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enchiladas
Mushroom and sweet potato enchiladas. STEVEN DESALVO/FOR MONTCLAIR LOCAL

By STEVEN DESALVO
For Montclair Local

In Recipe of the Month food writer Steven DeSalvo shares a recipe Montclairians might enjoy making. DeSalvo has a degree in hospitality business management from the

STEVEN DESALVO

University of Delaware and has worked extensively in restaurants and hotels. If there is something you want to know how to make, or if you’ve eaten a dish at a local restaurant you are dying to make at home, drop us a note at culture@montclairlocal.news.

Vegetarian mushroom and sweet potato enchiladas to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month!

I absolutely love enchiladas, the concept of a corn tortilla wrapped around your favorite filling and baked with salsa and cheese. What’s not to like? 

Enchiladas have been around for centuries. They originated in the Yucatan peninsula in what is now Mexico. It is said that when Spanish conquistadors arrived, they saw that the Aztecs ate many things wrapped in corn tortillas. The name enchilada is a Spanish translation of the Nahuatl word chillapitzalli, which literally means “chili flute.” It then evolved over many centuries, taking influence from many different cultures, those influences making it what it is today. 

I wanted to provide a fall take on a globally adored food that you can easily make on a weeknight. 

As always, use the recipe as a guide and feel free to substitute any of your favorite ingredients for what I use. I hope you enjoy!

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READ: HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH: ART OF THE ESOTERIC

READ: RECIPE OF THE MONTH: CRAB CAKES TASTE LIKE SUMMER

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Ingredients

Vegetable oil

½ yellow onion, finely diced

Salt and pepper

1 cup sweet potatoes; measure them after dicing into ¼-inch cubes.

1 clove garlic, finely minced

10 ounces mixed mushrooms, sliced. I used a wild mushroom blend that included shiitake, maitake and brown beech mushrooms; feel free to use anything you like.

1 cup spinach, tightly packed

1 cup vegetable broth, but any broth will do

8 six-inch corn tortillas

1 cup grated mild cheddar; some will be used inside the enchiladas, but most will go on top of them.

A handful of cilantro, roughly chopped; save some for garnish

1 jar salsa; some will be used on the enchiladas and the rest can be used on the side. Any sort of heat or style is perfectly fine.

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large saute pan, add some vegetable oil and the onions. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. When the onions have become translucent, add the diced sweet potato and minced garlic. Cook for approximately five minutes, stirring frequently so nothing burns. 
  4. Add the mushrooms and spinach, along with some more cooking oil; season the mixture to taste. Cook until the mushrooms have some color to them; at that point, add the vegetable broth and cook until completely reduced.
  5. Prepare a baking dish that is long and wide enough for the eight enchiladas to be next to each other.
  6. Fill each tortilla with a generous amount of the mushroom/sweet potato/spinach mixture; sprinkle some of the grated cheese and chopped cilantro inside. 
  7. Proceed to roll the tortilla into a cylinder, being sure that the filling doesn’t spill out. Repeat the process for the other seven tortillas.
  8. Evenly distribute the salsa on top of the enchiladas in the baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of them.
  9. Bake the enchiladas at 350 degrees for approximately 15 minutes. After that, switch on the broiler to brown the cheese on top. This will only take a couple of minutes, so be sure to keep a close eye on them. 
  10. When they are finished browning, garnish with the remaining cilantro.

Some variations include adding any vegetables you like to the onions, using something exciting like pineapple instead of the sweet potato, or substituting a meat for the mushrooms. You can also make this dish vegan by omitting the cheese. Let us know how you personalized yours. Enjoy!