Showing posts with label enchilada sauce. Show all posts
Showing posts with label enchilada sauce. Show all posts

Friday, December 5, 2014

Turkey Enchiladas

by Sheila Connolly

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.

Turkey Enchiladas

28 oz. (2 cans) chopped tomatoes
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..

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Don't Mess with Texas

Shhhh! Don't tell anyone, but Mr. Wendy and I are not real Texans. We moved to the Lone Star State almost exactly five years ago. For the most part, we've acclimated. I still wilt about mid-July and don't leave the air conditioned comfort of my home unless I absolutely must. And I still have to place my trust in a higher power when I get on the interstate. (I'd invoke Carrie Underwood and beg Jesus to take the wheel, but I'm hoping he's busy steering the semis hurtling down 35E.)

On the whole, though, we've adjusted to our new home.

Probably the toughest thing to get used to was the food. Two twenty-year vegetarians moving to the heart of cattle country? Sounds like the premise for a bad sit-com. I thought my hill-billy kin were bad about slipping bacon into everything on the menu, but they've got nothing on Texans. There's pork fat, chicken stock, or lard hiding in just about everything.

So for the past five years, it's been us versus Texas food.

Except when it comes to Tex-Mex. Oh my. Tex-Mex is where Team WatHawk and Texas find common ground. We have to be vigilant about the above-mentioned stealth pork, but Tex-Mex can be done well without the meat, and we're huge fans.

This casserole is my homage to Texas, but totally animal-free: no meat, no dairy, no eggs. In a word, vegan. The potato filling is so luscious and the sauce so, well, saucy, you'll never miss the cheese. What's more, it's quick to put together and doesn't require much stove time, so it's become one of my go-to summer dinner party meals. If you really want to, you could add some cheese (cheddar or jack would be good). Or you could make a totally different filling. It's the sauce--with its special ingredient--that you simply must try!

(By the way, the dish is named for our cat Todd. He has never made the dish for us, though I like to think he would. If he were a little taller and had thumbs.)

Todd's Potato and Pinto Enchilada Bake

Here's what you'll need before you begin assembly. Don't fret. There are lots of pieces, but they're all super-easy.

1 recipe enchilada sauce
1 recipe potato filling
1 recipe pinto bean filling
18 6-inch corn tortillas

Enchilada Sauce

1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 Tbs. flour
1/4 cup chili powder
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
3/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 oz. Mexican chocolate*
salt to taste

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in flour, reduce heat to medium, and cook until lightly brown, stirring constantly to prevent flour from burning. Stir in chili powder, then slowly mix in vegie broth, getting rid of any lumps. Stir tomato sauce, cumin, and garlic powder into sauce and continue cooking over medium heat approximately 10 minutes, or until thickened slightly. Stir in chocolate to melt. Season to taste with salt.

* Mexican chocolate comes in tablets for making hot chocolate. Abuelita is the brand I get most often, but there are several. Look for them in the Hispanic or international food section of your grocery store. If you cannot find Mexican chocolate, you can use unsweetened chocolate and add a dash of cinnamon.

Potato Filling

1 bag frozen, steam-in-bag russet or sweet potatoes*
10-16 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed (whatever size your grocery store carries!)
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
dash of ground chipotle or cayenne

Press as much water out of the spinach as you can (put it in a colander and press with the back of a spoon). Mash the potatoes with a fork or a potato masher; they don’t need to be smooth, just mushed a bit. Stir in the spinach, cumin, garlic powder, and chipotle/cayenne.

*In the alternative, use 2 pounds russet or sweet potatoes, peeled, diced, and boiled in salted water until tender.

Pinto Bean Filling

1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup fat free refried beans
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 cup frozen corn
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Mix all ingredients together in a small saucepan, mashing some of the beans with the back of a fork. Heat over medium-low flame until hot.


Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9x13 pan with a little non-stick spray and spread about 1/2 a cup of enchilada sauce in the bottom. Arrange 6 corn tortillas on the bottom, tearing and overlapping so that the whole bottom of the pan is covered.

Spread 1/2 of the potato filling on the tortillas.

Ladle half of the pinto filling over the potatoes, and drizzle about 1/2 a cup of enchilada sauce over the pintos.

Repeat with another 6 tortillas, the rest of the potatoes, the rest of the pintos, and another 1/2 cup of sauce. Top with the last 6 corn tortillas and ladle the rest of the sauce over the tortillas (so they are totally covered).

Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes.

Voila! Delicious, nutritious, and so, so easy!

For information about Wendy's Mysteries a la Mode and more yummy recipes, visit her website. The first in the series, I Scream, You Scream, is available now; the second Mystery a la Mode, Scoop to Kill, will be released in September.

You can follow Wendy on Twitter or Facebook.