with Cotija cheese. (After yesterday gotta go all soft on ya.)
This morning I pulled out the last of my squash plants since the plant has been producing loads of blossoms but very little fruit. Besides, when this time of the growing season rolls around I’m pretty sick of squash and I already have a basket-full of ball squash waiting to be chopped up and made into spicy relish.
I picked all the squash blossoms, blew the bugs off, and stuck them right into the fridge. Squash blossoms are delicate, the flavor subtle and a tiny bit squashy– not as sweet and floral as pansies and roses, definitely not peppery like nasturtiums.
I thought about stuffing the blossoms since I have some homemade yogurt cheese, but then I didn’t feel like making an egg batter, frying them up… the whole nine yards. I thought, why not make enchiladas? I already had cherry tomatoes, chilies and shallots from my garden. I picked up a few crimini mushrooms, a bag of frozen sweetcorn, a can of white beans and grated Cotija cheese.
I love Cotija cheese. Once upon a time I could buy the super premium Cotija from a local cheese shop. The cheese was to die for, so flavorful. But the cheese shop no longer carries it, so I stopped by a Mexican food for your run of the mill Cotija – think of it as a Mexican version of Parmesan. Don’t expect the cheese to melt. It’s dry. It browns.
Step one – trim the stems and sticky things from the squash blossoms and clean them carefully. Remember, delicate…
Step two – mince a couple shallots, slice up two or three jalapeno peppers- seeded. I slice them in half and scoop out the seeds with a grapefruit spoon. Slice into thin strips. Saute in 1 tablespoon unsalted butter. Sprinkle over a little superfine sugar over the shallots and chilies and some coarse black pepper. Save the salt for later.
Step three – slice the mushrooms and add to saute pan along with another tablespoon of butter. Let the mushrooms caramelize. Add 1 cup or so of sliced cherry tomatoes. Meanwhile open the can of beans and dump into a sieve, rinse. Slice squash blossoms.
Step four – Add frozen corn to saute pan and stir through, allowing to cook for 2-3 minutes. Add squash blossoms and cook 1-2 minutes. Add beans. Heat through. Turn off heat and add 1 teaspoon Kosher salt.
Heat oven to 350′. Spray a baking pan with nonstick spray. Use whatever brand of corn tortillas you like, just make sure they are thin, not thick. Medium-sized tortillas will make 6 enchiladas. Size the pan to the number of enchiladas you plan to make.
Put a few spoons of the filling along the middle of the tortilla, sprinkle on a palm-ful of Cotija cheese. Roll up and place in pan. Cover with any leftover filling, top with Cotija cheese and sprinkle on smoked paprika.
Bake 10-12 minutes, until enchiladas are heated through and cheese is getting a little toasty. Serve plain, with Mexican crema, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, whatever you prefer.