Thursday, May 6, 2010

Enchilada night!

I've been enjoying preparing meals focused on a central fresh ingredient I have in spades and expanding from there. Cooked chicken from this week's chicken stock led me to enchiladas; from there I was inspired to consider veggie enchiladas using this week's CSA produce, and then I realized I had no enchilada sauce but, since we're on a grocery store and restaurant fast this week, I found a simple recipe from Emeril and we were on our way to a delicious Mexican feast - oh, yeah, plus a nice dinner salad since the romaine lettuce from the CSA was appetizing but also in danger of wilting...


I have 3 sources to credit for the final enchilada meal. I made 2 types of enchiladas, both drenched in the same sauce, but I believe it behooves me to print the recipes mostly separately, as I'm not sure there are many folks who want to prepare 2 types of enchilada in the same dish, just for fun. I used bits and pieces of all the recipes, which led to a delicious end product. I do agree with one of the bloggers - enchiladas do not photograph well. We could add the source for the yummy vinaigrette and, boy, I spend a lot of time on the Internet. Oh, and the chicken stock recipe - just a basic chicken stock which, in this case, was Mom's Chicken Soup recipe but I removed the chicken and strained the soup for stock instead.

Enchiladas Two Ways

Chicken part adapted generously from, oddly enough, a recipe from Self for Jessica Alba's Chicken Enchiladas
Kale and sweet potato part adapted from We Heart Food - who adapted their recipe from Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook - although my version was not so vegan because we're not so vegan
Enchilada sauce from Emeril's recipe, to which I stayed entirely faithful. Oh, except that I added some salsa and cayenne and Mexican hot sauce - Jessica Alba said I should, and she's really pretty.

For chicken filling:

4 cups chicken stock
1# cooked chicken, shredded
1 jar (~24 oz) salsa, divided
1 1/4 cup shredded cheese - I used Colby Jack
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Mix 12 oz salsa and shredded chicken; set aside. In a separate bowl, combine cheese and cilantro; set aside.

Hmmm... on closer review, it appears that this is the only contribution Jess made to the finished product. Mix chicken and salsa. Profound. Well, she did encourage me to spice up my enchilada sauce, so I should still credit her. She can add it to her IMDB page.

For kale-sweet potato filling:

1 lb sweet potatoes
1 bunch kale, washed, trimmed, and chopped finely (really finely - I keep neglecting this step with kale and chard and we almost choke on long wilted strings of leafy vegetables)
3 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 cup vegetable stock or water or chicken stock if you're not vegan
3 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp salt

Peel and dice the potatoes, then boil them until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside. Cook the olive oil and minced garlic in a medium pot over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until the garlic is sizzling and slightly browned. Add the kale, sprinkle with a little salt (caution! my kale was way too salty), and raise the heat to medium, stirring constantly to cover the kale with the oil and garlic. Partially cover the pot to steam the kale until it has wilted, 4 to 6 minutes.
Remove the lid and mix in the potatoes, vegetable stock, lime juice, and salt. Use the back of a wooden spoon to mash some of the potatoes. Cook another 3 to 4 minutes, until the stock is absorbed. Add more salt or lime juice to taste. Set aside!

For homemade enchilada sauce:

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon flour
1/4 cup chili powder
2 cups chicken stock
10 ounces tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
Mexican hot sauce - I used Cholula
Cayenne pepper

In a medium saucepan heat oil, add flour, smoothing and stirring with a wooden spoon. Cook for 1 minute. Add chili powder and cook for 30 seconds. Add stock, tomato paste, oregano, and cumin. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. The sauce will thicken and smooth out.

Now, that's a standard enchilada sauce. To make it spicy (a la Jessica Alba), add 12 oz of salsa plus Mexican hot sauce and Cayenne to taste.

To assemble:
All that enchilada sauce
1/4 cup Colby Jack
More chopped cilantro
10-12 tortillas

Heat oven to 350F. Wrap tortillas in aluminum foil and put in the oven for about 10 minutes, until heated through. Ready a plate filled with about 3/4 cup of enchilada sauce, a casserole dish, the heated tortillas, and either the potato filling and a little cilantro or the chicken and the cheese mixtures you set aside earlier.

Ladle a little bit of the enchilada sauce onto the bottom of the casserole dish and spread it around. Drop a tortilla onto the plate filled with sauce; allow it to get completely covered in sauce, flip it over, and coat the other side.

Place some of the potato filling or the chicken filling and then the cheese mixture down the middle and roll it up. Place it in the pan, seam side down. Continue with rest of tortillas, tightly packing enchiladas next to each other. If you have cheese mixture left at the end, sprinkle it over the tortillas.

Pour 1-2 (or 3-4) cups of sauce over the top (reserving some for later), cover tightly with aluminum foil, and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup Colby Jack (if you're not a vegan, of course). Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, until edges of the tortillas poking out of sauce look just a little browned. Allow to cool slightly before serving. Top individual servings with any remaining enchilada sauce, warmed slightly.

Smoked paprika yummy vinaigrette

1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon stone-ground mustard
1 tablespoon lime juice
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1 pinch white sugar (optional)
1/2 cup olive oil

Blend the red wine vinegar, honey, mustard, lime juice, pepper, salt, paprika, garlic, onion, oregano, and sugar together in a blender until thoroughly mixed. Drizzle the olive oil into the mixture while blending on low. Chill at least 1 hour before serving.


Happy eating!

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