Today I am sharing a favorite spring recipe I developed the year I grew so much spinach in my garden I had no clue as to how to eat it all. The only person in our little clan who liked spinach at the time was myself and there are only so many salads a body can suffer and only so much cooked spinach I could tolerate. I am an avid, if not hopeless Mexican food addict. Actually, I could eat Mexican everyday of the week (a habit developed over the eleven years spent in the cultural environment of El Paso). I began making myself enchiladas with spinach in them and melted cheese. When my daughter asked to have a taste (I almost fell over) she discovered there is a palatable method to spinach preparation. Imagine that!!
I soon received requests to make spinach enchiladas for dinner and thus it developed into a happy spring meal. After all, a mother’s job is to establish happy memories.
This post includes the largest number of pictures I’ve ever posted.
Here is our cast of characters in this little dance.
Enchilada sauce and some salt.
Just a hint… To peel garlic easily, smash it and the crisp outer layer peels off easily.
Dice the garlic and onions(I totally forgot to take a picture of the onions, sorry). Add them to a pan at medium heat in two table spoons of olive oil.
Saute these until they are translucent.
Cut the mushrooms into slices.
They are such beautiful fungi. I love the way they look…dark exterior with that beautiful creamy interior and they flavor a dish wonderfully.
Add them to the pan and continue the saute process.
The spinach is next. After rinsing it…
Dump it into pan with the onions, garlic and mushrooms. Turn the heat down and saute until lightly limp.
This really is my favorite vegetable. It is so rich in vitamins and minerals.
Add the second bag of spinach at this point and it will wilt willingly. Add salt to taste and if you want more flavor, go ahead and sprinkle in a 1/2 tsp cumin. (Jalapeno’s can be sauteed earlier to add more zippy spice. My family are hot pepper wimps so I oblige.)
Turn the heat off the spinach and now we need to prepare the tortillas for the enchiladas. I prefer to not dip them in green chile sauce, but you can do this instead of what I am about to show you.
Heat a 1/4 cup of olive oil in a small skillet.
To make enchiladas, the tortillas must be softened or the thing will crack when you bend it. To accomplish this task I like to fry them in some oil.
Place a corn tortilla in the hot oil and fry the one side for a couple of seconds.
Flip the tortilla over and fry the other side, briefly.
When the tortilla exhibits bubbles in its layers it is ready to be removed.
Be sure to drain any excess oil. I know this seems extremely unhealthy, but this is olive oil (lots of good omega 3s and 6s). Granted, I have just justified my use of excessive oil.
Stack the tortillas to cool a bit. They are too hot to roll directly out of the pan.
Now, the heart of this post is rolling the enchiladas.
Take one of those softened tortillas.
The wonderful mild cheese is sliced to fit in the center of a shell.
Place some to the spinach over the cheese and make sure some of those mushrooms are part of the meal.
Fold the tortilla in thirds.
…and place the enchiladas into a large baking dish. I make a bunch of these at one time so a 9X13 dish is adequate.
Open the can of green chile sauce and pour liberally over the enchiladas.
Sprinkle with whatever cheese of your choice. I could only find cheddar in my fridge, but montery jack is my first choice.
Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, enough to melt the cheese and warm everything through thoroughly.
Here is the finished product. Can you see how the cheese is melted on the inside?
Melty cheese and spinach and mushrooms encased in corn and swathed in green chile sauce. Heaven on a plate.
Tastes really good too.
Here is the entire recipe:
2 10oz bags spinach
1 whole onion
4 cloves garlic
8 oz bella mushrooms
2 tbls olive oil
8 oz cotija cheese
In a large skillet saute minced garlic and onions until translucent. Add the sliced mushrooms until they are almost cooked. Dump the spinach on top of these and saute until limp. Season with salt to taste.
Soft fry the corn tortillas in olive oil.
Assemble the enchiladas. Center the cheese layered with the spinach/mushroom mixture and roll the tortilla into thirds. Place on a baking dish and pour green chile sauce over the whole lot. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.
Thank you for allowing me to share my edible slice of heaven.