My husband Thomas created this recipe. He has a different cooking style from mine, and I am always delighted at the fresh, innovative meals he creates. He has a gift for understanding the essence of flavors and his cooking lets the unique taste of each ingredient shine through.
Most traditional enchiladas are heavy and dense, drenched in oil and thick, gooey sauce. This dish is light in texture and not at all heavy in feeling. It contains no meat, for the sweetness of the cheese and the tenderness of the vegetables are perfect in themselves. The Red Chile Sauce is deep and rich in flavor, as only a home cooked sauce can be. I'm sure this dish will become as much of a favorite of yours as it is mine.
RED CHILI SAUCE:
TO MAKE THE ENCHILADAS:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.
In a medium skillet, heat the oil over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions and cook until they just begin to soften. Stir in the zucchini, cumin and salt and cook 3 or 4 minutes. The zucchini should be tender but crisp.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the ricotta cheese with the the onion and zucchini mixture.
Place even amounts of the ricotta cheese mixture in the lower third of each flour tortilla and roll up. Place the stuffed tortillas, seam side down, in the baking dish.
Spoon the Red Chile Sauce in a generous strip down the center of the casserole. Top with the cheddar cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.
TO MAKE THE RED CHILI SAUCE:
In a medium bowl, mix the powdered chiles with the broth. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, sauté the onions and garlic in 1 tablespoon of the oil. When the onions turn translucent, add the remaining tablespoon of oil, and the oregano, cumin and flour. Stir constantly for about 3 minutes, to lightly brown the flour. Pour in the chili liquid and the salt, stirring to prevent lumps, and bring to a boil. Simmer on low, covered, for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally and scraping the bottom and sides of the pan to dissolve any lumps.
When the sauce has cooked through and is no longer raw tasting, add the chopped tomatoes. Simmer, uncovered, another 2 or 3 minutes, just until the tomatoes soften and start to release their juices. Turn off the flame and cover. Reheat, uncovered, just before use.
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