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:
- 1 lb . roasted Anaheim Peppers peeled, seeded and chopped
- 1 14 oz . 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
- 8 oz . sharp cheddar cheese grated
- 8 oz . 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:
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.