Enchiladas a Hundred Ways: Recipe 1

I have been making enchiladas for years and enjoy it. It’s always a favorite, but the irony is that my “world renowned enchiladas” change with each time I make it. Some are green, most are red. Some are vegetarian, often they have chicken. So, here’s the start of cataloging of all my variations.

This is Kale Enchiladas in Green Sauce. This recipe is vegetarian.

The Upshot

Lots of autumn in this recipe. It’s hearty and flavorful. The sauce came out somewhat thick, so I added about 2 Tblsp of water per cup of sauce as I used it both for heating tortillas and covering the dish.

The Recipe

¾ pound tomatillos (about a dozen medium ones)
4 mild green Anaheim peppers
3 spicy green Serano peppers
4 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup chopped onion
1 medium shallot
1/3 cup cilantro
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large bundle kale (about 1 pound), chiffonade
½ pound Colby-Jack cheese
12-14 corn tortillas

Preheat the oven to 350°.

To make the sauce, blanch tomatillos in boiling water, about 5 minutes, until green but don’t let them lose color. Put into a food processor with peppers, garlic, oil, onion, shallot, cilantro and spices. Process until smooth.

For the filling, saute the onion in a large pan over low heat until translucent. Add garlic and cover the pan; let cook for about 30 seconds, or until the garlic is fragrant. Add the kale, cover and cook until the kale it reduced to about 1/3 original size. Let cool.

In a small sauce pan, about the diameter of your tortillas, heat the sauce a cup at a time, or enough to fill the pan to one inch. Keep the flame low and bring it up to warm, but below a simmer (you don’t want to burn your fingers). Place a tortilla in the pan, buried in the sauce and let cook for a couple minutes. You want the tortilla to soften enough to roll, but not so much that it falls apart. (Fortunately, tortillas come in packs of 24 or 30 or 100.) When the tortilla is soft, remove from pan and place into a 9×13 baking dish. Immediately start another tortilla in the pan. Place a generous handful of kale filling in the middle of the tortilla, spread into a line from one side to another (make sure you get some onions in each). Add a small pinch of cheese. Roll the tortilla until it’s wrapped itself and push to the edge of the pan.

Repeat this with the next tortilla, pushing up against the one previous one in the pan. My preferred pan fits two rows of 6 tortillas perfectly. Feel free to move and adjust the tortillas to get as many enchiladas in the baking dish as you can.

When the baking dish in packed, pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas, being sure to cover the edges. The tortilla edges that are rolled to the top may burn or dry out when cooked if they don’t have some sauce on them. Spread the rest of the cheese on top, adding more if desired.

Put the enchiladas in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes. The cheese should be melted, the filling should be hot, but you don’t want to dry them out.

Serves 6.

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