November 24, 2004

Someone's in the Kitchen with Dinaaaaaahhh!!!

Last night, we had an unwitting test subject a very special guest over for dinner. Dawn braved I95 traffic and two protective dogs to enjoy mexican food with our family (we not only put the fun in disfunctional, we put the dis in there too. Love means never having to say anything nice about each other). One of the dishes served up was yet another experimental version of my vegetarian enchiladas. If I do say so myself, these are pretty darn good!

I need a name for these, since I already have "Vegetarian Enchiladas" and "Garden Veggie Enchiladas" in my recipe book. Suggestions welcomed. There are some notes on the recipe at the end of this post, including a revved-up version of my Salsa Verde. Enjoy!

Vegetarian Enchiladas

2 sweet potatos
3 medium zucchini
1 jicama
sliced black olives
4 cups shredded cheese (colby, jack, cheddar, whatever)
24 corn tortillas
3 cups salsa verde

Peel the sweet potato, quarter and steam until tender (15-20 minutes). Chop into bite-size pieces and then set aside.
Slice the zucchini in half the long way, then again to make quarters. Cut into 1/2" long pieces. Steam until tender (about 10 minutes). Set aside when done.
Peel and dice the jicama. You want about a cup and a half to two cups of diced jicama. Steam it for about 15 minutes (it stays crunchy when cooked).

Toss the veggies together in a bowl. You can leave them plain, or sprinkle with 1/2 tsp of cinnamon.

Wrap a stack of corn tortillas in a slightly damp paper towel and microwave for 2 minutes at 50% power. When those are warmed, microwave the salsa verde until it's warm as well. Pour some into a wide shallow bowl.

Spray a 9"x13" baking dish with no-stick, open the cheese and your enchilada assembly line is ready to go.

(The nice thing about enchiladas is that if they fall apart while you're putting them together, you can just layer the ingredients in the pan and call it enchilada casserole.)

Dip a tortilla into the bowl of salsa, both sides (the warmed tortilla and salsa help keep it from tearing or breaking apart). Spread about 1/4 cup of filling down the middle of the tortilla, then a good pinch of cheese. Roll both ends over the top, then transfer to the baking dish, folded side down.

Keep making them until you run out of tortillas or filling or pans. Evenly pour the rest of the salsa verde over the enchiladas, then spread the rest of the cheese, and then garnish with sliced black olives.

Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees, then remove the foil and keep baking until cheese is melted and bubbly.

If you can't find jicama (HEE-cah-mah) in the produce section, you can substitute diced or sliced water chestnuts. Or try a hispanic market. Leftover jicama can be eaten raw, and it adds a great crunch to salads, or serve it in sticks on a veggie tray with dip.

This recipe makes a lot (two 9x13's worth)! You can cut it in half, or juggle the proportions of veggies. The sweet potato balances the natural 'sour' of the tomatillo based salsa verde and white cheeses.

As presented, the dish gets all of it's heat from the salsa verde. Seed and chop a hot pepper or two into the veggie mix if you want.

Ted's Revved-Up Salsa Verde

My family preferes mild to wild, so there's always room to spice up my recipes to taste.

1lb Tomatillos
1 Jalepeno chilie, roasted, seeded and chopped
2 Poblano chilies, roasted, seeded and chopped
2 Green chilies (the kind used for chilies relleno), roasted, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup onion - chopped
2 cloves garlic - minced
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp oregano

Turn the flame on your gas stove to medium high. Put the chilies on the burner rack in the flame and let char, rotating them with tongs so that they blacken evenly.

When completely charred, lay one in your palm on a paper towel (careful, they are hot!) and use another paper towel to wipe away the charred skin. Do all of the chilies, putting them into a small bowl with a lid to steam themselves for about 20 minutes.

Slice the chilies lengthwise, then remove the stem and seeds. Chop the remainder and set aside.

Remove the husk from the tomatillos and wash. Slice the tomatillos into wedges. In saucepan combine everything, including the chilies and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

I like my salsa chunky, so I use a pastry cutter to break it up a little bit in the pan instead of putting it into a blender.

This recipe makes for heat about like medium salsa.

Posted by Ted at November 24, 2004 05:28 AM
Category: Recipes

I'd call 'em "Veggie Patch" enchiladas, after my liberation/exile from that island of joy. ;)

Posted by: dawn at November 29, 2004 10:53 PM
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