Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Enchiladas with Creamy Roasted Poblano and Spinach Sauce

These were the best enchiladas I've ever tasted! The creamy roasted poblano and spinach enchilada sauce is what really puts them over the top.  I will be making this sauce all the time. It's also wonderful as a dip with tortilla chips.  I found the recipe here while I was looking for a recipe to use up some spinach and poblanos I had in the fridge.  The original recipe calls for 3 cups of chicken, and I used diced roasted sweet potatoes instead of chicken and also made some with just cheese and they were both amazing!

Enchiladas with Creamy Roasted Poblano and Spinach Sauce
Enchiladas Especiales Tacuba Style
adapted from Rick Bayless's website, originally from Cafe Tacuba

2 fresh poblano chile
1 cup (lightly packed) roughly chopped spinach leaves
2 cups milk
2 cups chicken broth ( I used vegetable broth)
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) butter—or you can use vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped (I used roasted garlic)
1/2 cup flour
3 cups coarsely shredded cooked chicken (rotisserie chicken or leftover grilled chicken) (I used roasted sweet potato cubes in some and cheddar and colby jack cheese in some instead of the chicken, use whatever you like :) )
12 corn tortillas (I made homemade tortillas for these, totally worth the extra effort)
A little vegetable oil for brushing or spraying
About 1 cup Mexican melting cheese (Chihuahua, quesadilla, asadero or the like) or Monterey Jack, brick or mild cheddar
A little chopped cilantro for garnish

1. Make the sauce. Roast the poblanos directly over a gas flame...

or on a baking sheet 4 inches below a very hot broiler, turning regularly, until the skins have blistered and blackened on all side, about 5 minutes for an open flame, about 10 minutes under the broiler.

Place in a bowl, cover with a kitchen towel (paper towel worked fine) and, when handleable, rub off the blackened skin, tear open and pull out the seed pod and stem. Quickly rinse to remove any stray seeds or bits of skin.

Roughly chop and put in a blender jar. Add the spinach.

In a medium (3-quart) saucepan, combine the milk and broth, set over medium-low heat to warm. (I just warmed these in the microwave)

In a large (4-quart) saucepan, melt the butter (or heat the oil) over medium. Add the garlic (I used about half a head of roasted garlic) and cook for a minute to release its aroma, then add the flour and stir the mixture for a minute. Raise the heat to medium-high. Pour in the warm broth mixture and whisk constantly until the sauce boils. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Pour half the hot sauce into the blender with the chiles and spinach.

Cover loosely (I remove the center part of the lid, secure the lid, then drape a cloth over the whole thing) and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining sauce.

Taste and season with salt, usually about 2 teaspoons.  (I started with one and tasted from there, 2 seems like a little too much.)

2. Finish the enchiladas. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Smear about 1/4 cup of the sauce over the bottom of each of four to six 9-inch individual ovenproof baking/serving dishes or smear about 1 cup of the sauce over the bottom of a 13x9-inch baking dish. Stir 1 cup of the sauce into the chicken (sweet potatoes, for just cheese enchiladas I did not add extra sauce to the cheese, just rolled them up with cheese only and did sauce on top).

Lay half of the tortillas out on a baking sheet and lightly brush or spray both sides of the tortillas with oil; top each tortilla with another one and brush or spray those with oil. Bake just to warm through and soften, about 3 minutes. Stack the tortillas and cover with a towel to keep warm.

Working quickly so that the tortillas stay hot and pliable, roll a portion of the chicken up in each tortilla, then line them all up in the baking dish(es).

Douse evenly with the remaining sauce and sprinkle with the cheese. Bake until the enchiladas are hot through (the cheese will have begun to brown), about 20 minutes. Garnish with the cilantro and serve without hesitation.


I thought these were absolutely wonderful!  The homemade corn tortillas were amazing in this recipe. I used Rick's recipe for them using just Maseca and water and my new tortilla press and was so impressed. I usually prefer flour tortillas over corn, but these were just perfect for soaking in that delicious sauce and sopping it up. They did not get mushy like store bought corn tortillas and had a really nice toothsome texture after baking. So delicious!  I loved the gorgeous green color of the sauce before baking, it was so pretty. It darkened up a bit while baking but I just couldn't get over that soft mint almost seafoam green color.

Unfortunately my kids and picky husband wanted nothing to do with this dinner, not even the cheese ones, I was kind of anticipating that so made them something else instead as an option. Maybe next time I make these they will give them a try. I think if you took just one taste of this luscious sauce you would be a fan for sure :) Since I am the only enchilada fan I am linking these over to IHCC for their theme of the week, For Mom.  

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Old Fashioned Buttermilk Pancakes

I found this recipe in one of my older cookbooks, Better Homes and Gardens Bread Cookbook from 1963.

I love these retro / vintage cookbooks and have fun paging through them and trying a recipe that may have been a favorite back in the day. 

I made these one weekend morning when I wanted to try a new pancake recipe, they seemed simple enough that even picky husband, a pancake traditionalist, might like them.

Best Buttermilk Pancakes
Better Homes and Gardens Bread Cookbook

2 cups sifted all purpose flour
1 teaspoon soda (baking soda)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 slightly beaten eggs
2 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons melted butter

Sift flour, soda, salt, and sugar into bowl. Add eggs, buttermilk, and melted butter, stirring only until flour is barely moistened. (There will be a few lumps.)  I'm going to add to just make sure they aren't big lumps, I like to whisk everything together pretty well so there are no flour clumps in pancakes, haven't had that issue with this recipe, but have in the past with recipes that say to barely stir anything.

Bake on hot, lightly greased griddle or electric skilled heated to 375 degrees. For uniform pancakes, use a 1/4 cup measure - or use a drip-cup pitcher and count 1-2-3 as you pour.

Turn cakes when center springs back to touch, or when bubbles on surface break. Flip cakes only once. Makes about 1 and 1/2 dozen 4 inch cakes. I made them a little bigger and got a good dozen.


These were great, they definitely had that old fashioned buttermilk tang that lots of pancakes nowadays miss. I love trying pancake recipes and  do have a favorite non buttermilk pancake recipe that I've perfected over the years to my family's tastes but this is now my go-to buttermilk pancake recipe.  A nice recipe to have when you find yourself with a half used container of buttermilk on the verge of expiring and want to use it up...

These were absolutely delicious with some butter and grade B maple syrup. The whole family enjoyed them and that always makes me smile! Happy breakfasting :)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Hungarian Strawberry Shortbread

Our Tuesdays with Dorie  treat of the week is Hungarian Shortbread. I had never heard of Hungarian Shortbread before but love shortbread so was excited to give this recipe a try.  

Cookies with jam in them are my favorite kind, and I love making jam, but was unable to find the rhubarb called for. The recipes says that you can also use your favorite flavor or preserves so I went with some homemade strawberry jam.

Hungarian Shortbread uses a technique I'd heard of but never tried myself, grating / shredding frozen dough! I used my salad shooter with the shredding cone, which made this recipe super easy. I couldn't wait to see what it looked like after it baked...

Here it is just out of the oven. I had to add an extra 5 minutes on the baking time because the middle seemed undone at 40, but when it checked it 5 minutes later it looked just right!  These are absolutely delicious and I would make them again for sure! They seem like the perfect bar cookie to take along for a picnic.

And now I have a couple of photos of our last TWD recipe assignment, a lovely Lemon Loaf Cake...

I baked along with everyone two weeks ago but just didn't have the time to post on time so thought I'd save my pictures and put them up with the Hungarian Shortbread.

I love lemon loaf and this one was pretty yummy! The kids enjoyed this one as well.  And now one last photo to share, an inside shot of my Mushroom Pizza Rustica that we made a month ago. When I blogged about the recipe I didn't have any photos of a slice of it showing the filling. I took this photo of the leftovers the next day and it had been sitting in my "Cooking Photos" folder of pictures for the last month, so I thought I'd share that one this week too.  Thanks for visiting -- happy baking, everyone :)

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