Five days after Thanksgiving, I was still staring at the mangled corpse of a turkey. It was a small turkey—11 pounds—but there are only two of us eating it. In the past I’ve made turkey pot pie, turkey a la king, and probably Thai turkey and turkey chili. There must be more recipes somewhere!
For a change of pace, I thought I’d try making enchiladas. Confession: I don’t often cook southwestern or Mexican recipes, although I am well supplied with the ingredients, including dried chiles. So I turned to Epicurious, but even there I found only a couple of recipes, one from 1994, and one from 2014. The earlier one started with a jar of enchilada sauce, the later one with a list of ingredients. My, how times have changed!
The newer recipe wanted me to assemble the ingredients and roast them under the Thanksgiving turkey as it cooked. Well, that bird had flown, although I admire the idea, because the flavor would be very rich (I was also supposed to make the enchilada sauce on Thanksgiving day, which might be difficult for most people). So I had to improvise and make a quicker stove-top version.
The original recipe made enough for eight servings, so I cut it in half.
1 large onion, roughly chopped
4 dried ancho chiles (seeds removed)
1 head of garlic, cloves separated and peeled
1 large carrot, roughly chopped
2 Tblsp whole coriander seeds
1 Tblsp whole cumin seeds
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Turkey (or chicken) leftovers
Unsalted butter for greasing the baking dish
2-3 cups of the cooked turkey
4 12” flour tortillas
1-1/2 cups grated queso fresco (the recipe said I could substitute feta cheese, so I did)
1-1/2 cups shredded queso Chihuahua (the recipe allowed mozzarella)
|Soaking the chiles|
Soak the ancho chiles in hot water, then remove the stems and seeds and chop. Combine the tomatoes, onions, ancho chiles, garlic, chopped carrot, coriander and cumin. Season with salt and pepper. Place in a large saucepan and simmer gently for an hour or more (you do make this in advance).
Transfer the sauce mixture to a food processor or blender and process until smooth (add a little water if necessary—you want a smooth thick liquid).
|The pureed sauce|
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter a baking dish (9x13, although 9x9 will do). Spread about a cup of the enchilada sauce in the bottom.
Put the turkey meat in a bowl. Add half the remaining enchilada sauce and half of each of the cheeses and mix.
Lay out each tortilla and spread about one cup of the filling on the lower half. Roll each one up (like a burrito) and tuck the sides in. Place the enchiladas tightly in the prepared baking dish, and cover with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top.
Cover the dish with foil and bake until the cheese has melted and the sauce has darkened, about one hour. Serve immediately (top with sour cream if you like).
|Ready to bake|
There was still turkey left. Soup, anyone?
The next book to come out is An Early Wake, the third of the County Cork Mysteries, arriving in February.
Not a lot of enchiladas in Ireland, I must say, although the food is pretty good (and diverse) these days..