About This Blog

This is, as the title indicates, my kitchen notebook (the header is actually a scanned image of the cover of a notebook that I started using about 25 years ago and the background is a stained page from that book). I am not a professional recipe writer. If you try any recipe here, please keep that in mind, these recipes have not been tested by an independent tester. The "recipes" are often not even really recipes but rather a list of ingredients that I've noted after preparing a dish on the fly that I thought came out well. Perhaps I've also added some instructions, but I rarely keep accurate track of what I've done in terms of time or temperature, I've just noted to the best of my memory (feeble) what I did.

Please feel free to take some inspiration from here, but on the other hand, please give credit where it is due. I also welcome any constructive comments that you might have if you are inspired to try a recipe. Questions are welcome, but keep in mind that I may not remember specifics. The dishes do evolve over time...

Thank you and enjoy!

Thanksgiving 2011 Turkey Enchiladas

It is part of the annual post-Thanksgiving feast ritual - Turkey Enchiladas - and they are never the same twice, nor are they ever "authentic", I'm not an expert on Mexican or TexMex cuisine. This year they came out great so I'm going to try to remember what I put into them, other than Turkey.

The Sauce (makes more than what you need for one batch of enchiladas, enough for a double batch):
3 fresh roasted Big Jim chiles (could have used more, they weren't as spicy as I thought)
1/4 of a huge sweet yellow onion, cut in slivers with the root end attached, seared in a dry skillet
2 cups of roasted tomatillos from my stash in the freezer, thawed
a handful (1/4 cup?) of roasted salted pepitas
Turkey broth, about 1 cup
a big dab of bacon fat, but olive oil would be just as good
ground cumin, at least a teaspoon, perhaps more
a large pinch of dried wild oregano, crushed

Whirl the chiles, onion (root end removed), tomatillos, and pepitas in a blender (love my VitaMix!) to make a puree, don't over mix. Heat the bacon fat in a skillet (medium heat?), add the cumin and let it sizzle a bit, pour in the chile-onion-tomatillo puree and stir to mix. Rinse out the blender jar with some of the turkey broth and pour it into the skillet, add more turkey broth - total of about 1 cup of broth. Add the dried oregano to the sauce and simmer the sauce until it thickens. Set aside.

The Filling:
Olive oil as needed
2 fresh Big Jim chiles (not roasted), seeded and cut into slivers
another 1/4 of that huge sweet yellow onion, cut into slivers
salt and pepper to taste
about 2 to 3 cups of chopped roasted turkey, light and dark meat (a cereal bowl full, the cream and green ones, sorry, a personal reminder that's useless to anyone else)

Heat some olive oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat, add the chiles and onions, sprinkle with some salt and stir, cooking for a minute or so. Turn the heat down to medium-low, cover the pan, and let the vegetables sweat, stirring every once in a while. Continue to cook the vegetables, covered, stirring occasionally, until they are softened and starting to brown. Turn the heat off, add the turkey and season with fresh ground black pepper, stir together and set aside.

To assemble the enchiladas:
Turkey broth, about 1 cup
2 tablespoons of the sauce
8 corn tortillas (6-inches)
chopped fresh cilantro, a couple of tablespoons or so, to your taste
Taleggio cheese, or another soft melting cheese of your choice, fontina or jack cheese is good

Heat the turkey broth and 2 tablespoons of the sauce in a very small skillet over low heat. Smear a few tablespoons of the sauce into the bottom of a baking dish, my old 6x10x1.75 inch pyrex baking dish is the perfect size. Working with one tortilla at a time, submerge the tortilla into the broth, turning it a few times, I found that 6 turns was about right, the broth shouldn't be so hot that you can't carefully dip the tortillas with your fingers. Lay the softened tortilla, on a work surface or plate, place a few tablespoons of the filling across the center of the tortilla, and roll it up into a cylinder and place it in the baking dish, seam side down. Continue with the rest of the tortillas and filling until the pan is full. Any leftover filling can be scattered over the top.

Add about a cup of the sauce to the skillet with whatever broth remains in it and simmer until it thickens to a consistency that you like. Stir in the chopped cilantro. Pour the warm sauce evenly over the enchiladas, top with grated cheese, about 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup, or to your liking. Bake in a 350°F preheated oven until bubbling around the edges and just starting to brown on top, about 1/2 hour with convection. I held it in the oven for another 15 minutes at 200°F with the convection off.

Serves 3 or 4.

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