When my mom came to visit recently I wanted to make her a Mexican dish with tomatillo sauce– we both LOVE it!! This is a wonderful vegetarian dish from Rick Bayless’ book Fiesta at Rick’s: Fabulous Food for Great Times with Friends. It is loaded with vegetables- I used chayote squash, kohlrabi, carrots, mushrooms, and red onion in the enchiladas. Turnips and butternut squash are also suggested in the recipe as they have equivalent roasting times. Any vegetable could be used (zucchini, broccoli, asparagus…) but the roasting time would need to be shortened. The finished dish had a spicy kick even though I seeded the jalapeño – the creme fraiche in the sauce reduces that heat a little. (I love spicy food!) We ate the enchiladas with brown basmati rice on the side.
- 1 pound (6 to 8) tomatillos, husked and rinsed
- 1 medium white onion, sliced about 1/4-inch thick
- 3 garlic cloves
- Fresh hot green chiles to taste (1-2 jalapeños or 2-3 serranos) (I used 2 seeded jalapeños), stemmed
- 1 1/2 T vegetable oil, plus extra for roasting the vegetables and spraying the tortillas
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock, plus extra if needed
- 1/2 cup creme fraiche
- 8 cups cubed vegetables (about 1/2-inch cubes) (I used chayote, carrots, red onion, mushrooms, & kohlrabi)
- coarse salt
- 12 corn tortillas
- 2/3 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- a few sliced rounds of white onion, separated into rings, for garnish, if desired
- fresh cilantro sprigs, for garnish
Make the Sauce:
- Roast the tomatillos, sliced onion, peeled garlic and chiles on a rimmed baking sheet 4 inches below a hot broiler until the tomatillos are soft and blotchy black on one side, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn everything over and roast the other side. Remove and reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees.
- Scrape the tomatillo mixture into a food processor. Process to a smooth puree.
- Heat the 1 1/2 T oil in a medium-large (4 to 5 quart) pot over medium-high. When the oil is hot enough to make a drop of the puree sizzle, add the puree all at once. Stir nearly constantly for several minutes until darker and thicker.
- Add the broth and the creme fraiche, reduce the heat to medium-low, partially cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.
Roast the Vegetables:
- Spread the cubed vegetables on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle or spritz with oil, sprinkle with salt and stir to coat evenly.
- Roast, stirring regularly, until the carrots are crunchy-tender, about 25 minutes.
Finish the Sauce, Heat the Tortillas:
- If the sauce has thickened beyond the consistency of a light cream soup, stir in a little more broth (or water). Taste and season with salt, usually about 1 teaspoon.
- Lightly brush or spray both sides of each tortilla with oil. Cover with a damp paper towel and plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 1 minute to soften.
Finish the Enchiladas:
- Smear 1 cup of the sauce over the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
- Working quickly so the tortillas stay hot and pliable, roll a portion of the roasted vegetables into each tortilla, then line them all up in the baking dish.
- Douse evenly with the remaining sauce, then sprinkle with the cheese.
- Bake until the enchiladas are heated through and the cheese has begun to brown, about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Garnish with onion rings and cilantro sprigs, if desired. These are best served piping hot from the oven.