So last Saturday night two friends came over and brought with them the fixings for Margaritas! So I accommodated them by making my Guacamole and my Spinach and Mushroom Enchiladas. They were very happy and we all found it a fair trade!
Now some people have looked at my winter white enchilada post and have let me know that they think they are really good. In fact I have had at least two people I know of make them and with great success. That recipe came originally from a boy in the cast of one of the shows I did in Wisconsin. It was when I discovered that American casserole style enchiladas are really what I love. So although I have a red sauce version on this recipe it's a mix sauce of green and red that I will offer up here today.
Enchiladas fall into 3 categories and people fall into three camps about them. First camp is red or green. Or is your sauce base red or green chilli? The second camp is corn or flour or what type of tortillas do you use. The last is do you include dairy additions beyond the shredded cheese or none at all. Now I have made and had all of these different types. I tend to go for a red enchilda with maybe a suiza or "swiss" style when I eat out at a restaurant. Mostly thats because I find that alot of enchiladas in restaurants are too dry and the "swiss" or "Suiza" element helps with that. Oh, "Suiza" means that there is a sour cream sauce in and over the taco in addition to the red sauce base. You know I'd like that!
So my enchilada making experience began in the kitchen of our house in Reston, Virginia when my father's job took us north for a few years. Old El Paso had just come out in the grocery stores in force nationally and my Mom decided to give making Mexican at home a try. We often ate in the kitchen around the breakfast table on Friday nights. It was a close and fun night where the foods were likely to be some form of ethnic food ( our attempt at branching out) and the conversation ran the gamut of whatever was happening in our worlds. Since money was tight sometimes growing up ( navy Family) my Mother and Grandmother would find foods that would be entertaining as well as tasty and filling. My brother and I had taken quite a liking to mexican foods and they began looking at ways to make them at home. We started with tacos and continued with tostadas and burritos but the real challenge was to make really good enchiladas at home. I would help my Grandmother as she poured over cooking volumes she had and together we would create from scratch sauces and combinations that were really original or our take on something "Mexican". Or we would buy a lot of cans of sauces and refried beans and start our meal from there. Tacos sprung to life served up with beans and spanish rice. And the repertoire grew from there. Mostly these were beef or chicken dishes sauced and cheesy and while they were really good they mostly provided a lot of fun in both the making and the eating departments.
As my culinary horizons widened over time I became aware that while ground beef and chicken was fun, there were other even dare I say, veggie options, that could satisfy even the most hard core beefy meaty cheesy savory seeker! So overtime I developed a recipe for enchiladas that brought in major savory action but left out the beef. Believe me these are so "meaty" the way they come out you won't miss the meat. It was in the time before my "Wisconsin Awakening" to white creamy enchiladas but that came into the mix as well making this recipe super rich and really yummy! And they could not be easier. You just need a food processor a baking pan and some patience! So without more explaining, I give you:
Spinach and Mushroom Enchiladas in a Swiss Style Chili Sauce
1 package Flour Tortillas ( 12 count)
1 box frozen spinach thawed and drained
2 medium onions
1 10 oz carton white button or baby bella mushrooms
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup sour cream ( plus extra for garnish)
1 cup jack cheese grated
1 tablespoon minced jar garlic
3 tablespoon cumin powder
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
2 teaspoons pepper
2 cans mild green chilies
1 tablespoon diced pickled jalapeno peppers
2 cups of half and half
2 cans red enchilada sauce
1 small can sliced black California olives
1 cup yellow cheddar cheese grated
1/2 cup sliced scallions ( plus extra for garnish)
Run the mushrooms and onion through the food processor separately dice the onions till diced and the mushrooms till they are cut up into a dice about the size of corn kernels or slightly smaller. ( the idea here is that when cooked the mushrooms will take on a ground beef texture )
In a pan with a few spoons of oil place mushrooms and onions saute till a little soft and brown but not too much as they will cook more in the oven. Turn off heat.
Add ricotta, spinach, jack cheese, spices and green chilies and peppers and mix gently together.
Combine the half and half with Red sauce
Pour 1/4 of the sauce into the bottom of a baking dish
Warm the Tortillas in a microwave to make them bendable
Fill each with 2 to 3 tablespoons of the mix till full but still rollable
Place them tightly into the baking dish in a row the last two may have to be tucked on the side
Pour the remaining sauce over the top and let fill in the pan
Top with cheddar black olives and scallions
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 to 40 mins till top is starting to brown nicely.
Serve and enjoy with extra sour cream and scallions for garnish