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Did you know that squash and zucchini are actually fruits? So, I should really call this recipe "Fruit Enchiladas" but that would evoke an entirely different image, so I'm not going to.

Don't you love a good enchilada? Me too! I just returned from the Texas hill country, (sorry for my absence!) where I enjoyed copious amounts of Tex-Mex food. We also played on Canyon Lake and floated down the Comal River. It was fabulous and I'm very sunburnt! I'll post pictures soon, of the fun we had, not my sunburn.

In honor of my trip to Texas, I wanted to share these spicy and satisfying enchiladas. They also have an unexpected (at least to me) twist, they're filled with squash and zucchini! I've really been craving these gourds and Mexican food lately, so when I found this recipe on Homesick Texan, I had to try it. 

Try it I did, but sadly, with a few adaptations. I couldn't find the dried cascabel or guajillo chiles or even the more common ancho chiles which the recipe called for. I went to three different grocery stores and even called a fourth market to check. So I settled for ancho chile powder. Certainly not a perfect substitute, but very tasty notwithstanding. That's got to be my favorite adverb, notwithstanding I mean.

So here's what you do! First, we have to take care of the enchilada sauce. In a large pan over low to medium heat, warm up some oil. Add 1/2 a diced onion and cook until the onions are translucent. Toss in 4 chopped garlic cloves and cook for 1 minute. Spoon onions and garlic into a blender and wipe out the pan to use it again later. To the blender, add 1 canned chipotle pepper, can of diced tomatoes, 2 cups of vegetable stock, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon oregano and 2 tablespoons ancho chile powder. (I actually added 4, but I think it was too spicy. Start with 2 and then taste and add more if you want.) Blend until smooth and pour into saucepan to warm it up. Let it simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes. Taste it and add salt and pepper if you want. Clearly, I have no pictures of that whole process, but you can imagine it, right?
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Next, we work on the filling. In the same pan, heat up some more oil over medium-low heat. Then cook the second half of the diced onion until the onions are see-through. Add 2 cloves chopped garlic and 1 chopped jalapeno (seeds removed if you want it to be less spicy) and cook for an additional minute. Throw in the diced zucchini and squash, some cilantro and a bit of cumin. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring often, adding salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to taste.

Now we need to assemble the enchiladas. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and heat the tortillas while the oven is warming up. Wrap the stack of tortillas in foil and place it in the preheating oven for at least 5 minutes. While you wait, grease a 9X13 inch baking dish.
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Once the tortillas are warmed, use tongs to dip them into the sauce.
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Plop the tortilla on a plate, and fill with about this much of the squash mixture. Then carefully roll the tortilla and place seam down in the greased pan. It's okay if they crack or even fall apart. You're going to cover them with more sauce and cheese, no one will be the wiser. Is that how that saying goes?
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Repeat with all the tortillas that will fit into the baking dish, I could only fit 11. Pour all the sauce over the enchiladas evenly, then top with 2 cups shredded cheese. See, you can't tell that nearly all my tortillas fell apart!
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Bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown and bubbling. Top with some more cilantro, let it cool a bit and then serve! They're delicious with a side of rice and beans, and a margarita why not?

Veggie Enchiladas
adapted from Homesick Texan

Sauce:
2-4 tablespoons of ancho chile powder
1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained.
2 cups vegetable stock
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Filling:
vegetable oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 jalapeno, diced (remove seeds if you want)
2 zucchini and 2 yellow squash, diced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped, plus more for garnish
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to taste

Enchiladas:
12 corn tortillas
2 cups shredded cheese, Mexican blend preferably, or a mix of Monterey Jack and cheddar.

For the sauce, warm up some oil in a large pan over low to medium heat, Add onion and cook until the onions are translucent. Toss in garlic cloves and cook for 1 minute. Spoon onions and garlic into a blender and wipe out the pan to use it again later. To the blender, add chipotle pepper, diced tomatoes, vegetable stock, cumin, oregano and ancho chile powder. Blend until smooth and pour into saucepan to warm it up. Let it simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes. Taste it and add salt and pepper if you want.

For the filling, in the same pan, heat up some more oil over medium-low heat. Then cook the second half of the diced onion until the onions are see-through. Add garlic an jalapeno (seeds removed if you want it to be less spicy) and cook for an additional minute. Throw in the diced zucchini and squash, cilantro and cumin. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring often, adding salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to taste.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and heat the tortillas while the oven is warming up. To do this, wrap the stack of tortillas in foil and place it in the preheating oven for at least 5 minutes. While you wait, grease a 9X13 inch baking dish. 

To assemble the enchiladas, dip one tortilla into the sauce with tongs. Put the tortilla on a plate, and fill with a cooking spoonful of the squash mixture. Then carefully roll the tortilla and place seam down in the greased pan. Repeat with all tortillas. Pour the sauce evenly over the tortillas and top with shredded cheese.

Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is browning and bubbling. Top with some cilantro, let cool and enjoy!
 


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