The real thrill is in this recipe for a tofu filling. Though it's not referred to as such, it closely resembles the sofritas that Chipotle has been introducing at their restaurants-- though theirs is saltier and mushier than this amazing recipe. What starts off looking like a regular tofu scramble becomes, through patient cooking and scraping...
...chewy little nuggets of taco meat! It's amazing.
(from NYT diner's journal)
1/4 cup safflower or other vegetable oil
1 pound firm tofu, drained and loosely crumbled
half a medium onion, finely diced
half a red bell pepper, finely diced (I used strips of roasted red pepper from a jar since I lacked a fresh pepper)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
1 cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin, or more to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder, or more to taste
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Instructions1. In a medium skillet over medium heat, heat oil until shimmering. Add tofu and cook until brown and somewhat crispy, and its liquid has evaporated, stirring from underneath to prevent sticking, 10 to 15 minutes.
2. Once tofu looks brown and cooked on all sides, add the onion and red bell pepper. Stir, and add garlic, jalapeño, cilantro, cumin and chili powder; mix well. Add soy sauce, and mix well. Season with salt to taste. Sauté until the onions and red bell pepper begin to soften, 5 to 10 minutes. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water if mixture seems parched, but it should be dry, and the tofu should resemble crisped, browned bits of meat. Fills 6 enchiladas, plus a little extra.
Of course, though tempted to just eat the filling, I still had to assemble the enchiladas. I've always used the "dip-in-sauce" method advocated in the NYT recipe, but this other recipe from Food & Wine called for lightly frying (oxymoron?) each tortilla just before filling it. So, from this recipe I took both the method, and the recipe for lime-cashew crema (which I put on the enchiladas only after they were finished baking). Frying the tortillas before baking them gives them an amazing texture-- somewhere between chewy and crispy, but always satisfying and moist. I think covering the dish in the oven is more essential when you skip the frying step, since you don't want the tortillas to dry out when baking.
Enchiladas with Tofu Sofritas and Cashew-Lime Crema
for the Cashew-Lime Crema:
1 cup raw cashews (4 ounces)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a medium heatproof bowl, cover the cashews with hot water and let stand for 2 hours. Drain and transfer the cashews to a food processor. Add the lime juice, vinegar, paprika, salt and 1/4 cup of water and puree until smooth and creamy.
For the Enchiladas!1. Preheat the oven to 375°.
2. Make the tofu filling and cashew-lime crema (recipes above)
3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat several tablespoons of canola oil. Dip 1 tortilla into the hot oil and cook just until pliable, turning once, about 10 seconds. Drain the tortilla on paper towels and repeat with the remaining tortillas.
4. Spoon 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce into a 9-by-9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish (as I made six enchiladas, I fit four into the square baking dish and did the remaining two in a little loaf pan). Arrange all of the tortillas on a work surface and divide the filling between them. Roll up the enchiladas and arrange them in the baking dish, seam sides down. Spoon 1 cup of the sauce on top. Cover the dish with foil and bake for about 25 minutes, until the enchiladas are heated through. Spoon the crema on top and serve with avocado, red onion, cilantro and pumpkin seeds. Makes 6 enchiladas.
I am also excited to play with these fenugreek leaves I recently picked up! Though I'm not sure about their slogan...