Saturday, March 5, 2016

Enchiladas and Eggplant

Mexican, Enchilada, Food, Plate, Meal  The other day, I was trying to figure out what to cook for dinner.  I always look in the fridge to see what is open and needs using.  I found half an eggplant, half a can of enchilada sauce, and a partial bag of grated cheese.

I checked the cupboard for bread crumbs but didn't have any.  I did find some Bisquick. My mind raced through the internal recipe file and you could have seen a light bulb flash over my head.

I poured a bit of sauce into the Bisquick for flavoring, thinned it with water so it would cling to the eggplant slices when I dipped them into the mix.  I do not fry eggplant.  Instead, I put it on a cookie sheet with each piece close to the next and baked it  at 350 for about 25 to 30 minutes until the eggplant slices are getting soft.

At this point, I pulled the cookie sheet out, poured enchilada sauce onto the slices, topped them with a sprinkle of cheese and returned it to the oven to bake until the cheese on top was golden.  I allowed it to cool a bit and then served it to myself and my neighbor.  She loved it.  I really enjoyed it and it made a nice change from the traditional Eggplant Parmesan.

Last night, I made enchiladas but not the traditional ones. I had a bunch of kale, spinach, swiss chard, mushrooms and onions.  I chopped all of these up into small pieces, fried in some walnut oil and finished off with a bit of enchilada sauce.

I make stacked enchiladas so I don't have to roll them.  I put a layer of sauce in the bottom of the pan, laid down a softened corn tortilla, added a bit more sauce, the filling, and cheese.  Continue till you've got a stack as tall as you want and put a softened tortilla on top, add sauce and top with cheese.  Bake at 350 till the cheese is nice and brown.

I've gotten to the point, I seldom fill my enchiladas  with "standard" fillings.  I use whatever in the mixture I have handy.  I've made a mushroom, black bean, and corn filling that I adored.  I always enjoy spiced sweet potatoes or a chili - potato mixture with eggs and cheese.  Tonight I might throw together zucchini, red peppers (sweet), mushrooms with a few greens.

I just love trying out different combinations to see how it works out.  I'm wondering about feta cheese, beans, rice and olives?  In a sense cooking is like playing, you get to try a variety of different flavors and have fun.

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