I love enchiladas. Technically, my favorite enchiladas to get are just plain cheese enchiladas. I kinda hate the ones with meat in them. One of my best friends and I used to go down to Little Mexico in Kansas City and eat at this place called EL PUEBLITO. I have ONLY ever ordered one thing there. I tend to do that with Mexican restaurants. I find one thing and never order anything else. At El Pueblito, I would order Enchiladas Mexicanas con Queso. Never anything else. My friend would occasionally mix it up and get flautas, but I never strayed. The thing that made it AMAZING was their sauce, the chihuahua cheese, and the heaps of queso fresco on top. It was like crack. Oh, and did I tell you that seemed to have never-ending hours? I can’t tell you how many times we went there in the middle of the night.
Anyway, I haven’t had many enchiladas lately because since I’ve gone away from corn, if I try to add it in occasionally, it usually makes my stomach hurt for a few hours after I eat. This seems to happen more with corn starch than with whole corn, but it’s still not comfortable. Anyway, I saw one of those videos that was showing you how to make fake “enchiladas,” but in a bowl of spaghetti squash (full disclaimer: this was the first time I tried spaghetti squash–it is delicious, but unlike some people tell you, it is NOT a substitute for spaghetti noodles unless you have never tried spaghetti). I tweaked the recipe a bit and made it primal…but this is what I came up with. It’s not a complete replacement for El Pueblito (but that does not matter, because I am living in San Antonio now…so when we go back to KC, I just suck it up and eat the corn tortillas), but the flavor profile is ALL THERE!
1 spaghetti squash
2 tsp olive oil
Salt, to taste
1+ C enchilada sauce (In small saucepan, add a little olive oil and saute 2 minced garlic cloves for a few seconds. Add 2 Tbsp chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, 1 1/3 C tomato sauce, 1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder, 1/2 tsp cumin, 3/4 C chicken broth, and salt and pepper. Simmer 10-ish minutes and set aside until needed)
1 C whatever Mexican cheese blend you want to use (I used a mixture of chihuahua, jack, and cheddar)
Queso Fresco, chopped scallions, olives, avocado, chopped peppers, chopped cilantro, and whatever other toppings you want to put on top
1.- Oven to 400. Put spaghetti squash on paper towel in microwave and heat for two minutes to soften. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and soft part in the middle. Brush all of the exposed fleshy area (not the outer rind–just the inner part you’ll eat) with olive oil. Liberally salt. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the squash halves upside down on the pan. That is, so the fleshy part you’ll eat is facing DOWN. Bake about 45 minutes.
2.- Let it cool a bit (maybe 5-10 minutes) and then use a fork to flake the squash. It’ll come away from the sides, easily flaking into strands that look like pasta. Put about 1/2-3/4 of a cup of enchilada sauce into each bowl, on top of the flaked squash. Cover with your cheese blend and put them back in the oven for another 15 or so minutes. When it comes out, top with scallions, cilantro, LOTS of queso fresco, and any other toppings that sound good. Serve immediately and take pictures of your sauce-covered drunken-on-enchilada-goodness face. Yep, they’re that good.