I know, I know, I just posted about enchiladas last month, but in this case I’m okay with being a little redundant. The truth is that I want Mexican food ALL THE TIME lately. I apparently can’t get over it.
Last week when The Beast was out of town I decided to have a relaxing night of recipe experimenting. I went to the co-op, bought all the veggies and assorted other ingredients I needed, came home and poured myself a glass of wine, and got to work. I started by making my enchilada sauce, and as it was simmering I noticed that my eyes were a bit irritated, but I didn’t think much of it. I took out my large oven-safe skillet, sautéed the veggies, poured in the black beans, sliced tortillas, and enchilada sauce, then topped it with cheese and stuck it in the oven to broil for a few minutes.
I took it out of the oven and it looked soooooo perfect that I couldn’t help myself from digging in with my fork for a teensy-tiny bite. When that morsel hit my tongue I knew something was terribly wrong. As a bit of sweat formed on my forehead and my throat burned, the truth came to me clear as day: there was a reason I could feel the enchilada sauce burning in my eyes. Our spices are all in bulk, so I took out the one labeled “chili powder” and tried a pinch. Again, FIRE. Mystery solved: I ended up putting 1/4 cup of cayenne, NOT chili powder, into my dinner.
It gets worse. Being a thrifty person who hates to waste food, I thought, “I like spicy stuff. I can handle this,” and doused it with sour cream and ate it as fast as possible. Three minutes after finishing the last bite I found myself shaking and sweating on my couch. I actually thought I might not make it. Eating that enchilada skillet was quite possibly the dumbest thing I’ve ever done, and that’s saying something. I didn’t die (WHEW), so let me share a couple hard-learned lessons with you: 1) Label your spices carefully, and 2) Sometimes you should just throw food away.
While we’re at it, I should share another important lesson with you: enchilada skillets that are made correctly will improve your life. A few days after the cayenne incident, once The Beast was back home to help supervise my spice choices, I made the enchilada skillet pictured here. Its flavor and easiness blew my mind. Despite my issues the first time around, this is one of the simplest and most delicious dinners I’ve ever made.
I chose zucchini, red and green bell peppers, and corn as the vegetable stars of this show, but this recipe is flexible and can accommodate whatever your favorite vegetables may be. You can also use canned enchilada sauce if you’d like, which makes it even simpler. No matter how you tweak it, this is a hearty and filling veggie-packed meal that can be on the table in a snap.
- 2½ cups enchilada sauce
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ red onion, chopped
- 2 small zucchini, sliced
- ½ red bell pepper, chopped
- ½ green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 15-ounce can organic corn (optional)
- 1 15-ounce can black beans
- 8 small corn tortillas, cut into ½-inch strips
- 1-1½ cups shredded sharp cheddar (or Mexican blend cheese)
- Heat the olive oil in a large oven-safe skillet.
- Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds over medium heat (it’ll become pleasantly smelly), then toss in the onions. Cook the onions until translucent and soft, about 3 minutes.
- Add the zucchini, red bell peppers, green bell peppers, salt, pepper, cumin and oregano. Cook for about 5 minutes, until all of the veggies are slightly soft, but still have a little bite. Toss in the black beans, corn, tortillas, enchilada sauce, and half of the cheese. Stir until fully combined, then top with the remaining cheese.
- Broil the skillet in the oven for 5 minutes, until the skillet it bubbly and the cheese is melted.
- Serve with fresh cilantro and a dollop of sour cream.
Seriously though…label your spices carefully.
Nutrition Information Per Serving (1/6 of recipe using my homemade enchilada sauce, 1 cup of cheese, and organic corn tortillas): Calories: 472, Total Fat: 19.2g, Cholesterol: 9mg, Sodium: 619mg, Total Carbohydrate: 17.8g, Dietary Fiber: 9.5g, Sugar: 12g, Protein 17.1g.