Family Favorite

If you enjoy food like I do, then you too occassionaly become hung up on something you've tried in a restaurant.  Obsession leads to hungry daydreams. Then, naturally, a crazy woman takes over your kitchen, making a catastrophic mess of the place, ignoring neccessary responsibilities, and working maniacally to recreate it. Fortunately for my family and friends, I was eventually able to figure this one out.  Who's to say what might have become of us otherwise?

So, in hopes of sparing you the hours of kitchen scrubbing this one led to for me, let me introduce you to the very simple, very addictive

Butternut Squash Enchilada

1 whole butternut squash
6 large whole wheat tortillas (the softer, the better)
1 can enchilada sauce (important note here, this will all taste much better with a sweet sauce like La Preferida. http://www.amazon.com/La-Preferida-Enchilada-Sauce-10-Ounce/dp/B000S3T23K/ref=sr_1_1?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1341255902&sr=1-1&keywords=la+preferida+enchilada+sauce+mild The smoky sauces like Trader Joe's just don't play nicely with this one.)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup organic spinach, thawed and drained if frozen or washed and chopped if fresh
1 log goat cheese
Cotija cheese, shedded for sprinkling on top

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the stem off the butternut squash (so your knife doesn't get stuck and threaten to remove fingers on the next step.) Cut the squash in half and use a spoon to remove the seeds. Rinse. Cover generously with salt and pepper and put cut side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cook about 40 minutes, until the skin is golden and the squash gives nicely when you press against the skin.  Don't worry too much about overcooking it.  You want it to be very soft, and it tends to carmelize nicely if you leave it in a bit longer.  Tasty.  Remove from oven and allow to cool before scooping squash from the skin.  (This can be done the day before, making for a real quick dinner prep the next day. Just throw the cooled squash in a covered dish in the fridge and pull it out when you're ready for it.)

2) Heat olive oil and garlic in a large frying pan over medium heat.  Add spinach and stir for about a minute, until wilted.  Add squash and stir until heated through. Remove from heat.

3) Spoon about a third of the sauce into a 9 x 12 baking dish and spread it around.  Flip two tortillas in the sauce.  Spoon a bit of sauce in a 9 x 9 baking dish and do the same with a third tortilla. (This enchilada is for lunch tomorrow!)  Spoon 1/3 of the squash mixture onto each tortilla. Spread the mixture around the tortillas.

4) Tear open the goat cheese and sprinkle generously about.  When the whole log is dispersed, lick your fingers clean.  You deserve it.  Now wash your hands! I sure hope the kids didn't see you. 

5) Top each pile with a tortilla.  Spoon the remaining sauce over the tops.  Sprinkle with cotija cheese.  If you don't have cotija, feel free to use a mexican blend, or a pizza blend, if it comes to that.  Truth be told, I only put cheese on the top to send myself a signal about which enchilada has the extra goat cheese hidden inside.  If you notice a difference in the above photo, it's no accident.

6) Cook 15 minutes or until heated through.  Enjoy!