Enchiladas Calabaza

Tuesday 3 April 2018

We love Tex Mex style food in this house and these are my all time favourite enchiladas.  I had not made them in a very long time, but when we were having lunch with our friends Jo and Colin a week or so back, Jo reminded me of them. 

She said that she still uses the recipe I gave to her all those years ago when we were both working at the manor and that it is one of their favourites. I decided then and there that I wasn't going to let too much more time pass before I made them again!

They are a vegetarian type of enchilada in that there is no meat involved.  The filling is a very simple one to make.  You will need 2 to 3 pounds of butternut squash.  

I love butternut squash. Of all the winter/hard squashes it is my absolute favourite. 

You cut these in half, scoop out the seeds and then roast them in a moderate oven until they are really tender. I am not kidding when I say that cutting them in half is probably the hardest part of the recipe.  

I have never used any other kind of winter squashes, but I am sure any would work well.

Once the squash are tender, take them out of the oven.  I let them cool for a little bit, until they are somewhat comfortable to hold. 

 I generally wear an oven mitt and hold the squash in that hand, and then using a spoon, scoop out the flesh with the other hand into a bowl. 

A portion of cream cheese is mashed into the butternut squash along with some spices.  

You will want the squash to be a bit on the warm side so that the cheese melts into the mix.  I could just eat this mixture with a spoon, its so delicious!

You also stir in a quantity of chopped spring onion, both the green and white parts.  

I like to cut the in half (after washing and trimming) down the length of them and then cut them crosswise into thin slices.  It makes them just the right size to my way of thinking.

After that you simply fill softened corn tortillas and then place them into a baking dish, seam side down.  If you use corn tortillas you will need to soften them as they will crack when you roll them.  

Today I used the tortillas that are a mix of corn and wheat and to be honest, they work beautifully.  There is no cracking.  I actually like the flavour of them better also.  But you make your own choice in this.

Finally you simply pour a jar of salsa over top, scatter on some cheese and bake.  Easy peasy lemon squeasy.  Its really a no fuss kind of recipe.  You can make them really spicy by using a hot salsa, or milder using a mild one. (My choice coz I am somewhat of a spice wimp!)  

I have never used homemade salsa so I cannot answer to how that will work.  I think the store bought variety that you buy near the tortilla chips and snacks department is the best as it is a bit saucier. I am sure you know the kind I mean!

*Enchiladas Calabaza*
Serves 6

I'm not sure where this delicious recipe started.  I'm not even sure if it is authentically Mexican.  I only know it's an incredibly tasty way to get some extra vegetables into the husband and children.  These are fabulous! 

2 to 3 pounds butternut squash
170g cream cheese (6 ounces)
4 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
1/2 tsp mild chili powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp oregano leaves
1/4 tsp salt
a pinch of cinnamon
12 corn tortillas
340g of tomato salsa, spicy or mild as you wish (1 1/2 cups)
240g of grated sharp cheddar cheese (2 cups) 

To serve:
additional sliced spring onions
dairy sour cream

Pre-heat your oven to 200*C/400*F/Gas Mark 6. Butter a 9 by 13 inch baking dish and set aside.
Slice the butternut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. 

Place on a baking tray and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes until tender. Remove from the oven and then scoop the flesh out as soon as you can handle them. (I hold them in one hand with a oven mitt and scoop out the flesh with the other using a spoon to scrape it out into a a bowl) 

Mash the hot squash together with the cream cheese until the mixture is fairly smooth and the cheese is melted all in. Stir in the spices and the chopped spring onion.

Lower the oven heat to 180*C/350*F/Gas Mark 4. Warm the tortillas in a skillet until pliable. Fill each tortilla with ¼ cup of the butternut squash mixture and roll up tightly. 

 Place into the prepared baking dish, seam side down. Pour the salsa over the filled tortillas. Top with the grated cheese.

Cover with foil, tightly, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until heated through. Remove the foil and bake for a further 10 to 15 minutes until the cheese is all bubbly and starting to brown. 

Remove from the oven and let sit for a few minutes before serving. We like to have these with sour cream and more chopped spring onions for sprinkling on top. Yummy!

I do really hope you will make these.  They are fabulous! I serve them with a garnish of sour cream and chopped spring onion and with a salad on the side.   Provecho!


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