Saturday, July 2, 2011

Potato & Kale Enchiladas w/ Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Pretty much the last thing on earth that I need is another enchilada recipe. We're at the point where we eat enchiladas every few days, the only thing differing week to week is the filling. And yet every time I come across an enchilada recipe - ANY enchilada recipe - I save it in my "to be tested" file. And they pretty much always pass the test, meaning I have about forty billion enchilada recipes saved in my recipe keeper that I keep rotating.

This is the latest one to make the cut and the recipe is from Veganomicon but you can also find it here.

My only complaint is that it is a little time consuming and I suck at rolling enchiladas, especially since I can't find large corn tortillas that don't have an ingredient list that you need to be a chemist to understand. I can't fault the recipe itself for that though.

You start by making your own enchilada chile sauce, which is pretty cool since I'm known to rely on the canned variety for those other forty billion enchilada recipes I spoke of earlier. I didn't have any green chiles, though, so I had to use jalapenos which I'm sure brings the authenticity of my take on this recipe into question but jalapenos are much more accessible in my neighbourhood and it tasted great, so I suppose it doesn't matter.

After the sauce has been sufficiently cooked it takes a trip to the food processor and suddenly looks much more like those canned ench sauces we know and love.

Next comes the filling: boiled potatoes and steamed kale and garlic. You'll notice some potato skins there, even though the recipe wants you to peel the potatoes. I haven't peeled a yellow potato in years - to me it's kind of a waste of time and nutrients - so I mashed them up skins and all and I don't think it hindered the enchiladas deliciousness at all.

Once the veggies are sufficiently cooked, in goes the lime juice, veggie stock and the pepitas (pumpkin seeds)!

Here is where things get a bit sketchy for the patience-challenged like myself. The only corn tortillas I buy are those made by Food for Life. Made of whole kernel corn (unlike those other corn tortillas) their only drawback is that they only come in the 6" and enchiladas are much easier to make with 12" tortillas. Maybe there is someone local that makes whole kernel corn tortillas that I don't know about yet, but until then I have to make my peace with these little guys.

First, you warm the tortilla up so that its nice and bendable, then you smother it in the enchilada sauce and then you fill it with the potato-kale mixture.

I have this problem where I over-fill to the point of sufficient breakage and hole-age, making the dinner presentation a very messy affair.

They look alright though, all things considering.

I had a ton of leftover filling and I refuse to waste perfectly good kale - so I just poured it over top of the rolled enchiladas and then topped them off with the remaining enchilada sauce.

Like all great things, this recipe requires work and isn't something I'd really attempt on a busy weeknight, however it's almost more flavourful as leftovers so you can feel free to make it in advance and then toss it back in the oven to warm through, just before dinner.


Babette said...

This must be my favorite - well, one of my favorite recipes - from Veganomicon. I've made it several times and it is always yummy. I'd be curious to try other recipes though, because I've never eaten enchiladas except from that recipe. I don't peel the potatoes either, for the same reason. Plus I love the texture of the peels.

Bliss Doubt said...

You know, in New Mexico and Arizona they don't bother with rolling. They stack the tortillas in the baking dish, with a little sauce on the bottom, sauce and filling between the layers, sauce on top.

I read the sauce recipe though. All sounds good, except to a Texan, sugar in enchilada sauce, ew.

Mary said...

Babette - If you check through the "veganomicon" tag you can see which recipes I tried that were hits and misses, might be helpful with selecting in the future. I know I find that useful when picking out recipes because there are just so many of them!

Bliss - How do you guys make ench sauce from scratch? I'd love to know! I think I need to take a trip down south and see all that there is to offer because TexMex/Southwestern is my most favourite "genre" of food :)

Ginny said...

I love enchiladas and I'll definitely try your recipe this week. Thanks so much for posting this!

Bliss Doubt said...

Mary, I am so honored to give you a traditional san antonio chile recipe, which I learned by watching my grandma. Of course, she used meat. I've run through the old recipe and put in vegan substitutes as best I can. I must say, honestly, that I have not made this since I stopped eating meatz, so this veganized version is untested. It's the making of the chile pulp that's everything. From there you can do anything with it, Mexican, Indian, whatever.

Rinse several large red dried chile peppers, split them open and remove seeds. These are the big ones piled in the produce section. Don't use dried jalapenos (chipotles) for this part.

Boil water in a saucepan, remove from heat and add the chiles. Soak until they are swollen, soft and pulpy. Drain the chiles and pull off the stems. Press the chiles through a china cap sieve into a bowl. Discard the soaking water, and the seeds and skin left in the sieve. You want pure red pulp.

Brown your tofu or mushrooms or hominy, or plain seitan, or whatever you want for your vegan bowl, with plenty of salt and pepper. When nearly done, add one tablespoon of cumin just to toast it, a heaping tablespoon finely chopped garlic, and the chile pulp, one or two heaping tablespoons per pound of unmeat, being extra careful not to burn the cumin and chile. You can add a pinch of dried or fresh Mexican oregano too, not too much (it is an ingredient in many commercial chile powders). A lot of old recipes also call for a tablespoon of paprika, but I feel this is not an authentic ingredient. Maybe I'm wrong.

Add lots of homemade veg stock and cook 3-4 hours until the chile thickens and tastes right. Check to see if more salt is needed. In the last hour of cooking, drop in some whole washed jalapenos, optional. In the last half hour of cooking you can enhance the thickness by adding a little slurry of flour-water or masa-water. This is traditional, but should not substitute for cooking the chile long enough to flavor every shred of of your unmeat. You may see some oil on top, which is actually chile oil, raging hot. Skim it off.

You can use this chile to make enchiladas. Spread a little chile in the bottom of a baking dish. Take fresh corn tortillas and pass over an oily griddle to soften. Dip each tortilla in chile and lay it on a plate. Place a line of grated vegan cheese and chopped onion down the middle, roll and place in baking dish, seam side down. When all are rolled and in place, top with more chile, and grated uncheese. Bake at 350 until the uncheese is melted and the enchiladas are starting to bubble and sizzle.

Mary said...

Bliss - WOW! Thanks so much for taking the time to type that out for me. I will for sure try it soon! :)

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