As I mentioned in an earlier post, Charlie had surgery recently, so we haven’t been doing a lot of cooking. Our wonderful friends Felicia and AJ, however, came all the way down from Western Massachusetts to help us out one Saturday. They did some laundry, entertained us, and made us an enchilada casserole.
These are the awesome people who gave us the recipe for this dish. We only tweaked it a little.
Normally, I’m terrified of anything with the word “casserole” in it. I didn’t grow up eating “tuna noodle surprise casserole with crunchy potato chip topping” or anything like that. It just isn’t something I’m used to eating. I have been slightly envious, however, of the people who seem to be able to just line up a bunch of ingredients, pop them in a dish, and have dinner piping hot out of the oven a little while later. Plus, with those darling faces reassuring me, how could I have not believed that it was delicious?
I know that most of my posts feature extremely scratch-baked items, but this meal was too delicious to pass up. It’s a quasi-homemade dish that freezes really well, and it would also be a great potluck dish.
As Felicia mentioned in an email responding to me begging her for directions on how to make this, you can change the proportions, add extra veggies, leave out something you hate, make it spicier if you want, and so on. It’s just a great base and an easy to assemble meal.
This quantity makes two 9×13″ pans, but believe me, you’re going to want them. You’ll want seconds, and then you’ll want to put some in the fridge and some in the freezer to eat very soon.
1 zucchini, chopped
3/4 cup frozen (or fresh, if you happen to have it) corn
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 green pepper, chopped
1/2 container of mushrooms, chopped
16-24 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cans of refried beans
1 large can enchilada sauce
2 packages (of eight) whole wheat tortillas
If you want to go wild, you could throw in a couple teaspoons of cumin and/or garlic powder, a little chili powder, and a hint of coriander when you assemble your bean mixture. (I added all of those things.)
Sauté the garlic and onions in a pan with a bit of olive oil until the onions are soft. Add the zucchini, green pepper, and mushrooms, and continue cooking briefly. Do not overcook.
Remove from heat. In a large bowl, combine refried beans, cooked vegetables, and any spices you may desire. Mix well. Add the corn.
Assemble the enchiladas by adding a small scoop of the bean mixture to each tortilla, sprinkle a bit of cheese, then roll it up. Do not tuck in the ends. Place the tortilla face down in the pan so that it does not unroll, then move on to the next. You should be able to fit two rows of four. (You’ll repeat this process in a second pan, or later if you only have one.)
Once your tortillas are all in the pan, pour half the enchilada sauce over the top until none of the tortillas are showing. You may need to spoon some from crevices to ensure complete coverage. Sprinkle more cheese on the top.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the cheese is melty and the sauce is bubbling.