How To: Butternut Squash Enchiladas

When I was younger, one of my favourite restaurants was Chi-Chi’s. A very popular Mexican chain restaurant in the 80’s, it was the venue for every family birthday celebration up until the age of 10. I can still here the hostess’s friendly greeting “buenos noches, welcome to Chi-Chi’s.” 

While their deep fried ice cream was a favourite, what I really loved was their take on a grilled cheese. Basically, a corn tortilla, filled to the brim with gooey melty cheese. I was a simple young girl, satisfied by anything smothered in cheese. While Chi-Chi’s may have since closed, my craving for some cheesy Mexican goodness has not faltered. However, I think my tastes may have gotten a bit more sophisticated and I may need a little more than just cheese inside my corn tortillas. Enter our favourite winter vegetable, butternut squash.

When this baby is roasted whole and the sweet and soft orange flesh is mixed with some flavourful herbs and spices (and of course, cheese) it makes the perfect filling to be wrapped up in a tasty corn tortilla. The best part? There’s no finicky peeling of the squash or cutting and dicing. Simply cut in half, scoop out the seeds, place on a pan, throw it in the oven and you’re done! So you really have no excuses! And these b-nut squash-filled babies are also much more nutritious than the plain old cheesy quesadilla…a double bonus!

These roasted butternut squash enchiladas will satisfy your cheesy Mexican craving and will also provide you with leftovers that are perfect for dinner or lunch the next day. Also, a great make ahead dish — the entire dish can be prepared a day in advance and simply popped in the oven when you get home from work. The creamy filling is so satisfying that even your most carnivorous friends will love this dish.

Roasted Butternut Squash Enchiladas

Serves 4-5
Dietary Vegetarian

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash (cut in half, seeds removed)
  • 1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce (seeds removed, minced)
  • 1 Tsp adobo sauce
  • 1/2 Tsp cumin
  • 2 Tbsp low fat cream cheese
  • 2 Tbsp green onion (minced)
  • 2 Tbsp cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 can enchilada sauce
  • 1/2-1 cup cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, montery jack...etc.) (grated)
  • 6 corn tortillas (wrapped in damp paper towel and heat in microwave for 20 seconds to soften)

Note

The enchilada filling can be prepared up to a day in advance. If you like things spicy, you can add an extra chill. These are great served with some guacamole or salsa on the side and a nice green salad. A margarita or two wouldn't hurt either!

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place squash flesh side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast in oven for about 40 minutes, or until tender. Let cool and scoop out filling into a large bowl and discard skins.
2. Mash squash with cream cheese, cilantro, green onion, chipotle chili, cumin, adobo sauce and mix well to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. Place about 2 large spoonfuls in the centre of each corn tortilla and roll up tortilla. Place tortillas seem side down in an 8 x 8 baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
4. Cover tortillas with enchilada sauce and spread sauce out until the whole pan is nicely coated. Sprinkle with as much or as little cheese as you like.
5. Bake for about 15 minutes,or until enchiladas are bubbly and cheese is melted.

It may not be the prettiest enchilada, but it sure is the tastiest! And thanks to these enchiladas, my Chi-Chi’s craving is once again satisfied!

Dara 

How to: Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Crisp mornings and cool nights mean fall is totally here.

Love it.

In the kitchen, this means it’s comfort food time! Soups, stews, casseroles and slow cooker meals are now making their way onto my weekly menu.  Hallelujah!

This week, I was inspired to use squash after a phenomenal dinner at Yours Truly.  One of the courses featured a variety of roasted winter squash served with house-made yogurt, and a drizzle of fragrant honey.

I’m a simple gal though, and will just stick to plain old b.nutt for this recipe.

This prep technique has always served me well, though the real ticket is having a sharp knife.

I like to use homemade stock whenever possible.  It’s really easy and delicious. Promise I’ll show you how I make it one day!

The immersion blender is one of my favourite kitchen tools.  A regular blender also works, but leaves more dirty dishes. Blech.

Now, grab a nice crusty piece of bread with butter, put on your Snuggie and hunker down for a nice bowl in front of the fire.

Erin

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Serves 4
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 35 minutes
Total time 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 Medium butternut squash (peeled and cubed)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (divided)
  • 1 Medium onion (diced)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 1l chicken or vegetable stock/broth (usually about 1 tetrapak of premade broth)
  • salt and pepper (to taste)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
2. Toss cubed butternut squash with 1 Tbsp olive oil and about 1/4 tsp of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3. Roast squash for about 25 minutes stirring about halfway through, until golden brown
4. When the squash is almost finished roasting, in a medium saucepan heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until soft. About 2-3 minutes.
5. Add the roasted squash, followed by the chicken broth/stock which should completely cover the squash mixture in the pan.
6. Simmer on medium-low for about 5 minutes.
7. Remove from heat, and blend with immersion blender until smooth.
8. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
9. Serve with a dollop of sour cream or a drizzle of cream and a sprinkle of fresh herbs.