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 Epicurious.com
- SPINACH SAUCE:
- 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
- Cook spinach according to package instructions. Drain well. Set aside.
- Melt butter in heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add flour and stir mixture for 2 minutes; do not brown.
- Gradually whisk in whipping cream and milk. Simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in spinach, cilantro, green onion, chilies, cumin, coriander and red pepper [picture 1].
- Puree in batches in processor until almost smooth (optional, i skipped this step).
- 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.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Sautee the chicken (or pork) until just cooked through. Cool and set aside [picture 2].
- 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.
- In a baking dish, ladle a thin layer of sauce.
- 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.
- Stack another layer of tortillas, top with the rest of the chicken, more sauce and another third of the cheese [picture 3].
- Finish with the third tortilla, topped with the remaining sauce and cheese [picture 4].
- Bake until the sauce has thickened and the cheese melted, about 20 minutes. Let rest for 5-10 minutes.
- 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.
with Spinach Sauce