One day, Engine 2 firefighter Matt Moore started talking about how he’d just had an intense dream about a raging house fire. Since Matt seldom says such things, it made us all think we were about to face a real burner.
We went on several calls that day, but none of them were fires. Then, at 6:30 that evening, as Matt was putting his enchiladas into the oven, the tone sounded for a church fire on the East Side.
It turned out to be a tough call. After being on air, and doing salvage and overhaul work for nearly thirty minutes in 100 degree heat, all of us were sent to rehab. Scottie didn't look good–he was red in the face and his eyes were bloodshot. EMS examined him and decided he was suffering from dehydration with a bit of heat exhaustion–nothing that a liter of fluid couldn't remedy.
We had to endure snide comments from various firefighters about how we needed to feed him more meat: “Give that boy a steak,” or, “Put some chicken broth in that I.V.” At the debriefing, even the incident commander said, “Well, nobody got hurt except Scottie Walters, and all he needs is a little more protein.”
When we made it back to the station, after agreeing that sarcasm and ignorance get a lot of people pretty far in this world, we finally got around to eating. But before any of us took a bite, we all offered a toast to Matt and his tasty meat-free enchiladas, as well as his dreams.
Incidentally, this was originally my recipe, which Matt stole, perfected, and made into his signature dish. He’s not a fan of onions: When it’s his turn to cook, he avoids them like the plague. When I cook? Everything starts with an onion.
Matt Moore’s Enchiladas
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
16 ounces mushrooms, sliced
32 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and drained
30 ounces fat-free, frozen hash-brown potatoes
2 teaspoons cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder
8 ounces canned diced green chilies
18 corn tortillas
3 16-ounce jars fat-free enchilada sauce (Whole Foods’ Religious Experience is excellent)
12 sprigs cilantro, rinsed
Sauté mushrooms and spinach on medium heat in large non-stick skillet for 5 minutes, or until mushrooms are soft. Drain liquid, and remove to large bowl.
Cook potatoes on high heat in sprayed skillet for 10 minutes until lightly browned on both sides. Sprinkle potatoes with cumin and chili powder.
Gently combine potatoes, green chilies, mushrooms, and spinach.
Line the bottom of non stick 9 X 13 casserole with 6 tortillas. You can use a very thin layer of tomato puree or enchilada sauce if you don’t have a non stick dish.
Place half of the vegetable mixture over tortillas and cover with one jar of sauce.
Repeat the process: tortillas, vegetables, sauce.
Top with the remaining six tortillas and jar of sauce.
Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Allow to sit for 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with cilantro sprigs
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