Stacked Enchilada


Doesn’t this just look autumnal? I never noticed light quality as much as I have since I started snapping pictures of food. Using natural light in the late afternoon with late August sun is enough to remind me that winter in the Northern Hemisphere is heading in this direction. Fortunately, we have stacked enchiladas to warm the way.

The other day when I woke up thinking “Mexico,” I cooked eight pounds of black beans in order to have them on hand in the freezer. The only CSA produce remaining in the crisper were a pound of tomatillos and four yellow squash. As you know, the tomatillos got a spin around the salsa dance floor while the yellow squash demanded to be sliced up into buttery yellow ribbons. The yellow squash didn’t really get the parade it deserved with this dish, but added a sweet color and flavor when sautéed with strips of onions and little slivers of garlic before being sandwiched between two giant tortillas.

Not wanting to hide the layers and completely smother the enchilada in sauce, I only used a little tomatillo salsa to dress-up the stack. Extra salsas were served on the side along with cotija, crema and fresh avocado.

Part of the fun of this enchilada is its size. I wanted a giant single stacked enchilada that could be sliced like a pie for serving, so I made giant tortillas from maseca. I used a spring form pan so the thing wouldn’t slide, but in the end, could have baked it on the plate. As it’s a dry enchilada, it didn’t move at all. If the tortillas had been a little bigger, it would have been fun to really pack the springform pan full, so the enchilada would have a more cake-like shape. I’ll save that experiment for later.

Stacked Enchiladas with Black Beans and Yellow Squash

Tortilla Ingredients:

* 4 cups maseca tortilla flour
* Water to make soft dough

Directions: I have found that the directions on the maseca bag make the tortillas a little too dry. I add water to the maseca flour until I get nice smooth dough when it’s kneaded. Form the dough into a cylinder and cut into six pieces.

To make the tortillas you will need two pieces of plastic wrap and a large flat object to press the tortilla. I used the bottom of the spring form pan, but a small cutting board would also work. Roll the tortilla dough into a ball and gently press and flatten until you get a disk shape. Dip your fingers in a little oil at this point and cover the dough with it. Place the disk on the plastic wrap and cover with another piece of plastic. Then place your pie pan bottom or cutting board on top and press firmly until the tortilla is about 1/8 inch thick. The edges of the tortilla will split open, so I usually push all the edges together before I cook it.

To cook the tortilla you need a griddle on medium temperature. Place the tortilla on the griddle and cook it until it starts to show spots of brown then flip it. Each tortilla usually needs three to four minutes per side.

Enchilada Ingredients:

  • Two cups black beans cooked
  • Four yellow squash peeled into ribbons
  • 1/2 white onion cut into thinly sliced rounds
  • 3 cloves garlic thinly sliced
  • oil to coat pan
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • white cheddar cheese
  • Tomatillo Salsa – link to recipe

Enchilada Directions:

Peel the yellow squash with a potato peeler leaving the seeds. You only want the firm seedless part of the squash. Slice the onion rounds and then from the middle of the onion to the outside make a cut, so when the onions are sautéed they will form strips. In a little olive oil, sauté the onions until they become translucent then add the garlic and squash. Cook until the squash is just tender.

To make the enchilada stack, put a little tomatillo salsa on the bottom of the pan and then a tortilla. Alternate each stack with black beans, cheese and the sautéed squash. Cover the enchilada with grated cheese and bake for 30 minutes on 400 degrees. The cheese should be bubbly and beginning to brown. Garnish the enchilada with more tomatillo salsa and fresh cilantro. Mexican cotija, crema and fresh avocado give it a nice finish.