Thursday, February 11, 2010

Tomatillo-Sauced Enchiladas with Spinach and Mushrooms

So my best friend and I are a bit obsessed with Rick Bayless' Mexican Everyday cook book.  Each week we are always calling each other talking about what recipes we have tried.  A couple weeks ago I made Tomatillo-Sauced Enchiladas with Spinach and Mushrooms, and the best part is definitely the tomatillo sauce.  Thankfully, I had plenty of sauce left over from the enchiladas, so throughout the week I was making scrambled egg tacos and huevos rancheros.

Here are the ingredients for Rick Bayless' Tomatillo-Sauced Enchiladas with Spinach and Mushrooms from Mexican Everyday (Serves 4):
-3 cloves garlic, peeled
-Fresh hot green chiles to taste, stemmed and quartered (1 jalapeno or 2 serranos are suggested)
-1 1/2 pounds (10 to 12 medium) tomatillos, husked, rinsed and cut into quarters
-1/4 cup (loosely packed) roughly chopped cilantro, plus a few extra sprigs for garnish
-3 tablespoons vegetable oil or bacon drippings, plus more for the tortillas
-2 cups chicken broth (I used vegetable broth)
-8 ounces mushrooms (button, oyster or shiitake are good), stemmed and sliced
-1 large red onion, thinly sliced
-10 ounces (about 10 cups) spinach, stems removed*
-1 cup (about 4 ounces) shredded cooked chicken (about one-quarter of a large rotisserie chicken) or cubed ham (optional)
-12 corn tortillas, preferably store-bought
-3 tablespoons Mexican crema, sour cream, heavy cream or creme fraiche
-1/2 teaspoon sugar (optional)
-1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled Mexican queso fresco or other cheese such as feta or goat cheese

*Note: I used twice the amount of spinach the second time I made these enchiladas, which I recommend if you are not adding meat.

To begin, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Husk, rinse, and quarter the tomatillos.
Quarter the chiles and peel the garlic.
With a food processor or blender, finely chop garlic and chile one piece at a time.  Add the tomatillos and cilantro, and process until smooth.
Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add the puree and cook, stirring nearly constantly, until the mixture has reduced to the consistency of thick tomato sauce, about 7 minutes.  Rick notes that the more you cook down the this base, the richer and sweeter the tomatillo sauce will be.
Add the broth and simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes to blend the flavors.
While the sauce is simmering, heat the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil in a very large (12-inch) skillet over medium-high and slice the mushrooms.
Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring nearly constantly, for a couple of minutes, until they begin to brown.
Slice the onion and add about three quarters of it to the mushrooms (reserve the rest for garnish) and continue cooking, stirring frequently, for another minute or two, until the onions look translucent.
Add the spinach and optional chicken or ham and cook, stirring constantly, for a minute or so, until the spinach is wilted.  Season with salt, usually a scant teaspoon.  Cover to keep warm.
Lay out the tortillas on a baking sheet and spray or brush lightly on both sides with oil, then stack them in twos.  Place in the oven and bake just enough to make them soft and pliable, about 3 minutes.  Remove from the oven and stack them in a single pile; cover with a kitchen towel to keep warm.
Stir the crema (or stand-in) into the sauce.  Taste and season with salt, usually about 1 teaspoon (add sugar if sauce seems quite tart to you).
Holding a tortilla by one edge, dipping most of it into sauce, then lay it on a plate.
Spoon a heaping 2 tablespoons of filling down the center, roll up and lay seam side down on a dinner plate.
Repeat with 2 more tortillas, arranging them on the same dinner plate.  Cover the enchiladas with 1/4 cup of sauce, sprinkle with a quarter of the crumbled cheese and garnish with some of the resered onion and cilantro sprigs.  Continue to assemble the rest of the enchiladas or save for later.
Eat immediately while still warm and delicious!

Last year around this time I made a delicious quinoa salad, click here for the recipe.

Or if you are looking to make a Valentine's day treat, try some royal icing sugar cookies.  Click here for the recipe.

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