Friday, May 14, 2010

Daring Cooks' Stacked GREEN Enchiladas with Spinach Sauce

Our hosts this month, Barbara of Barbara Bakes and Bunnee of Anna+Food have chosen a delicious Stacked Green Chile & Grilled Chicken Enchilada recipe in celebration of Cinco de Mayo! The recipe, featuring a homemade enchilada sauce was found on and written by Robb Walsh.

This month, Barbara and Bunnee challenged us to make our own enchiladas and sauce. The original recipe they shared was a homemade green sauce using chiles and tomatillos. But due to the lack of vegetable variety in POZ, i had to look for other alternatives. I didn't want to stray too far from the original recipe so after much thought, i decided to stay "GREEN" and made Enchiladas with spinach sauce. It's also extremely hard to find flat corn tortillas here so i made my own wheat tortillas to stack. I also replaced chicken breasts with pork since it was the day before labor day and the grocery store was basically empty by the time i got there. Sheesh, talk about bad luck with ingredients this month! So even though my Green Enchilada is full of substitutions and using spinach makes it a completely different dish... at least i got the color right, muahaha!

These enchiladas were amazing. The stacked tortillas and cheese almost makes it a Mexican lasagna. It was the perfect last-meal before i started my 1 week detox diet-- it's full of carbs, meat, and cheese! If it wasn't for a meal as gratifying as this, i don't think my diet would've lasted 2 days. So thank-you Barbara & Bunnee, I've reached new horizons with my resourcefulness this month and this challenge has indirectly helped me loose a few pounds. Doesn't get any better than that!

Stacked GREEN Enchiladas with Spinach Sauce
adapted from
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1 cup light cream (12%) or half-and-half
  • 1 cup milk
  • 6 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 green onions, minced
  • 200 grams fresh green chilies
    (roast, peel, remove seeds, chop coarsely)
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • Salt & pepper, to taste.

  • 2 boneless chicken breasts, cut into pieces
    (i used 500 grams pork)
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
    (use more as needed)
  • 12 6-inch corn tortillas
    (i made my own wheat tortillas and only used 6)
  • 2 cups grated mild cheddar cheese
    (i used hollander cheese)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
Spinach Sauce:
    1. Cook spinach according to package instructions. Drain well. Set aside.
    2. Melt butter in heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add flour and stir mixture for 2 minutes; do not brown.
    3. Gradually whisk in whipping cream and milk. Simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.
    4. Stir in spinach, cilantro, green onion, chilies, cumin, coriander and red pepper [picture 1].
    5. Puree in batches in processor until almost smooth (optional, i skipped this step).
    6. Season with salt and pepper.
      Tip: if your sauce doesn't thicken up, dissolve some starch with cold water and slowly pour into the sauce while mixing constantly.
    1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
    2. Sautee the chicken (or pork) until just cooked through. Cool and set aside [picture 2].
    3. In a small skillet, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat until very hot. Dip the edge of a tortilla into the oil to check – it should sizzle immediately. Using tongs, put a tortilla into the pan and cook until soft and lightly brown on each side, about 15-20 seconds per side (at the most). Drain on paper towels. Add oil as needed and continue until all tortillas are done.
    4. In a baking dish, ladle a thin layer of sauce.
    5. Lay tortillas in the dish and ladle another ½ cup of sauce over the tortillas. Divide half the chicken among the first layer of tortillas, top with some sauce and 1/3 of the grated cheese.
    6. Stack another layer of tortillas, top with the rest of the chicken, more sauce and another third of the cheese [picture 3].
    7. Finish with the third tortilla, topped with the remaining sauce and cheese [picture 4].
    8. Bake until the sauce has thickened and the cheese melted, about 20 minutes. Let rest for 5-10 minutes.
    9. To serve, spoon any leftover sauce over the stacks and sprinkle with cilantro, if you wish. The stacks may also be cooked in individual gratin dishes.
    Stacked Enchiladas
    with Spinach Sauce


    1. Wonderful substitutions for a green sauce! So glad you enjoyed this, even with the ingredient hunting challenges.

    2. Ohh I made a vegan lasagne once with spinach sauce and mmm was it good. These enchiladas sound sooo fab. I'm one of those weird types that get excited over stacks and stacks of vegetables. :)

      Sorry I've been MIA for awhile! Been out sick. :) I'm guessing you're having a good break from studying?

    3. You are so creative! The spinach sauces sounds delicious and I love the presentation.

    4. I love the substitution choices you made! I am sure the spinach and pork enchiladas were delicious!! The pictures look great, too. Wonderful job on the challenge!

    5. I was wondering if you could get tomatillos in POZ. I couldn`t in london!!! Great idea about spinach :)

    6. Ow~~ you took out the spicy part!! :P

    7. Your dish looks fantastic! Nice work with the substitutions. It's hard when you really want to try to follow a recipe and can't quite find the ingredients!!

    8. Your enchilada casserole looks delicious - and the step-by-step instructions are very nicely done. Congratulations!

    9. Clever! "Mexican lasagna"! hahah! Looks and sounds really good, regardless of what you want to call it. :)

    10. That looks delicious! and I love the description of Mexican Lasagne - perhaps that's what made me enjoy it so much! appealing to my Italian love - it also makes your spinach version appealing to me. YUM!

    11. These are beeee-oootiful! Such a nice crust on top and the spinach sauce looks luscious!


    12. i really love enchiladas in any form, but it's one of those things i've never tried to make at home. might be time to remedy that.

    13. Wow, spinach must have tasted good, I would have to try that next time--the color is just wonderful. Congratulations for making your own tortillas :)

    14. I do love tomatillo sauce but I'm going to keep the spinach sauce in mind, because it sounds like an awesome way to mix things up!

      Your enchiladas look fantastic. :)

    15. I love the idea of the spinach sauce! That sounds like a great suggestion for next time I want to make a green sauce that my (about to turn) 1 year old can eat! Beautiful job!

    16. It looks so great! Nice job adapting the recipe and working with what you had! I agree with you, it's exactly like a Mexican lasagna!

    17. Well I think this is one fabulous version of this challenge and I know it was delicious and the photographs are exquisite and great to hear that you the courage to do a lot of subs and it worked out so well for you. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

    18. Brilliant idea for the substitution. I love spinach so i imagined this to be very good. I like the addition of those tomatoes on top as well. Nice!!

    19. I also did a spinach version. Your finished batch looks outstanding. I am getting hungry for enchiladas again after reading so many blogs. Maybe a pork version is in order inspired by you.

    20. whats a 1 week detox diet ;P

    21. @Anonymous: a 1 week detox diet is basically one week of eating fruits, vegetables, and occasionally red meat. Something good to do from time to time to clean out all the junk and fat stored up in the wintertime!

    22. I like your use of spinach, and substitution of pork! Nice take on the challenge!

    23. Hi , I did no notice that before , I mean Daring Cooks' Stacked GREEN Enchiladas with Spinach Sauce, thanks for the post
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