Been learning how to cook gluten free this year due to a companion’s allergy. I don’t feel much like cooking these days, but when I do I like to make a big batch of food. And it turns out that enchiladas are not only easy, they’re comfort food. It’s basically my go-to casserole of choice now.
The one I’m eating right now was made with corn tortillas, cream cheese, mozzarella cheese, fresh spinach, leftover mixed dried beans cooked from scratch, black olives, canned tuna, canned diced green chiles, and canned diced tomatoes with onions or peppers or something equally flavorful in them (I keep a good assortment of these in the cupboard).
The one I made before used canned mackerel for the meat and Mexican style shredded cheese mix instead of the other cheeses. I also made my own green enchilada sauce from bacon grease, garbanzo powder, green chiles, cream cheese and (I think) chicken broth. That worked okay, but turned out to be fairly unnecessary.
The time before that, I used a whole cooked chicken from the grocery store with Mexican style shredded cheese mix and slices of pepper-jack cheese. I liked the pepper-jack; I’ll have to do that again when I get some more.
By mistake that first time, I’d used a can of pre-made green enchilada sauce not realizing it had wheat in it. Since then I looked in every store in town to try and find pre-made stuff that was gluten free, and while I did finally find one small package that was, I decided it was just easier to use the chilies straight and add cream cheese directly to the tortillas (since I had a bunch of it around anyway to try as a substitute for coconut milk in curry - another allergy).
So, how to make enchiladas?
Get a deep, long baking dish (or two).
Gather ingredients. Key ingredients are tortillas, cheese, and some sort of salsa like stuff. Experiment with different proteins and veggies. I chose the ones I mentioned above because they’re easy. I bet adding canned chili to the mix would also be neat.
Preheat oven to around 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Make a layer of tortillas on the bottom of the baking dish. Spread on cream cheese. Add olives, pre-cooked meat, spinach, beans, onions, veggies, etc. Add sauce (canned chilies/tomatoes/salsa) then shredded cheese. Add another layer of tortillas. Add more veggies and stuff. Top with more sauce and shredded cheese.
Cook at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until top layer of cheese is melted to the color you like. Dark orange crust will be hard, chewy and have a very strong taste. Yellow will be a softer, less pungent crust.
Let cool to harden. Like lasagna, this will be a swampy mess at first and then should thicken to a solid consistency.
Note: I used all the liquids from the canned fish, chilies, and tomatoes – this dish needs a certain amount of liquid but the moisture from those and the fresh spinach seemed more than sufficient and was indeed slightly too much in my second overflow dish, which came out kind of soggy but was also not cooked to the dark orange crust state as the non soggy one. So cooking time and liquid may need to be adjusted to personal taste with experience.
Overall, though, making these enchiladas is simple and oh so satisfying. Maybe sometime when I’m not feeling so full and lazy I’ll go take a picture of either the finished product or the process of making them.