For many, Cinco de Mayo in both America and Mexico, this weekend is a time for celebration and remembrance. Observed on May 5th, it is a day for Mexican and Mexican-American communities to rejoice in their freedom and democracy while commemorating their culture’s heritage and pride.
While I myself identify with the Puerto Rican culture, there is a camaraderie I feel and identify with as a Latin woman living in the US. In honor of Cinco de Mayo, I thought I’d share my favorite Vegetarian Enchiladas recipe. While actually putting the dish together isn’t difficult or time consuming, I had heard that making the sauce can be laborious. I quite enjoyed roasting the peppers and combining some of my flavors to create what I think is an authentic Enchiladas sauce.
Here is my recipe for Homemade Vegetarian Enchiladas:
Cinco de Mayo Recipe: Homemade Vegetarian Enchiladas
- 1 lb. roasted Anaheim Peppers, peeled, seeded and chopped
- 1 14oz. can Diced Tomatoes, drained
- 1 large Onion, chopped
- 2-3 cloves of Garlic, chopped
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil (for grilling vegetables)
- 1/4 teaspoon Cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon Mexican Oregano
- 2 cups Vegetable Broth (low sodium, if available)
- Corn Tortillas (I like the blend of whole wheat/corn tortillas from our local farmer's market)
- 8oz. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 8oz. jack cheese, grated
- salt and pepper to taste
- Drizzle whole Anaheim Peppers with Olive Oil
- Roast in the oven at 375 F until soft (approximately 40-60 minutes). Make sure to flip them every 10 minutes (I use tongs to handle them)
- Peel, seed, and chop the Anaheim Peppers when cool enough to handle
- Sauté onion and garlic in a large saucepan over medium heat until soft and translucent (do not allow to brown)
- Add peppers, spices, tomatoes and vegetable broth and simmer over medium heat (I like to cook this sauce so that it is reduced a bit because it allows the flavors to meld)
- Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth (if you like chunks, don't blend as long)
- Preheat oven to 350
- Spread a layer of sauce on the bottom of a deep baking dish
- Layer tortillas, sauce, and cheese
- Bake for 30 minutes or until cheese has melted
- Serve with sour cream, diced tomatoes, or your topping of choice
Because I used Anaheim Peppers, this is a very mild recipe. If you prefer your Enchiladas spicy, I recommend using chiles in place of these peppers. Overall, my family loved this recipe.
Here are a few tips that may help streamline the process:
- The process of making the sauce is lengthy. You might consider making the sauce early in the day, then assembling the enchiladas 45 minutes before your scheduled dinner time
- If you prefer a heartier dish, boil 1-2 chicken breasts, then chop and fill tortillas
- Purchase shredded cheese (available at Walmart)
Here is a quick visual step-by-step of this recipe:
Roast Anaheim Peppers
Use an immersion blender to blend sauce
Grate cheese…and a lot of it!
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
During dinner, I talked to my children about why we were enjoying this special meal in honor of Cinco de Mayo. My daughter is still too young to understand, but my 5 year old son was interested in learning more about the holiday and I loved that we could use our meal as a learning opportunity to discuss cultural sensitivity.
Note: All of the ingredients used for this recipe were purchased in the grocery section of our local Walmart.
Images: Rockin’ Mama
Recipe: While definitely very different, I was inspired by this New Mexico Green Chile Enchiladas Recipe on the Huffington Post.