It did not take long for Scott's new cooking kick to lead him in the direction of Mexico, and he made these awesome vegan enchiladas by slightly modifying recipes from Rick Bayless's Authentic Mexican cookbook. Well, we put cheese over the top, but that's easy to fix, eh? The sauce is from scratch. That's right! From scratch! This is definitely a weekend dish since it takes a bit of time to do everything. But Scott's a beginner, so the dish is time-consuming but not difficult. Enjoy!
12 corn tortillas
non-stick cooking spray
1/4 c. canola oil, plus a little more if needed
4 large cloves of garlic, unpeeled
4 medium dried guajillo peppers (about 1 oz. total), stemmed, seeded, and deveined
6 medium ancho peppers (about 3 oz. total), stemmed, seeded, and deveined
1/4 t. black peppercorns
1/4 t. cumin seeds
2 c. vegetable broth (and maybe a little more)
1 t. salt
large pinch sugar
2 medium-small red potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch pieces
2 medium-large carrots, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch pieces
3 T. cider vinegar
1 t. salt
1/2 large red onion, chopped
1 1/2 t. canola oil
If the tortillas are moist, lay them out in a single layer to dry a bit. When dried, wrap in plastic wrap until ready to use.
Make the sauce, starting 2 to 4 hours in advance. Heat a heavy skillet or griddle (cast iron is perfect) over medium heat, then lay the unpeeled garlic on one side to roast. Tear the peppers into flat pieces and, a few at a time, press them against the hot surface with a metal spatula. Flip them over and press again. You will hear them crackle, and you'll see them blister and change color. Remove to a bowl, cover with boiling water, weigh down with a plate to keep them submerged, and soak for at least one hour (preferably 2 or 3).
Turn the garlic frequently for 15 minutes or so, until blackened a little and soft within. Remove, cool, peel, and place in a blender jar. Grind the peppercorns and cumin seeds using a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder, then add to garlic.
Drain the peppers, squeezing gently. Add to the blender jar and measure in 1 1/2 c. of the broth. Blend until smooth, then strain into a large bowl through a medium-mesh sieve. Season with 1 t. salt and one large pinch of sugar. Add additional broth to thin to the consistency of a light tomato sauce.
Cook the vegetables. Place the potatoes and carrots in a medium-size saucepan, cover with water, and add the vinegar and salt. Simmer over medium heat until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain thoroughly and set aside. While the potatoes and carrots are simmering, heat the 1 1/2 t. canola oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Sauté the chopped onion until transluscent, about 8 minutes. mix with the potato and carrot mixture that has been drained and set aside.
Prepare the tortillas. Heat 1/4 c. oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. When sizzingly hot, quick-fry the tortillas to soften them, one at a time, for 2-3 seconds on each side. (I find this is difficult to do without tearing the tortillas, so I keep a-hold of each tortilla with my tongs, and I don't let the small section I'm holding get into the oil. You may find something better, but that's how I prevent the tears that seem inevitable.) Drain on paper towels.
Serve immediately with desired accompaniments like refried beans, tortilla chips, pico de gallo, salsa, and/or guacamole. You could also try this recipe by adding chopped spinach to the filling. Modify any way you like, and have a marvelous fiesta!