Friday, May 14, 2010

Daring Cooks Challenge – Stacked Enchiladas

Our hosts this month, Barbara of Barbara Bakes and Bunnee of Anna+Food have chosen a delicious Stacked Green Chile & Grilled Chicken Enchilada recipe in celebration of Cinco de Mayo! The recipe, featuring a homemade enchilada sauce was found on and written by Robb Walsh.

The required part of this challenge was to make a green sauce for enchiladas using tomatillos and roasted chiles. Fortunately for me, I had some Hatch chiles I had roasted, chopped, and frozen last summer.

AND I have tomatillos year round at my neighborhood market. Some cooks were stumped by tomatillos, so if you are not familiar, tomatillos look like green tomatoes with a sticky paper over the skin. It’s hard to describe their flavor, but they taste rather green and definitely enhance Mexican style dishes.

I just boiled my tomatillos to soften them, then pureed them in my food processor. The finished sauce was beautiful.

These enchiladas were not served Cinco de Mayo, but were a gift to my mom on Mother’s Day; hence, the to-go container. This was also more of casserole than a stack. Here’s the first layer.

Since this dish was for my mom, I used real chicken and real cheese. I bought prepared chicken breasts because I don’t remember how to cook chicken, which I shredded. (I would have used mushrooms if I had made a vegan version.) Here’s the completed casserole.

I baked it for about 25 minutes.

Sorry I don’t have a picture of the enchiladas plated. My mom said the sauce was fantastic and enjoyed her casserole very much. Here’s the recipe for the wonderful sauce. It’s naturally vegan, using veggie broth instead of chicken broth.

Green Chile Sauce for Enchiladas

1½ pounds Fresh Anaheim chiles (about eight 6 to 8 inch chiles) 24 ounces 678 grams - roast, peel, remove seeds, chop coarsely. I used Hatch chiles, but poblanos would work well too.
7-8 ounces Tomatillos (about 4-5 medium) 212 grams - peel, remove stems
4 cups broth (32 ounces/920 grams)
1 clove Garlic, minced
½ tsp Kosher salt (add more to taste)
¼ tsp Black Pepper (add more to taste)
2 tablespoons Cornstarch (dissolve in 2 tablespoons water, for thickening)
Hot sauce, your favorite, optional

Roasting Fresh Chiles
1. Coat each chile with a little vegetable oil. If you are doing only a couple chiles, using the gas stove works. For larger batches (as in this recipe), grilling or broiling is faster.
2. Lay the oiled chiles on the grill or baking sheet (line pan with foil for simpler clean-up). Place the grill or broil close to the element, turning the chiles so they char evenly. They should be black and blistered.
3. As they are completely charred (they will probably not all be done at once), remove them to a bowl and cover with plastic, or close up in a paper bag. Let them rest until they are cool.
4. Pull on the stem and the seed core MAY pop out (it rarely does for me). Open the chile and remove the seeds. Turn the chile skin side up and with a paring knife, scrape away the skin. Sometimes it just pulls right off, sometimes you really have to scrape it.
Green Chile Sauce
1. Put a medium saucepan of water on to boil and remove the papery outer skin from the tomatillos. Boil the tomatillos until soft, 5 to 10 minutes. You can also grill the tomatillos until soft.
2. Drain and puree in a blender or food processor.
3. Return the tomatillos to the saucepan along with the chicken broth, chopped green chiles, minced onion, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper.
4. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
5. Add the cornstarch/water mixture and stir well. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened and reduced to 4-5 cups, another 10-15 minutes.
6. Adjust seasonings and add hot sauce if you want a little more heat.