Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Veggie Enchiladas

*** We regret to inform you that the accompanying picture has been confiscated by the Shitty Photo Police. There's some wonky lighting coming in at Chez T. this time of the year; this dish deserves better than your standard TKW crap photo. Sincerely, The Management. ***

Okay, people, let's talk comfort food! I could go on and on for days about comfort food, and how sometimes we just need it, and how sometimes you just need to eat it IN your bed, even if that's a little icky, and how your choice of comfort food says a lot about you...but I won't bore you with the details.

I will, however, share with you my Top 5 Go-To Comfort Foods and hope you will do so as well in the comments section. I love hearing what people eat...I'm a freak like that.

Now any of you readers who've been around here a while know my #1 comfort food (and yes, it's shameful), but here's the rest of the list:

TKW's 5 Go-To Comfort Foods

5. A bowl of Mama's Creamed Potatoes (recipe forthcoming)
4. The grilled cheese sandwich of my youth: sturdy white bread, Velveeta cheese (I know, I know!) and lots of butter.
3. Chicken a'la King on rice (not potatoes, not toast, not those patty shell thingy's...it must be rice)
2. A rather runny poached egg on toast, cut up and mixed together so everything is salty and a little gummy and just slightly crunchy from the toast.
1. An enormous bowl of Uncle Ben's Converted Rice, buttered and salted to death. This is the one I need to eat in bed.

A quick scan of this list proves several things:

~I am Carb Queen!!!! Me lovva da carbs. Alas, da carbs don'ta lovva my ass.
~Much to my husband's horror, when the chips are down, I love creamy food.
~I am wicked lucky to have low blood pressure, because I think I need to install a personal salt lick in my home.

My husband's list involves (like most people on Lipitor) lots of fried food. But his #1 comfort food, being a Texas-raised boy, is enchiladas.

But not the mild, sour-cream covered jobbers you see so many recipes for; sour cream is hubby's Waterloo.

My boy likes spicy, non-creamy, enchiladas....the rolled kind, not the casserole-type enchiladas that are layered like a lasagna.

Which happen to be a pain in the ass to make, so he rarely gets them.

However, when I, The Cookbook Whore, caved and bought the new Gourmet cookbook a couple of weeks ago, I saw a recipe that just screamed HUBS! Well, with one small teeensy deviation. So I put on my big-girl apron and made a batch, using some roasted Hatch chiles I'd scored at the Farmer's Market.


These were smoky and spicy and cheesy and absolute heaven. And unlike many things, totally worth the effort. And yes, that effort took about 2 hours, but once in a while, you gotta spoil the ones you love.

Vegetable Enchiladas with Creamy Poblano Sauce
serves 4-6

For Sauce:

3 poblano chiles, roasted and peeled
1/2 cup chopped white onion
1 large garlic clove
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 1/4 cups water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, preferably corn oil
1 cup Mexican crema or creme fraiche***

For Filling:

3 tablespoons vegetable oil, preferably corn oil
1 cup chopped white onion
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups corn kernels (from 2-3) or 1 (10-ounce) package frozen corn
1 pound zucchini (3 medium) cut into 1/3-inch dice
1 (14-to-15-ounce) can whole tomatoes in juice, drained, juice reserved, and chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons chopped jalapeno chile, including seeds, or to taste

For Enchiladas:

3 tablespoons vegetable oil, preferably corn oil
12 (6-to-7-inch) corn tortillas
1/4 pound Monterey Jack cheese, coarsely grated (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons Mexican crema or creme fraiche
2 tablespoons water

Make the Sauce: Open roasted chiles and spread flat; discard seeds and stems and cut out ribs. Coarsely chop chiles. Combine chiles, garlic, onion, salt and water in a blender and puree until smooth.

Heat oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Carefully add sauce (it will spatter) and cook, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, about 8 minutes. Stir in crema and remove from heat. **Because hubs is leery of creamy food, I only stirred in 1/4 cup creme fraiche. Worked fine.

Make the Filling: Heat the oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Add onion, garlic and salt and cook, stirring, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in corn and zucchini and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes. Add tomatoes with juice, cilantro, and jalapeno and cook, uncovered, over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Transfer filling to a large bowl to cool.

Make the Enchiladas: Put a rack in upper third of oven and preheat oven to 450. Lightly oil a 13-by-9-inch baking pan or flameproof baking dish. Line a baking sheet with paper towels.

Reheat sauce over moderately high heat or until warm, if necessary, and transfer to a shallow bowl or pie plate. Add oil to a cleaned 10-inch skillet and heat over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Add 1 tortilla and cook, turning once with tongs, until softened, 4 to 6 seconds. Transfer to paper-towel-lined baking sheet and blot each side. Repeat procedure with remaining tortillas, stacking them once blotted.

Dip 1 tortilla in warm sauce, turning it with your fingers to coat both sides, and transfer to baking dish. Spoon about 1/3 cup filling down middle of tortilla and roll up to enclose filling. Push enchilada to one long side of baking dish; you will be forming 2 rows of 6 enchiladas each. Make more enchiladas in the same manner, arranging them tightly side by side in dish.

Pour remaining sauce over enchiladas and sprinkle with cheese. Stir together crema and water with a fork in a cup and drizzle over top (I omitted this step).

Bake enchiladas, uncovered, until hot and bubbling, about 15 minutes. If desired, brown under broiler 2 to 3 inches from heat, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

I served these with black beans and rice, and boy, were they good. This is definitely a "weekend" recipe--it's not quick, by any stretch. But spicy, gooey and delicious--I mean it!

**Veg Heads (Nap, Kim, Sarah, Jen--this means you!): This recipe is totally Thanksgiving-worthy.


  1. In college, my roommates said they were planning to get me a salt lick for Christmas. It's nice to meet a long-lost sodium sister!

  2. Wow you did a lot of work, nice to know it's worth it. I love the rolled enchiladas with real corn tortillas not flour (which doesn't make them enchiladas then).
    Is there any other way to make a grilled cheese? :)

    I can't believe the photo is that bad...hey I've posted a blurry one. lol!

    Contemp Troub- have you tried some of the finishing salts they have out there? I love topping foods with that! Now it's stylish to top w/salt! Oh, it's devine when you bite into that salt crunch.

  3. I will agree with you on the comfort food 500%! Now I'm hungry!

  4. This sounds absolutely amazing! I'm totally impressed (and a *tiny* bit jealous that you scored hatch chilies!). Okay, top 5 comfort foods...
    5.) Mom's Minestrone Soup
    4.) Annie's White Cheddar Mac & Cheese with fresh cracked pepper on top.
    3.) Pacifica Roasted Red Bell Pepper & Tomato soup spiked with dry sherry and nutmeg with a grilled cheese sandwich made with Tilamook cheddar.
    2.) My Meat-Lovers Lasagna
    1.) Chips and Salsa

    I think this reveals that I am addicted to salt, tomatoes, and cheese....=)

  5. Sounds delicious! And, as always, I LOVE the lead in!

  6. MP: Yeah, I should be?

    Phoo-d: Girl, I love that Pacifica soup, too! I actually came up with a homemade version because I love it so much and it gets expensive! Salt, tomatoes and cheese...yeah, I think I can hang out with you!

    Contemp: Salt addicts, unite!

  7. Well having just made Cheatin' Chicken Cacciatore (yes, the recipe is on my site) - fast, frugal, and suitable for growing teens - I think I need to stick you enchilada recipe in front of said 16-year old who is quite a good cook when he puts his mind to it.

    As for comfort foods... oatmeal, potato leek soup, and bagels (with kegels). It's all about maintaining proper balance, after all.

  8. While my mother was German, my dad was Mexican. I screeched to a half when I saw this recipe. Me, being so freakin' visual, is having to really work at this but I can tell that this is awesome.

  9. Are we long lost sisters??
    Carb lover...check
    Sodium addict..check
    Chicken l'la King..Check!!!!

  10. Leslie: well, my real sister is MIA, so I am definitely open to a subsitute--especially a sodium lover.

    BigLittleWolf: you fucking like oatmeal?? Seriously? I'll sign up for the soup and the bagels, but damn, oatmeal is spackle...

    A Feast: I know, I am so sorry to deprive you of the accompany-ing photo, but it was 7 kinds of shit. And they were soooooo good. How about YOU make them and take pics? You will do 100% better than me :)

  11. Okay, what the hell is a casserole enchilada? Rolled is the only kind I've ever heard of.
    I have to move back to NM to get fresh Hatch. My word, those make anything tasty.
    Comfort foods:
    1. Homemade mac n cheese on sourdough
    2. CheeseBoard cheesy roll
    3. Acme cheese sourdough roll
    (noticing a trend?)
    4. Root beer popsicles, which, as far as I can tell, they don't make anymore.
    5. Burrito with refried beans (I always get whole, but eat-in-bed-mood calls for refried)
    6. Milkshake. ANY flavor.
    7. Homemade veggie chili
    8. Homemade soup

  12. Love carbs and chocolate! Must have in order to stay alive. :)

  13. I'm from Texas too and there better be meat in those enchiladas or I'm not eating them. What's next vegetarian tamales.I love your #2 comfort food, it's one of mine too.

  14. Yes, definitely, you should check out Foodbuzz. You already have a great following, but, hey, what's a few more readers going to hurt? They promote you, too, which is nice and really adds readers. Your writing is too good not to scatter it about, TKW!

  15. My husband and a neighbor of ours talk endlessly about scoring the best chiles...someplace out of New Mexico, I think. If they ever finally get their act together maybe I'll make this recipe for them.

  16. Nap: Root Beer Popsicles? Get outta here!!!!!! If you want, I'll send you my popsicle molds...add some GOOD root beer, like Stewart's, and you'll be good to go?

  17. Ahhh, comfort foods. How I love them. My short list would have to be:

    1 - Frizzled Beef and Macaroni (think homemade Hamburger Helper, but a million times better)

    2 - Pretzels and Cream Cheese

    3 - Cottage Cheese and Cinnamon Toast

    4 - Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

    What can I say, I like my carbs with cheese y'all.

  18. enchiladas are a little bit time-consuming, but i'll be darned if they're not worth it every time. this batch sounds particularly delightful, mostly due to that awesome cream sauce. hooray for comfort food!

  19. How bad can that photo be??
    For comfort food I have a strange one. Fried noodles with swiss cheese melted in. (carb heaven)
    Love the enchilada recipe.

  20. Yum! Sadly, no one in my family will eat enchiladas! Too much sauce for my daughter and too spicy for my husband :(

    But I believe I could polish off this recipe all by myself! :D

  21. Ice cream. Ice Cream. Ice Cream. Ice Cream. Ice Cream. As long as it's some kind of chocolate.

  22. yum, yum, yum, I love mexican food! This sounds lush...but rice - a bowl of rice?! That is unusual! I know others who have said that before but...maybe I am missing something here? Maybe I need to try it...with LOTS of butter...

    For me, give me spag bol everytime! Then poached egg with baked beans on toast... hmmmmmmmmmmm yum!

  23. 5) Hole in the toast (cut hole in toast and fry and egg in it). pan must be smothered in butter for full effect. This was my favorite, "I'm sick" recovery food.
    4)Sushi..weird but true!
    3)Pork chops in Shake-n-Bake...another childhood favorite
    2)Popcorn with butter an parmesean cheese.
    1)Pizza...from anywhere, any time! I swear I could live on it!

  24. Oh my goodness, white rice with lots of butter and salt is my #1 comfort food (followed closely by macaroni with butter and salt). These enchiladas look amazing . . . there just isn't a good place to get a fix for this stuff around Boston . . . so you have to make your own. Thanks for posting!

  25. Score! I am swooning over the thought of these. I absolutely love enchiladas-made the way your hubs likes them also. They are my go to on any quality Mexican menu. These sound divine. Can you just run right over to my house and make them for me? Pretty please? Because the number one rule about comfort food for me is that someone else makes it.

    Comfort foods include my mom's homemade chicken dumpling soup. The dumplings are to die for. Stuffed green peppers. I know, but my grandmother used to make them for me and every fall I have to whip up a big batch that makes my family gag. Our family's chocolate chip cake (you just melt the chips to make the cake chocolatey). That last one is to die for. Oh God-massive craving attack...

  26. I am in heaven with this recipe. Do you think it would serve good as a Christmas dinner? :)

    Comfort food:
    1. grilled cheese, check.
    2. gotta say it, peanut butter sandwich on good wheat bread, BAG OF RIPPLED LAYS ON THE SIDE.
    3. pizza. hot. cold. pizza.
    4. toast. this might be number one. warm, buttered toast.
    5. a loaf of good crusty bread with olive oil, kalamatas, homemade hummus and cheeeeese. DELISH.

    carba queen? oh yeahyeah. and da carba no lika my assa either, tkw.

  27. -Laura, my family always ate stuffed green peppers growing up...ewwww. But maybe I should re-visit them?

    Sarah: It'd be great at Christmas! And mmmmm...buttered toast.

  28. YUM!!
    My comfort foods...too many...Kraft Mac and Cheese....old-fashioned grilled cheese...with tomato soup, of course....mochas/lattes...eggs over easy on toast...do you want me to keep going??

  29. my go-to comfort food is instant ramen...with the styrofoam cup!

  30. Comfort foods for me include anything Italian that also involve pasta (see: my most recent post). Enchiladas are also pretty high on that list too--I don't know why, but coming home and tucking into a few of those on a rainy Thursday (as a precursor to Thursday night TV, of course!) is seriously one of the most soothing rituals in which I take part.

    These, FWIW, look AMAZING, and totally worth the effort to make.

  31. That sounds fantastic. My whole family will love this one.

  32. I don't know, TKW. I'm a cheese enchilada girl myself. Heat the tortilla, smear the sause, handfull of cheese, roll, fill the pan, cover in sause and more cheese, heat in the oven for 15. Yup, simple. And none of those pesky vegetables in the way of the cheese.