Monday, January 9, 2012

Vegetarian Enchiladas Verde

This is one of my favorite recipes adapted from Rick Bayless "Enchiladas Especiales Tacuba Style."

The heat of the dish will vary depending on the chili peppers used.  I made this last night and used jalapenos and some unknown red peppers from my garden.  It was very delicious with a middle amount of heat - nothing that brought tears to my eyes, but it definitely cleared my sinuses!

Vegetarian Enchiladas Verde

Serves: 6 to 8 (I cut the recipe in half and get 4 servings)
Time: varies, depending on your preferred roasting method

  • 4 fresh poblano chilis (or 10 jalapenos - change it up according to your taste)
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves (lightly packed)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • Sea salt (according to taste)
  • 15 corn tortillas
  • Olive oil spray
  • About 2 cups Mexican melting cheese (monterey jack or mild cheddar)
  • About 2 cups queso fresco (purchased or make from scratch ahead of time)
  • A little chopped cilantro and avocado slices for garnish
1.  Make the sauce. Roast the chili peppers until the skins blister and turn black.  I find this easiest to do in the oven broiler.  Make sure you turn them often enough to make sure all sides get roasted and they don't burn.  Remove the peppers from the oven and let sit just until they're cool enough to handle.  Peel the skins off and remove the stem and seeds.  Put the peppers into a food processor or blender jar. Add the spinach.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for a minute to release its aroma, then add the flour and stir the mixture for a minute. Raise the heat to medium-high. Gradually (small amounts at a time to incorporate the flour and avoid lumps) pour in the vegetable broth and whisk constantly until the sauce boils.  Add the milk.  Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Pour half the broth/milk sauce into the blender with the chilis and spinach and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining sauce. Taste and season with salt.
2.  Prepare the enchiladas. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a large (enough to hold 15 enchiladas) ovenproof baking dish with olive oil.  Heat corn tortillas in a large skillet sprayed with olive oil until soft (I spray the tortillas with olive oil, too.  This prevents the corn tortillas from splitting while assembling).  Stack the tortillas on a plate and cover to keep them warm.

Assemble the enchiladas by spreading the queso fresco on the tortillas and adding some of the Mexican melting cheese.  Roll the tortilla and place into the baking dish, seam side down.  Continue until all tortillas and queso fresco have been used.  Sprinkle the remainder of the Mexican melting cheese on top of the rolled enchiladas.  Pour the sauce over the enchiladas and bake for about 20 minutes.

Serve with cilantro and avocado garnish.

There are endless combinations for this recipe - try different chili peppers, new cheeses, add black beans or roasted vegetables to the filling (or meat for non-vegetarians).  This one is always a hit!

Hint:  If you're in a hurry or don't want to roast the chile peppers, just used canned, fire roasted green chiles.

No comments:

Post a Comment