Monday, June 4, 2012

Spinach-Poblano Enchiladas with Chicken

I made these enchiladas for the first time a few weeks ago during a personal chef cookdate. They looked so delicious that I just had to create them at home. They were a huge hit! The filling is creamy and flavorful from the smoky roasted poblano peppers, loads of spinach, and Mexican cheese. As fantastic as the filling is, the sauce takes this dish over the top. If you've never made your own enchilada sauce get ready for a real treat! Yes, it takes some time, but it isn't difficult and the results are totally worth it. This sauce starts by roasting tomatoes, onions and garlic then blending the roasted veggies with Mexican chile peppers. Once blended you cook the sauce in a saute pan to bring the flavors together. It is incredible, so deep in flavor from the oven roasting and the authentic chiles. You'll never used canned sauce again! Make a double batch, this sauce would be amazing on any enchilada or other Mexican dish. After the enchiladas are assembled they are smothered in monterey jack cheese and baked until bubbling. Served with rice and guacamole, this is an unforgettable Mexican meal!

Spinach-Poblano Enchildas
A creamy filling topped with a smoky flavorful homemade enchilada sauce, this is my favorite enchilada recipe ever!

Serves 4

1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup half and half
2 roasted poblano chiles, chopped (instructions follow)
1 16 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 large chicken breast, cooked and diced (optional)                                
1/2 cup queso fresco (or other Mexican cheese)                                  
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice                                   
8 6" flour tortillas
2 cups Tomato Chile Sauce, recipe follows
1 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded
2 green onions, sliced, for garnish

Preheat oven to 400°

Saute onion in 2 T. butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, 3 minutes. Add garlic, salt, and pepper; saute 1 minute. Add flour; cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Gradually add half and half, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes.

Add poblano, spinach, and diced chicken; cook 5 minutes.. Stir in crumbled cheese and lime juice.

Assemble enchiladas. Warm tortillas in microwave until flexible (if needed). Spread a thin layer of sauce over the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Dip tortillas in 1 cup chile sauce, fill each with 1/3 cup filling, roll, place in baking dish, and top with 1 cup sauce and shredded cheese. Bake enchiladas for 20 minutes until cheese is bubbling. Garnish with sliced green onions.

To make Roasted Poblano Chiles
, heat oven to broil. Place chiles on a sheet pan close to the broiler, and cook on all sides, turning occasionally, until blackened and blistered all over. Put in a plastic bag and seal. Let stand until cool enough to handle, at least 20 minutes. Remove chiles from the bag and rub to release the skins, discard skins and seeds. Chop chiles for recipe.
Tomato Chile Sauce
1 1/2 cups chicken broth (or water)
2 dried pasilla pepper, seeded*
2 dried guajillo chiles, seeded
2 cups onion, chopped
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 pound roma tomatos, quartered
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Bring broth to a boil.. Pour over chiles in a bowl; let stand 30 minutes, or until soft. Drain; reserve broth.

Combine onions, garlic and tomatoes on a greased sheet pan. Roast in oven for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Combine chiles, roasted tomato mixture, oregano, vinegar, and salt in a food processor; pulse to chop. Add reserved rehyfrating broth to chile mixture; process until smooth.

Heat in a large nonstick over medium heat until hot. Slowly add sauce to pan and fry 1 minute. Reduce heat; simmer 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

*Ingredient note: I found both dried pasilla peppers and dried guajillo chiles at my grocery store near the mushrooms in the produce section. They last forever and you'll use them again to make this sauce!

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