Monday, October 19, 2009

Enchilada Love

I love enchiladas.  So does the husband... with a passion.  Homemade enchiladas with fresh sauce truly blow away any experience you've had with this dish prepared with a canned or jarred sauce.  They are a little labor intensive, but well worth it.  However, I admit that when I claimed they were a "weeknight meal", I had never attempted them on a weeknight since the arrival of Baby J.  In life with a baby, I guess they are more of a weekend affair.  If you had a very mellow weeknight with plenty of time to prepare dinner, you could try them then too, but these days that is not so much the case around here.

In any case, tomatillos are in season in the early autumn, and this is a perfect time to concoct a bubbling, warm tray of enchiladas for friends on a Saturday night, which is what we did last weekend.  What you see pictured here is a double batch, with one tray of chicken and one tray of veggie, to please all of our guests; but I'm providing the recipe for a single batch here, with a variety of options for fillings to suit your fancy.  Don't be scared off by the process, these enchiladas are well worth the trouble!

Sweet Mama Jane's Chronic* Enchiladas Verdes
*The husband's highest endorsement adjective
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 lbs. tomatillos, papery skins removed, rinsed and cut in half
1 onion, finely diced
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 small jalapeño chopped
12 corn tortillas
8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar or jack cheese
Sour cream and extra chopped cilantro for garnish
Filling of choice... either:
*2 poached chicken breasts, shredded by hand and tossed with some salt.  You could do just chicken, or add a cubed roasted sweet potato for more bulk and flavor.
*The sweet potato and black bean mixture from my burrito recipe.
*1 zuchini and 1 summer squash, chopped and sauteed with a chopped onion, and seasoned with salt, pepper, cumin and cayenne.
*Great creative!  Try shredded steak or sauteed spinach and mushrooms.... the possibilities are endless.
    Make the sauce:
    1) Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet.  Add the chopped onion and jalapeño and sauté until the onion softens. Add the tomatillos, season with salt and continue cooking until wilted. Turn off the heat and let cool for a few minutes.
    2) Pour the contents of the skillet into a food processor or blender, add the cilantro and blend until smooth. Pour the sauce into a bowl.
    Assemble the enchiladas:
    1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread a little enchilada sauce on the bottom of a large baking dish.
    2) Make a little assembly line by the stove.  You want to have a hot, dry skillet in which to warm the tortillas in order to make them pliable.  Near the hot skillet, have an empty plate on which to roll the enchiladas, and bowls of both your filling and the shredded cheese prepared.
    3) Working with one tortilla at a time, soften each in the hot skillet for about 10 seconds per side. Lay each tortilla on a plate and sprinkle about 1/3 cup of your chosen filling and a bit of cheese in the middle and roll. Repeat, lining up the enchiladas tightly in the baking dish.
    4) When you've rolled all of your enchiladas, pour the sauce over them and spread evenly across the pan.  Top with the remaining shredded cheese.
    5) Bake for about 30 minutes, until the dish is heated through, and the cheese is brown and bubbling.
    We served these with some spanish rice and a green salad.  This is a healthy and delicious meal that is always a crowd pleaser.  Enjoy!

    1 comment:

    1. Yup, I can thankfully attest, these enchilladas were the bomb.