Harvest Enchilada Stacks

One of my very favorite friends is a vegetarian.  She also happens to be one of my favorite guinea pigs when it comes to trying new recipes, especially of the vegetarian variety.  Whenever she is coming over, I try to flex my flabby vegetarian muscle and do something creative that she doesn’t eat all the time.  To take the challenge up a notch, her husband is watching the carbs lately, so easy solutions like pasta are out the window.  Fine by me.  On this occasion, it gave me a chance to try out some enchiladas I had been dreaming up.  You could of course use whatever veggies or meat you like in these, but I did like this combo, especially the mushrooms!

I make verde sauce quite often, so I wanted to try something different and do a red sauce from scratch instead.  The dried peppers added a nice earthy/smoky tone that really went nicely with the fall/winter veggies.  I actually made a bigger batch of the pepper base so I’ll have it on hand for a couple more enchilada dinners later in the month.  Mmm, can’t wait!

Harvest Enchilada Stacks

Harvest Enchilada Stacks

Harvest Enchilada Stacks

Sauce:
2 dried pasilla peppers
2 cups boiling water
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. salt
2-3 cans tomatoes, crushed or blended up

Other ingredients:
3-4 portobello caps, sliced
1 delicata squash, seeded and diced (peel if you want – I didn’t)
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1/2 cup corn kernels
2 cups baby spinach, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 cup crumbled Queso fresco
Corn tortillas
2 green onions, thinly sliced

To make sauce:  heat oven to 400˚.  Toast dried peppers 3-4 minutes in oven.  Put in a bowl and pour 2 cups boiling water over them.  Let them sit and soften for 10 minutes and then pureé in a blender.  Set aside.  If you haven’t blended up your tomatoes do that, then set those aside as well.

In a medium saucepan, saute onion for 2-3 minutes.  Add garlic and cook another minute.  Add crushed/blended tomatoes and seasonings to pan. Add pepper mixture (if you don’t want as strong a pepper flavor, you may want to add this gradually, tasting as you go).  Bring to a boil, then turn down heat and let simmer for 20-30 minutes until reduced and slightly thickened.  Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.  If pepper taste is too strong, you can add another can of tomatoes if you wish to mellow it out.

In a large skillet, heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat.  Add portobellos, squash and onion.  Cook, stirring often, 4-5 minutes until veggies are tender.  Add garlic, spinach and corn kernels.  Cook another 1-2 minutes, until heated through and spinach is wilted.  Add seasonings and brown sugar.  Cook and stir an additional minute.

Yummy veggies

Yummy veggies

Turn oven down to 375˚.  On a large baking pan or casserole dish, ladle out enough sauce to cover the bottom of the pan.

Just getting started.

Just getting started.

Build your stacks on top of the sauce, starting with a corn tortilla, then a scoop of veggies, then a sprinkle of cheese (if desired).

Working on the 2nd layer.  Are you hungry yet?

Working on the 2nd layer. Are you hungry yet?

Continue with another layer just like the first.  End with tortillas.  Ladle sauce over the top of the stacks until well coated (you might not use all of your sauce, freeze leftovers for another day).

Don't skimp on the sauce!  If you have leftover sauce, you can freeze it for later or serve it alongside.

Don’t skimp on the sauce! If you have leftover sauce, you can freeze it for later or serve it alongside.

Crumble remaining cheese all over the top and sprinkle with green onion.

Beautiful!  All ready for the oven.

Beautiful! All ready for the oven.

Bake at 375˚ for 15-20 minutes, until cheese is melted and starting to brown.  Serve hot.  Makes 5-6 enchilada stacks.

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