Friday, October 31, 2014

Zucchini Enchiladas

I probably have more zucchini recipes than any other category on this site, but I'm not apologizing.  Using zucchini when you live in Utah could be compared to wandering in the wilderness for 40 years and dealing with manna.  It's a gift that is given freely and you need to learn to use it up!

Of all the zucchini recipes I've tried, this one has to be among my favorite.  I made it several times last summer.  I love how the moist zucchini softens the tortillas and combines with the flavors so well.  The enchilada sauce is not from a can, but is so simple to make yourself.  It simmers slowly while you assemble everything, then smothers it all in a rich red sauce.  (If you're serving children, you might cut down the amounts of cumin and chili powder slightly).

You could also use chicken or pork with good results.  But good old ground beef couldn't be easier.  I prefer flour tortillas, as they don't disintegrate as they bake.  But corn tortillas work also - just lessen your baking time slightly.

Zucchini Enchiladas


12 flour tortillas (or corn, if desired)
1 lb ground beef (or cooked shredded chicken, or shredded pork)
1/2 onion, diced
2-3 cups shredded zucchini
Grated cheese (I use Mexican three-cheese blend, or Colby/Jack) - use at least 1 lb, or more as desired.
Salt & pepper (and other seasoning) to taste

Enchilada Sauce:
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup chili powder
1 15-oz can tomato sauce
3 cups chicken broth
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion salt
1/2 tsp salt


Begin with enchilada sauce:  

Heat oil in saucepan, then whisk in flour and chili powder.  Brown slightly, then add in tomato sauce, broth, cumin, garlic powder, onion salt, and salt.  Stir until smooth and continue simmering over medium heat about 10 minutes, or until slightly thickened.  Use immediately, or refrigerate up to 3 days.  (Recipe from  Allow sauce to stay warm as you assemble.

Brown ground beef with onion, then add zucchini and cook slightly until zucchini becomes limp.  Remove meat/zucchini mixture to a strainer to allow excess moisture/fat to drain off.    Season meat mixture if desired.

Pour enough enchilada sauce into baking dish to cover bottom.  

Cover each tortilla with cheese, then add enough meat/zucchini mixture to cover.  Roll loosely.  Line up on top of enchilada sauce in baking pan, pressing them into each other so they do not collapse.  

Sprinkle generously with additional cheese.  Add remaining enchilada sauce, covering completely.  Garnish with cilantro if desired.

Bake at 350° (UN-covered, as zucchini will keep it very moist) until bubbling and hot - at least 45 minutes for a large batch.  Serve with guacamole and sour cream.  

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