Stacked or Unstacked Enchiladas for Relish

Our current book selection for Cook the Books Club is Relish: My Life in the Kitchen, a Graphic Memoir by Lucy Knisley.  Cartoon formatted books are not my usual go to read, or cookbook for that matter.  I found some of it entertaining and humorous, some recipes a bit questionable, and a few that made me want to give a try.  The pickle episode was funny, but in actuality, pretty bad.  I've never seen such a complicated and strange procedure for making pickled vegetables.  Cooking the cucumbers first?  1/2 gallon apple cider vinegar?? She says that her grandmother made incredible pickles, and further that both she and her mom were never able to duplicate the process.   It totally made me want to email her a good recipe for naturally fermented pickles, which is probably what her grandmother made.  Here it is for anyone interested: https://honeyfromrock.blogspot.com/2010/10/they-cant-be-that-easy-pickled.html

From the Publishers: 

"Lucy Knisley loves food. The daughter of a chef and a gourmet, this talented young cartoonist comes by her obsession honestly. In her forthright, thoughtful, and funny memoir, Lucy traces key episodes in her life thus far, framed by what she was eating at the time and lessons learned about food, cooking, and life. Each chapter is bookended with an illustrated recipe―many of them treasured family dishes, and a few of them Lucy's original inventions.

A welcome read for anyone who ever felt more passion for a sandwich than is strictly speaking proper, Relish is a graphic novel for our time: it invites the reader to celebrate food as a connection to our bodies and a connection to the earth, rather than an enemy, a compulsion, or a consumer product."

You see those chunks in the salad?  You'd never guess - Lion's Mane mushrooms!

One of the mentions I was inspired to try was her mom's Stacked Enchiladas (P. 141) with homemade mole, fresh queso fresco, green salsa and black beans.  Which I did.  We enjoyed it, quite delicious!  Here comes the "however" they were not as advertised in my online search, easier than the traditional sort.  Too much fussing about for me.  So, a few nights later I thought, since there were more tortillas and black beans, I'd try an Enchilada Casserole, for an easier prep., and liked it even better, for that.

To go with it, we had Mexican Rice, a very good thing to do with left-over rice, as an alternative to Fried Rice, my usual go to.

That turned out perfect -  sooo good, with all the seasonings, including smoked paprika, and some Mexican oregano, which I had just dehydrated.  That's another story.  We had so much getting leggy in the garden, some of it not looking too good, and rarely used.  A radical cutting back was indicated.  The really good news was how much drying improved the taste.  More intense and complex.  

Enchilada Cassarole

10 small tortillas (corn or flour) cut in half
cooking spray
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground beef
1 tablespoon seasonings of choice (cumin, Mexican oregano, culantro, chili powder, paprika etc.)
salt and pepper to taste
15 ounces black beans rinsed and drained
2 cups green enchilada sauce
2 ½ cups cheeses, shredded (I used Sicilian Jack, Queso Manchego and Cotija for the top)
2 tomatoes cored, seeded and diced or 1 large one
¼ cup green onions sliced & 1 tablespoon cilantro or culantro

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a 2 quart baking dish with oil.
Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the ground beef and cook for 6-8 minutes, breaking up the meat with a spoon.
Add the seasonings, salt and pepper to taste, and beans; stir to combine.
Spread ¼ cup of the enchilada sauce over the bottom of the baking dish.
Layer ⅓ of the tortillas over the sauce.
Add ½ of the meat mixture, then add ¾ cup of cheese on top of the meat.
Pour ½ cup of the enchilada sauce over the cheese.
Repeat the process with ⅓ of the tortillas, the rest of the meat mixture, ¾ cup of cheese and ½ cup of sauce.
Add the final ⅓ of tortillas on top of the casserole; pour the remaining sauce over the top of the tortillas and sprinkle on the rest of the cheese.
Cover the casserole with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted and browned.
Sprinkle tomatoes cilantro and green onions over the top. Let the casserole sit for 5 minutes before cutting.

Absolutely delicious!  And, be sure to check out all the tempting dishes which will be posted at Cook the Books for the Club's Relish Roundup, soon after the 31st of March.  So, you have plenty of time to read the book, and it's a quick read, then get your inspired cooking on board with a post. I'm also going to be linking up with Weekend Cooking, hosted by  Marge of The Intrepid Reader and Baker and with Foodies Read, hosted by Heather.


Simona Carini said...

The stacked enchiladas intrigue me too, though the process looks a bit complicated. I like your idea of a casserole. I also like Lion's Mane mushrooms! Thank you so much for your contribution to this edition of Cook the Books club :)

A Day in the Life on the Farm said...

Great idea to turn those stacked enchiladas into a casserole. Please share your recipe for the Mexican Rice. I, too, always turn to Fried Rice or Rice Pudding when I have leftovers. Thanks.

Claudia said...

Wendy, for the Mexican Rice, no recipe per se, just threw a bunch of stuff together, a bit of left-over tomato sauce, some minced tomato, sliced black olives, minced onion, garlic, my dried Mexican oregano, cumin, salt and pepper.

Delaware Girl Eats said...

I like the idea of unstacked - looks so much less complicated to prepare - thanks for sharing!