Thursday, January 19, 2017

Adobo Enchiladas

Another great favorite is enchiladas.  This would seem very easy as a vegetarian dish by substituting the meat with cheese or even spinach.

However, this recipe takes work! If you know how to make enchiladas, this one is for you. If you don't know how to make enchiladas, learn how to make them. There are many ways to make enchiladas - this is just one of them.

If you really know how to make enchiladas, then you know this dish comes with the conviction that oil is necessary to coat the tortilla before rolling it, except that oil can derail this recipe from being plant based. For example, my mom says that oil is an absolute must if the tortilla is going to stay together. Others say that enchiladas without cheese won't do either.

Well, I agreed with them until now.

I've learned that omitting some of the ingredients we're used to or even substituting the ingredients can turn enchiladas into a completely different dish. It's recreating the dish into a fabulous new one that you won't even remember the old one. Make sense?

First, let's start with the Adobe sauce that was supposed to be mole sauce  How I picked up the wrong type of sauce beats me except that it was in the same type of jar with the same brand of colors. Have you ever done this?

After I tried it, I loved it.

Second, I couldn't coat the tortillas with oil. Very little to no oil is more of a plant-based dish but I'm beginning to not like the taste of oil. So what am I supposed to do?

Well, I begin to cook the vegetables and move on with it. I figure it out as I go.

I cooked the zucchini in a saucepan without oil because I zucchini is one of the foods that doesn't need oil. I've learned this here.

I added the rest of the frozen vegetables and just cooked them. I steamed the cauliflower, thinking I would add that later too in a separate pan but what did I know?

I prepared the sauce the same way I would make the mole sauce with sugar and chocolate. I didn't have the Mexican chocolate I would typically add so I added cocoa. Same concept and probably less fattening. (For instructions on how to make this sauce, it's on the jar.)

With the adobo sauce and vegetable mix side by side in saucepans, I added the chocolate sauce into the vegetables and thought of making the enchiladas like wet burritos. Again, I'm just going with it. I had to figure out a way to keep the tortillas from not breaking apart but not making them too dry either.

As I'm thinking about this concept, I thought of how I would previously heat the tortilla and quickly fry it by coating it with oil. After doing this you add the sauce and roll them with dry filling like chicken.

So I figured if I mixed the filling with the sauce and added it to a dry tortilla, that might balance it out. (Sometimes working this 'opposite effect' works and sometimes it doesn't but this is beginning to be a cooking concept I try every now and then.)

Hence, I mixed the sauce in the vegetables and began to pour the vegetable mixture into the tortillas that I heated.

I made sure the tortillas were a little crispy so that they would not break apart. If they were a little hardened, maybe this would help. So I warmed the tortillas a little longer than usual.

I added the sauce right over the dry enchiladas and figured the oils that were already in the sauce would activate the moisture necessary. (This is the scientist I become that I talk about in my book.)

When I started to add the cauliflower in the vegetables, I began to think that they would crumble into small pieces like Cotija cheese. When I thought about this, I thought about the way to trick the visual senses by adding it on top to make it look like cheese.

(Another concept I talk about in my book, is how our eyes are trained in what we think we know about food to the point it becomes psychological. Knowing this, I have learned to trick even myself!)

Since we had Cotija cheese, I simply sprinkled some with the cauliflower on top of the enchiladas. (By doing this, I have reduced the amount of cheese in this dish by at least a third.)

I put them in the oven at about oven ta around 350 degrees to cook them a little more and brown the cauliflower to make it look more like cheese on top and it worked.

They eye is used to seeing white cheese on top, browned and it looked perfect. The tortillas weren't entirely covered with sauce but I've seen recipes where the sauce doesn't necessarily cover the whole tortilla so I was ok with that.

It helps to eat foods that we're used to seeing visually. This makes eating plant based as normal.

I sliced some radishes and cilantro as a nice garnish and as nice as it was, I still hadn't tasted it. Before I did, however, Richard took a bite and said they were delicious. I made adobo enchiladas with no oil, very little cheese, and no meat.

Do you have another way you like to make enchiladas? Please let me know!

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