Years ago, a vegetarian friend of mine had us over for supper. Though neither of us is vegetarian, we ARE adventurous foodies, so a vegetarian meal is no problem (once in awhile). She pulled this from one of her cookbooks. It's about as "gourmet" as I get, but it is FABULOUS. I haven't met a person yet who hasn't loved it. In fact, I just brought it to work for a potluck -- one of the staff is vegetarian, but it was her birthday month so she didn't have to bring anything, so I covered her dietary needs with this meal. . .
1For sauce, heat olive oil in a medium-sized saucepan. Add onion and salt, and saute over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Add cumin and chili powder, and saute about 5 minutes more.
2Add chopped tomatoes and water or juice. Bring to a boil, partially cover, and lower heat. Simmer at least 30 minutes (or even longer). Add the black pepper, cayenne, and garlic at any time during the cooking. (The later you add the garlic, the more distinct its presence.)
3The sauce can be left in chunky form, or you can puree all or part of it in a blender or food processor.
4While sauce is simmering, heat olive oil in a deep skillet or Dutch oven. Add onion, and saute for about 5 minutes over medium heat.
5Add eggplant, salt, and pepper, and mix well. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant is soft. Add minced garlic and green bell pepper. Stir and cook 5 to 8 more minutes, or until the pepper is just tender.
6Remove from heat, stir in almonds and cheese.
7Preheat oven to 350*F. Moisten each tortilla briefly in water, then place approximately ¼ cup of filling on one side and roll up. Gently situate the filled enchiladas in a baking pan. Pour a batch of sauce over the top. Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes.