feasting at home: Creamy Poblano Enchiladas

February 19, 2013

Creamy Poblano Enchiladas





Roasted Poblano Enchiladas are a delicious twist on the traditional. The velvety poblano cream sauce is rich in flavor with a subtle enticing heat.  The sauce alone will make you swoon. The secret to this sauce is through fire roasting poblano peppers, which is easier than it seems. The enchiladas can be made two ways:  with chicken as a filling, or a for unique and tasty vegetarian option, with roasted cauliflower. I love them both equally. Lime zest, queso fresco cheese, fresh cilantro, cumin and coriander give the filling a nice burst of flavor, and these could easily be made gluten free (see recipe below). 



Roasting poblanos ( or any pepper) can be done a couple different ways. If you have a gas stove top, place directly over a medium low flame, turning often, for about 5 minutes until blistered and blackened. Or, you can roast in your oven on broil... until they they blister, about 10- 15minutes.  If you don't have a broil setting, you can still roast in a very hot oven, but it will take a little longer for skins to blister. 



Once poblano's are charred, place them in a bowl with a towel to cover them until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Rinse under water to remove all the charred skin, core and seeds. Finely dice them.

To save a step, you could used canned green chiles instead. They will still taste good, but these fresh poblanos incorporated into the sauce actaully make me swoon, they are that good.




Today I made half the enchiladas vegetarian using roasted cauliflower. The other half were made with shredded chicken. Here is the cauliflower filling....




Feel free to play around with the filling if you like by adding sautéed mushrooms, onions, spinach or arugula.  Basically you need about 2 1/2 -3 cups filling, to make 10-12 enchiladas. 



If making this with chicken, use left over roasted chicken or try this easy way to cook chicken for shredding. Coat chicken generously with olive oil, a sprinkle of salt and pepper and place in 400 F oven for 20- 25 minutes or until internal temp reaches 165F. Let cool and shred with two forks.  Chicken will remain really moist.




Here is the chicken filling...



Place a little poblano cream sauce in the baking pan first....just enough to coat the bottom.
If your tortillas are not soft and pliable, which is often the case with 100 % corn tortillas, you could place them them in a microwave covered for a few seconds. Or spray with cooking spray and spread on a sheet pan and place in a warm oven for a few minutes. Or lightly sear each one in a skillet.

For this recipe, I used an 8 inch tortilla that was half corn/half flour and they were very pliable, so no need to soften them.




Place enchiladas seam side down.



A little tip....
if you like your enchiladas a little crispy like I do,  brush with a little olive oil and place in the oven before putting the sauce on top. Bake for 10 minutes. Then add the sauce over the crispy enchiladas and finish baking.












Another way to serve enchiladas are in individual baking dishes.






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Creamy Poblano Enchiladas



print recipe

Creamy Poblano Enchiladas with Chicken ( or Cauliflower)
Ingredients:

Filling ingredients:
2 cups shredded chicken ( or 2 cups roasted cauliflower- about 1 head)
12 oz Queso fresco cheese, divided ( or shredded mozzarella cheese)
Note: Cotija cheese, a mexican style cheese is much more salty than queso fresco, so make sure to use queso fresco, not cotija....the packages look similar, but there is a big difference.
1/4-1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
cracked pepper
lime zest from 1/2 a lime
1 fresh poblano chile's (or 1 small can green chile's), roasted and finely chopped.
1/3 C chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1 cup diced sauted onion (optional)
you can add other things too...sauted spinach, mushrooms, kale, arugula...
1 C poblano Cream sauce


Poblano Sauce Ingredients:
1 fresh poblano chili roasted and finely chopped 
 (or 1 small can green chile's)
3 T butter
3 T flour ( or rice flour)
3 Cups hot chicken stock (or veggie stock)
2 Cups Sour Cream
salt to taste
pepper

Twelve  6-8 inch tortillas ( flour, corn, multi grain, or a mix)


Preheat oven to 400F
Instructions:
Prepare chicken (or cauliflower): coat chicken on all sides with olive oil, a sprinkle of kosher salt and cracked pepper . Place on a sheet pan in a 400F oven for 20-25 minutes until chicken reaches 165F. Remove and let sit until cool enough to handle. Shred with two forks or with your fingers and place in a medium sized bowl. (Or, for a great vegetarian option, substitute roasted cauliflower, prepared same way in bite sized pieces).

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 sides. Place in a bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and let cool. Under running water rub off the blackened skin, carefully tear open and pull out the seed pod and stem and rinse all the seeds away. Finely dice, divide in half. Place half the poblanos in the bowl with the chicken, saving the other half for the sauce. (If pressed for time, you can skip this step entirely by substituting 2 small cans of green chiles)


Make the sauce:
In a medium pot, melt 3 T butter. Add 3 T flour ( you can substitute rice flour). Let cook 5 minutes on med low heat until mixture has turned a lovely golden brown. Don't hurry this. Whisk in 1 cup hot chicken stock, add the remaining stock and stir until thick and bubbly. Add 2 C Sour cream. Whisk until smooth. Add the poblano's and taste for salt. Bring to a simmer, and turn heat off. Add salt if needed. (I did not add more salt as my chicken stock was fairly salty.)

Make the filling:
In a medium bowl add shredded chicken ( or cauliflower),  diced poblanos, lime zest, 2/3 of the crumbled queso fresco, sauted onion, half of the cilantro, cumin, coriander, cracked pepper. Fold in 1 Cup of the cream sauce. Taste for salt, add if needed.


Assemble:
Grease two 8 x 13 in pans.Place a little poblano cream sauce in the baking pan first....just enough to coat the bottom. If your tortillas are not soft and pliable, which is often the case with 100 % corn tortillas, you could place them them in a microwave covered for a few seconds. Or spray with cooking spray and spread on a sheet pan and place in a warm oven for a few minutes. Or lightly sear each one in a skillet. For this recipe, I used an 8 inch tortilla that was half corn/half flour and they were very pliable, so no need to soften them.

Distribute the filling evenly between 10-12 tortillas. Roll up and place, seam side down on the sauce. Brush with a little olive oil, and place in a 400 F oven for 10 minutes until crispy and golden. Pull them out and cover with sauce. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, until golden and bubbly. Garnish with fresh cilantro.

Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: makes 10-12 enchiladas