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.  


Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

You are the enchilada queen! They look wonderful, and sweet potatoes are a real favourite in our home.
Great choice!

Anonymous said...

they look great! I love enchiladas.

kitchen flavours said...

You did great substituting the chicken with sweet potatoes! This looks delicious! I can never find Poblano around my area, would love to try making some enchiladas!

Karen said...

This sure does sound good. I'd love the make them. The color of the sauce is just gorgeous!

Heather @girlichef.com said...

Ugh...those look amazing! You need to move next door to me so that I can help you eat all of these glorious things that your hubs won't help you with ;)

Jamie said...

wow! These look fabulous! And I l.o.v.e those baking dishes!

Deb in Hawaii said...

These look fabulous and I love that you used sweet potatoes in them. That sauce is so gorgeously green--definitely going to make it. ;-)

luckybunny said...

I have been eyeing this recipe for a while - roasted poblanos are one of my favorite things and this sounds so awesome. It looks amazing - I'm almost drooling over it! :)

Kim said...

That creamy green poblano sauce is beyond gorgeous! What a beautiful meal.

Anonymous said...

I've had creamy roasted poblano sauce, but not with spinach. The recipes are similar, but not exactly the same. Regardless, I can take one look and know how this tastes!! Brilliant substitution! I'll bet butternut squash would be downright tasty too!! Thanks for sharing...it's a beautiful dish!

Freda Gore said...

Love the addition of sweet potatoes to your recipe. I love anything with sweet potatoes and this is a winner

Heather Blackman said...

Sweet potato burritos are already a household favorite but going the extra step of baking them in this lovely sauce made everybody happy, tiny tots included. (I only added one pepper on their behalf but I think two would have been excellent.) Thanks for another great veg. makeover.

priya said...

looks yummy ... grt

Anonymous said...

These look really really good. I love eating/making enchiladas but never think to do it. Great motivation here!!

BTW can we get MKMW going again?

annymark001 said...

yummmy recipe i vill try..

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