Enchiladas originated in Mexico, where the practice of rolling tortillas around other food dates back at least to Mayan times. Corn tortillas were a staple of the Mayan people and historians have found evidence that the first enchiladas were tortillas that had fish rolled in them. The enchilada is similar to the papadzules, another traditional Mayan dish that originated in the Yucatan region. In this dish, corn tortillas are dipped in a sauce of pepita (-pumpkin seeds), filled with hard-boiled eggs, and topped with a tomato-pepper sauce. This dish was primarily food for nobles and served on special occasions.
In fact, May 5th is National Enchilada Day. The enchilada is one of the dishes mentioned in Mexico’s first cookbook in 1831. Today, the different types of enchilada fillings have become numerous: cheese, beans, potatoes, other vegetables, seafood, or combinations of any of these.
Below is an easy but tasty dish. You can substitute or add any vegetables you prefer. Serve with the zesty salsa on the side and a fresh raw salad for a complete and nutritious meal.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for baking dishes
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 3 cups grated pepper Jack cheese
- 15 ounces cooked black beans
- 10 ounces chopped spinach
- 10 ounces cooked corn kernels
- chunk ginger (to taste) -grated
- 16 corn tortillas (6-inch)
- Make the sauce: in a medium saucepan, heat oil over a medium flame. Add the teaspoon of cumin, flour, and tomato paste; cook, whisking, 1 minute. Whisk in broth and 3/4 cup water; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook until slightly thickened, 5 to 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
- Make filling: In a large bowl, combine 2 cups cheese, beans, spinach, corn, ginger, and remaining 1 teaspoon of cumin; season with salt and pepper.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil two 8-inch square baking dishes; set aside. Stack tortillas, and wrap in aluminum foil, and heat in oven for 5 to 10 minutes. Top each tortilla with a heaping 1/3 cup of filling; roll up tightly and arrange, seam side down, in prepared baking dishes.
- Dividing evenly, sprinkle enchiladas with remaining 1 cup cheese, and top with sauce. Bake, uncovered, until hot and bubbly, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Prepare the salsa below, serve & enjoy.
Zesty Pineapple & Mango Salsa
- 1/2 Pineapple, Peeled & Diced
- 1 Whole Mango, Diced
- 3 Tomatoes, Diced
- 1 pepper, Finely Diced
- 1 whole Jalapeno, Seeded & Diced
- Fresh Cilantro, Chopped
- 1-2 Limes, Juiced
- Dash Salt
- Dash Granulated Sugar (optional)
Combine diced pineapple, mango, tomatoes, jalapeno, and cilantro. Squeeze in lime juice and add salt and sugar if needed. Stir to combine.