23 Jun Tofu Enchilada Party
Tofu Enchiladas?! I know that a barbecue pit master selling you on Tofu sounds crazy, but this is one of my favorite recipes. What’s great about this recipe is no matter what your preconception of tofu is, this dish will win you over. Yes, even the burliest, steak eating man will like it – though it helps to sneak it by them the first time. This recipe is also great for a crowd and fun to prepare with friends or family. This dish has gone through a number of changes over the years and finally has come to the point of writing it down and calling it finished.
I would like to thank my friend Tara Vlahos who started me down this path over ten years ago. Two important things about this recipe: (1) the key is the sauce and (2) we are using flour tortillas instead of corn, which is the more traditional route when making enchiladas. This recipe will feed 12 to 15 people, so it is perfect for a party. Cut in half, and feed 6 to 8.
- ¾ cup plus 2 tbsp. of oil
- 2 medium onions, finely chopped
- 3 14 ounce pkgs. of extra firm tofu
- 1 or 2 fresh jalapeno chilies, minced
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced or crushed through a press
- 1 tbsp. dried oregano
- 1 tbsp. ground cumin
- 2 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. pepper
- 20 flour tortillas
- 1 ½ cups thinly sliced whole scallion
- 1 cup chopped cilantro leaves
- 1 lb. of grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 2.5 ounce can of black olives (sliced)
Make the enchilada filling. Spoon 2 tbsp. of oil into a large, heavy skillet set over moderate heat. Add the onions and sauté until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Crumble in the tofu, increase the heat slightly and add the jalapeno, garlic, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently for 10 minutes until the filling is heated through. Remove from the heat, and put filling into a medium bowl.
Prep the tortillas. This step will make the tortillas sturdier for the journey its about to go through. Using the same skillet (slightly larger than your flour tortilla) add the remaining ½ cup of oil and heat until the surface shimmers. Meanwhile, get some paper towels handy. With tongs, lower 1 tortilla into the oil; it should sizzle instantly. If necessary, regulate the heat between high and moderately high. Turn several times until the tortilla softens and then barely begins to stiffen, 10 to 15 seconds total. Place on a paper towel on a plate. Repeat, staking the tortillas between paper towels.
Put the scallions, cilantro, cheese and sliced olives into a mixing bowl and toss.
Preheat the oven to 425° F. Lightly grease a 15 x 10 inch baking dish.
- 5 tbsp. oil
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced or crushed through a press
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup chili powder
- 4 tsp. dried oregano
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 6 cups chicken stock or canned broth
- 2 8 ounce can of tomato sauce
- 1 tsp. of salt
Make the sauce. Choose a wide, medium skillet or sauté pan that will hold about 4 cups of sauce. Do not use a sauce pan as it will be too deep for dipping the tortillas into. Pour the oil into the pan, and set over moderate heat. Add the garlic and sauté until softened but not browned. This should take about 1 minute. Add the chili powder, oregano, cumin and stir-fry for 1 minute. The mixture will be dry, but do not add any extra oil. Pour in the stock or broth and tomato sauce and bring to a boil, stirring or whisking constantly. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until smooth and creamy, which will take about 2 minutes. Stir in the salt. The sauce should be the consistency of creamy soup and have a deep red color. Keep the sauce warm.
Assemble. Here it would help to have someone to keep the process rolling (pardon the pun) but you can do it yourself. Peel the paper towels off the tortillas. Have the bowls of ingredients nearby so you can work assembly-line fashion near the sauce. Place a ¼ of a cup of sauce into baking dish. With tongs, lower a tortilla into the sauce and remove it right away so it is lightly coated. Put it on the prepared baking dish, across the lower third of the coated tortilla layer about 4 tbsp. of the tofu filling and 4 tbsp. of the cheese, olive, cilantro and scallion mixture. Carefully roll up the ingredients in the tortilla. Place seam side down at one end of the pan.
Continue assembling the enchiladas until the pan is full. Spread remaining sauce over the tops, taking care to coat the outer ends of the enchilada. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top as well.
Bake the enchiladas uncovered until hot and bubbling, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve hot or warm, adding a dollop of sour cream if desired.
The night of this party we did our own refried beans and had an avocado red onion salad. Both feed a crowd great and are very easy.
- 1 lb. of Dry Pinto’s
- 1 medium onion cut in half
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 fresh sprig of oregano or 1 tbsp of dry
- 6 cups of water
- 3/4 cup of olive oil
- Half a white onion minced
- 1 tbsp salt
Cook beans according to package, do not be afraid to over cook a bit you will be smashing. Drain beans, remove onion and oregano sprig reserving 2 cups of the broth. Heat oil in a pot or pan large enough to hold all the beans and saute minced onion till soft. Add beans, stirring and smashing all the while adding bean broth. Continue this process for 10 minutes. When you have reached your desired consistency finish with the salt.
AVOCADO AND RED ONION SALAD
- 5 avocados
- 1 pint of grape tomatoes
- 1/2 cup of red onions
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp salt
Make the dressing first. Combine lime juice, olive oil , chopped cilantro, balsamic and blend. Finish with oregano and salt.
Cut grape tomatoes in half (tommy toes, cherry tomatoes will also work). Peel onion cut in half and cut into thin slices. Breakdown avocados (slice, twist, peel) and cube. Add all ingredients into bowl and gently fold in dressing .
Plate and enjoy! Our playlist that night was the Los Lobos catalog http://www.loslobos.org, and we drank cold Mexican beer and Joel Gott Pinot Noir.
What is your favorite Mexican dish to entertain with? Share your recipes in the comments.