I had a yen for enchiladas on Thursday but I have decided to give up wheat (it just doesn't seem to agree with me) so flour tortillas were out. I don't particularly like corn tortillas and I kind of figured they'd do to me about what wheat does, so not an option. The only thing, how do you make enchiladas without tortillas?
Not do be deterred because I love enchiladas I started to ask myself some questions while standing in the produce section of my local grocery store;
What could I use to roll the filling in?
What is flexible enough to roll?
Can I get enough of food wrapped in food topped with other food?
Why am I standing here imaging each vegetable as a tortilla and talking to myself?
Why is that mom pulling her small child away from me?
Then answer came to me: Eggplant!
Oh don't be fooled by its tubby appearance when you cut this purple beauty into thin slices, apply a little heat to make it flexible you've got a great surrogate for a tortilla.
Doesn't that look yummy? Oh my friends, it was. JR went crazy for it and you know that man lives on Fritos corn chips, cashews, trailmix and cosmos. You have to know how ashamed I am to write that last sentence but I have no control over his snacking. Did you notice I didn't say drinking? That man make a mean cosmo and I'm not one to stop him since I reap the benefits.
Now you can mix this up anyway you want when it comes to the filling and really to the sauce also. I'm a firm believer on using what you have on hand. So be creative.
(all the quantities are approximate. you can adjust them to your needs and tastes and dietary crazy like I do)
1 large eggplant
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups sauce
1/2 cup or so Filling
Cheddar cheese to top the enchilada
Filling - you can mix this up.
1/2 cup soy crumbles
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1/4 cup pico de gallo
Sauce - another use what you have kind of thing. I think pico de gallo, a true enchilada sauce or whatever is Mexican-like that you have on hand. This is also the place to make this dish as spicy or mild as you like. We like ours spicy so I added a little chili powder and cumin. Here's what I happened to have:
1-14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes with chilies
1-14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat olive oil in a fry pan. Slice the eggplant lengthwise into 1/4 to 3/8 inch slices. You should get 4 or 5 slices depending on the size of your eggplant. Fry in the hot oil until limp. You don't want to put a crust on it so much as you want to get it flexible. Though a crust is not a bad thing so don't stress if your eggplant develops one. When done lay out on a wire rack to cool.
Mix filling in a small bowl and set off to the side. In a smallish baking dish or four small ones (I've been trying to adjust my cooking for two these days) divide the tomatoes evenly. Reserve about 1/4 cup to divide and spoon over the top of each enchilada.
Take one of the eggplant slices and lay it in front of you with the narrow end away from you. At the fat end of the eggplant add 2 to 3 tablespoons of filling. Be careful that you don't over fill them or the eggplant will sort of split apart. Roll up and place on top of your tomato mixture. I put one enchilada in each baking dish. It turned out to be a perfect serving for one. Top each of the enchiladas with the remaining tomato mixture and sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes.
Serve with sour cream, avocados or maybe a little brown rice on the side.
If I don't say so myself. This was even better warmed up the next day.
This has inspired me to rolling other food into food and baking. I've got a zucchini sitting in the fridge that is destined for this type of treatment this week.