Friday, October 30, 2009

Fallin' for You

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchilada Casserole

The seasons are changing! There is a constant wet drizzle and grey clouds above (at least here in the Pacific Northwest). The chill in the air means it's time to take advantage of great fall ingredients and some savory dishes to warm you from the inside out. Even though I live in the Northwest now, I'll always be a California girl at heart. I think everyone from California grows up developing a taste for great Mexican food- spicy peppers, tender-crisp tortillas, slow-cooked meats in savory sauces . . . what's not to like? The enchilada in its classic form is a corn tortilla filled with various meats or vegetables and covered in a chili pepper sauce. I developed this recipe as a vegetarian (and wheat-free) fall-themed twist on one of my favorites and layered it in casserole form. It's savory and rich without being too heavy. I hope you enjoy it!

- 12 corn tortillas
- 1 14 oz. can red enchilada sauce
- 1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 poblano chili peppers
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1" cubes
- 1 c. crème fraîche
- 3 c. grated Manchego cheese
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- vegetable oil for frying
- 1 tsp. chipotle chili powder
- 2 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. cardamom
- salt and pepper

Preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil and arrange poblano chilies on baking sheet. Broil chilies (about 4 minutes per side) until skin begins to bubble. Remove peppers from oven an place in a resealable plastic bag or container. Let cool. After the peppers have cooled, the skins should peel off easily. Remove skins and seeds from peppers, dice, and place in a medium bowl.

Meanwhile, toss cubed squash with 1 Tbsp. olive oil, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Arrange squash cubes on foil-lined baking sheet. When peppers are roasted and out of oven, change temperature to 400˚ F. Roast squash in oven until softened (about 20 minutes). While squash roasts in oven heat 2 tsp. vegetable oil in a small non-stick pan over medium-high heat. One at a time, fry tortillas in 2 tsp. of oil until softened (about 30 seconds per side). Drain on paper towels.

When squash is roasted, remove from oven and reduce oven heat to 350˚. Place squash in a medium bowl with roasted peppers and toss with drained beans, cumin, chili powder, cardamom, and season with salt and pepper. Mix together, mashing beans and squash slightly with side of spoon.

Arrange four tortillas in the bottom of a 9 x 9 glass baking pan. Spread half of the squash mixture over beans. Dollop half of the créme fraîche over mixture, pour 1/3 of the can of enchilada sauce over créme fraîche, sprinkle 1 c. of cheese on top. Cover with four tortillas then repeat layers of squash mixture, créme fraîche, enchilada sauce, and cheese. Cover layer with last four tortillas, pour remaining enchilada sauce over tortillas, and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake casserole in oven for 25 minutes, until cheese begins to brown and bubble.

It's yummy!

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