Since school started – and with it, my baby off to kindergarten – I have found myself way too often in the car. My own fault really, as we decided to forgo traditional school in favor of a charter. I love love love the school. But don’t so much love the commute. Only about 6 miles, and we have a car pool who takes them all to school in the morning, but it really cuts into my day to have to go to school at least twice (sometimes more, when I’m volunteering, which is mandatory) and then to drive another 12 miles or so to take our car pool home. I keep remind myself kindergarten is only another year, and then they’ll all be in school all day. Sigh. And then I’ll miss them.
Anyway, all this chauffeuring hasn’t left me a lot of time for blogging, but I have tried to keep up with the cooking. Haven’t always been successful, but I’ve been doing fairly well, and I’ll do my best to make time to post. Anyway, I really wanted to share these cheese enchiladas. I loved them, and they were quite simple to make – if a bit slimy. But I suppose that’s the way of most enchiladas. Here’s the recipe:
No Guilt Cheese Enchiladas
12 8-inch corn tortillas
1 cup shredded Mexican four cheese blend
½ cup fat-free cottage cheese
¾ cup chopped white onions
½ cup part-skim ricotta
1 can (19 ounces) enchilada sauce
2 tablespoons diced green chilies
3 tablespoons sliced black olives
Preheat oven to 350°.
Pour the enchilada sauce in a skillet and heat. Dip each tortilla in the hot sauce, coating each side, for a few seconds. Shake off and place on microwavable platter, 3 or 4 at a time, making sure that they do not overlap. Microwave for 20-40 seconds, until soft. (Time will vary according to your microwave.) Set aside to cool.
In a bowl, mix ¾ cup finely chopped onion (about ½ a large onion), ricotta, cottage cheese, green chiles (mild or hot, to taste), and salt and pepper to taste. Add half the shredded cheese. Mix with fork until ingredients are blended.
Spray a 13x9” casserole dish with non-stick spray. Place approximately 1/12th of the cheese mixture (about ¼ cup) on a tortilla and loosely roll. Place seam side down in casserole dish. Repeat until all tortillas are filled. Spread remaining enchilada sauce evenly over the enchiladas.
Bake for 15 minutes at 350°. After 15 minutes, remove and evenly spread the remaining cheese and the black olives on top. Return to oven for 10 more minutes.
Yes, I did make changes. (When don’t I? I'm beginning to think you’d all be disappointed if I didn’t.) I began by pulling a pack of our favorite tortillas out of the freezer - Mission, soft whole wheat. Nice to always keep some frozen on hand, and they thaw quite nicely. Since my husband doesn’t usually like corn tortillas, I was very happy to find this alternative at – where else? – Sam’s Club. (I couldn’t find a great picture on Sam’s website, but you can check them out here.) They have several different varieties, and are always soft, without an overpowering wheaty flavor. They’re great for quesadillas too.
Next I pulled out our stand-by enchilada sauce. It’s easy to store and easy to prepare and we try to keep several packets of it in the house. Because this requires simmering in a pot and the sauce gets quite hot, I decided I could skip the pan/microwave steps. So I moved on to the filling.
It’s been quite a while since I last went to the store and I found my reserves of cottage cheese had been broken into by my little animals. I did manage to scrape out what was just about a cup (doubling the recipe, as usual), and I decided that was going to be enough, although I added a little cream cheese, just to round it out. (The extra flavor didn't hurt either.) I also opted to use the cheese blend we always have in the house rather than make a special purchase of Mexican cheese. And, of course, I swapped onion powder for the onions and opted out on the chiles and black olives altogether. (I don’t like chiles and my husband doesn’t like olives. There are also some little bits of dried onions in the sauce mix.) I also added a little bit of cream cheese to the mix. I probably used more cheese than called for to sprinkle over the top too. I kinda like cheese.
I put them in a 9x13” pan, even though I made extra. With just the cheese in there I could roll them tightly, folding in the sides, and they didn’t take up all that much room. Baked ‘em up, added a green salad and dinner was good to go.
Results: Liked quite well by me, middlest and littlest. Liked moderately well by husband and oldest, who would have preferred it if I added a little meat. Chicken, beef, pork, they weren’t picky, as long as it’s meat. Guess I won’t be entertaining too many more thoughts of going vegetarian...