(Ok, John! This ones for you!)
I know what you’re thinking. Eggplant? Really?!
Yes, I’m totally serious and I think you may be surprised at how good these are! Now, if you’re really hesitant about taking the plunge into eggplant enchiladas, then just make regular enchiladas using flour or corn tortillas…NOT eggplant. Problem solved! Oh and did I mention there’s spinach in the filling?! So, even if the eggplant haters get their way, you’re still getting some great nutrition into them! Or shred the eggplant and add it to the spinach! Haha! Joke’s on them!
*Disclaimer: if you don’t like the texture of eggplant, then you probably won’t like these!*
This will take a little of your time (maybe 45 minutes to an hour) but its really worth it! And, don’t be afraid! There are a few steps, but they are easy! 4 steps, actually:
1. Cook your eggplant
2. Make the filling
3. Make the sauce
4. Fill your Enchiladas & Bake!
And if you want to break up the steps, then you can! Cook the eggplant and filling in the morning and fill your enchiladas around dinner. Whatever works for you!
Spicy Eggplant Enchiladas
1 eggplant (or a bunch of tortillas)
light cooking oil (such as canola, vegetable, or peanut)
salt & pepper
for the filling:
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup onion, chopped (about 1/2 an onion)
3 green onions (scallions) chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups spinach, chopped
1 large chicken breast cooked and shredded
1 7-3/4 oz. can mexican tomato sauce
1/2 lime juiced
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
for the sauce:
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup half and half (because you can and because you’re worth it)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
salt & pepper
1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup salsa verde
1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese (for the top!)
Cook the eggplant-
Start out first with your beautiful eggplants! You’ll only need 1 for this recipe.
Start peeling your eggplant until its naked. Thats right! I said NAKED!
Slice your eggplant lengthwise to get long skinny strips. Mine were about 1/4 inch thick.
Take your oil and pour some into a skillet…
Just like this! There’s maybe 1/2 inch of oil. You want this oil HOT! Like on medium high heat.
Place your eggplant into the pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Flip them when the edges start to turn brown and they become more pliable. (2 minutes, if that) Repeat this process until all the eggplant are cooked.
*If you are using tortillas, you can fry up your corn tortillas or heat them up in the microwave! Flour tortillas don’t need any special treatment*
Now for the FILLING!
Start with 3 tablespoons butter.
Melt it down in a pan,
and add your onions and scallions.
Chop up your garlic and green pepper
Add the veggies into the pan and cook away. You want there to be a slight sizzle amongst your yummy filling. For me, that was around medium-low.
Shred your chicken
Add it in to the pan….a common theme when making the enchilada filling…
Squeeze half a lime into the filling and…
the mexican tomato sauce. YUM!
You’ll get something that looks like this. Doesn’t look like much now, but man is it good when you add in lots of cheese and a creamy sauce.
Speaking of sauce…..
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a pot.
stir in some flour.
Whisk it up and cook for 2-3 minutes to get rid of the raw flour flavor.
Next, you’re going to stir some chicken broth, half & half and sour cream. Whisk it all in slowly to prevent lumps! And, once the dairy is added, you’re going to want to keep the temperature pretty low so your sauce doesn’t boil and scald. Yuck.
Stir in all your spices. Don’t be afraid to keep tasting it and adding more salt and pepper! Mine needed a lot of salt.
Gently stir in your cheese…..oh baby is this stuff good!
At this point, you can take the sauce off the heat and stir in the last of the ingredients: cilantro,
and salsa verde. (PS-my computer refused to flip this picture. Lame.)
So, your sauce will look like this. Yummy creamy, cheesy, and tangy.
For the assembly:
you’re almost done! home stretch!
Pour about 1/3 of the sauce into the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.
Take your cooked eggplant slices and sprinkle some cheese onto them.
Did I mention you’ll need a lot of cheese? 3 whole cups! 1 cup of cheddar and 2 cups of monterey jack OR MORE if it tickles your fancy. Or if you want it more spicy, use pepper jack!
Place 1 or 2 tablespoons of filling at the bottom of your eggplant slices and on top of the cheese.
Roll them up carefully and place them in your baking dish!
Now, for you eggplant haters, don’t worry. These are great on corn tortillas. I made both!
Here’s all the filled eggplant pieces and corn tortillas. I had to stuff some of these in by the end.
Cover with the rest of the sauce and your last cup of cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake another 10-15 minutes until the cheese is melted and all the delicious sauce is bubbly! Just like this:
Yum yum yum! Hope you guys like ‘em! We sure did! So much so that there were NO leftovers!