchilada in greased baking dish and repeat with remaining tortillas.

Pour sauce over enchiladas and top with shredded cheese. Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned and bubbling. Serve topped with avocado wedges and cotija cheese.

Note: Cascabel chiles are round, about the size of a golf ball and they make a rattling sound when you shake them. Guajillo chiles are red, slender and usually about 4 inches long—they look very similar to New Mexico dried red chiles. Now,
in Houston I’ve seen guajillo chiles labeled cascabel chiles—so if it’s long and slender and not round, chances are it’s a guajillo chile. These chiles are commonly found at Mexican grocers, all across the US. If you can't find them, you can substitute ancho chiles, which may be easier to find--I'd use 4.

(Servings: 4-6, Prep time: 1 hr. 30 min., Cook time: 15 min., Difficulty: Easy)


  1. I love enchiladas...but I completely agree that store bought enchilada sauce can ruin a dish. I love making homemade though, and I'm excited to give your variety a try. I'm glad you enjoyed these!

  2. i agree on the store bought enchi sauce. i do like the green though. im a bad mexi.
    speaking of mexicans... my aunt renee makes the bombest homemade enchiladas. it takes her an entire day though but she usually makes a huge batch and drops them off at everyones house cause thats what mehiicans do.
    if you ever want the recipe, lemme know.

  3. kt-i also secretly don't mind the green either. and plllllease send me your aunt's recipe. i would love to try it! and include me in the list of houses she drops off enchiladas at.