Have you ever wondered what to do when friends or family come to visit and they have dietary restrictions? (tweet this) Try this spicy enchilada casserole–it’s gluten-free and can be made without cheese for the vegans or with cheese for the vegetarians!
2 lbs extra firm tofu (drained and pressed and grated—see note below)
20 white corn tortillas
Put the following ingredients in the blender in the order listed. Rinse the dried chili pods in cold water first, and remove the stems. If you want a mild dish, remove the seeds as well and/or omit the smaller, hotter dried chilis.
12 dried, sweet red chili pods
6 (or fewer) small, dried Japonés or other hot chili pods
2 cups very hot water
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. oregano
Let the above ingredients soak while you prepare the following:
Heat 1 Tbs. olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and coarsely chop the following ingredients and add them to the hot oil.
1 large onion
10 cloves of garlic
Sautee until the onion becomes limp
Add the sautéed ingredients to the soaked chilies in the blender and blend on medium-high speed until smooth (this will depend on your blender).
Using the same skillet, add a teaspoon of oil and let it heat and then add:
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. chicken/chickenish flavor (I use Bill’s Best Chink’Nish Vegetarian Flavor)
Mix well and allow the tofu to brown a little before pouring the chili sauce over it. Stir the tofu and chili sauce well, and allow the ingredients to simmer for 5 minutes.
Rip the corn tortillas into large pieces (1-2 inch) and place them in a large mixing bowl. Pour the tofu/chili mixture over the tortilla chunks and mix well.
Lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking dish; pour the enchilada mixture into the dish. Garnish with chopped olives. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Serves 8-12. If I’m cooking for a small group, I divide the mix into two smaller baking dishes and freeze one (let it cool thoroughly first before covering with aluminum foil and freezing) for later.
Tofu tips. The most widely available tofu is ‘tub tofu’ that comes in a plastic tub with water. Make sure you purchase ‘Extra Firm’ if you buy ‘tub tofu’. This kind of tofu tastes best if you drain it, rinse it and then squeeze the water out of it before cooking with it. I usually unwrap the tofu, drain and rinse it, set it on a plate, put a plastic lid on top, and set a gallon of milk on top of the lid. The weight of the jug of milk will squeeze out the remaining liquid (it takes about an hour to get most of the water out). If ‘brick tofu’ is available in your area, it is easier to work with and doesn’t require the squeezing process to make it tasty. ‘Brick tofu’ is super-firm and comes wrapped in a brick with no water.
To find out more about why I cook the way I do, see my “Healthy (er) Choices Manifesto” post http://www.blessedbutstressed.com/?p=185
©2013 Anita Strawn de Ojeda