Saturday, November 16, 2013

Cheesy Enchiladas with Tomatillo sauce

It all started when I was grocery shopping at Smart and Final, looking for a deal on Thanksgiving turkey, and found Queso Fresco Cacique for $1.28. Its a Mexican cheese made from milk that comes in a little round wheel. Its semi-firm so you can slice it or crumble it up. I figured it would be the start of a nice cheese enchilada or some stuffed chili peppers. I think I have a few peppers of some kind in the frig that had come in our SLO Veg box last week. I will have to look up their website to see exactly what kind of peppers they are. Ah, here is is:
"Fruit, Vegetable, Herb, and Juice List for 11/04/2013 - 11/08/2013 THIS WEEK'S TOTE INCLUDES:
New Specialty Item ~ 'Organic" Watercress, Red Leaf Lettuce, "Organic" Carrots, "Organic" Oregano, Golden Beets, Vine Ripened Tomatoes, Brussels Sprouts, Blue Lake Green Beans, Shanghai Bok Choy, Broccoli Crowns, Red Bell Peppers, Anaheim Peppers, Haas Avocado's, Sweet Oro Blanco Grapefruit, Black Beauty or Crimson Red Grapes"

I didn't find turkeys on sale yet at the first store, so I ended up at Food 4 Less, picking up some celery and carrots and potatoes to have on hand for our upcoming feast. I know its a little early, but those vegies keep for quite a while so I think I am okay. If I use up the potatoes in the next two weeks, I can always get some more. I am sure they will be giving them away in another week.

Anyway, back to the cheese. I wanted a green enchilada sauce for them. Tomatillo sauce, particularly. I almost bought some at the store, but then I saw the tomatillos! They were a bargain price of $1.38/lb. It was mid-afternoon, but I was sure I could make some fresh tomatillo sauce for the enchiladas by dinner time. When I got home I brought in my groceries and googled a recipe. This one from Melissa D'Arabian on the Food Network looked perfect!

Quite possibly the most delicious sauce in the whole wide world is a fresh tomatillo green sauce made with roasted tomatillos, garlic, onions and peppers. Its a super simple sauce as well. I put a whole head of garlic and a whole unpeeled onion on a baking sheet, along with four Anaheim green peppers and about a dozen tomatillos, husks off. I popped it into a 400° oven and forgot about it for 30 minutes while I prepared my rice pilaf, carrots and broccoli, and rolled up the cheese enchiladas. I had picked up one of those roasted whole chickens at the store as well, so this dinner was pulling together.

The tomatillos went right into the blender, followed by the other vegies after I had skinned them. The garlic was so done it just squeezed out of the pods like a paste. It all got pureed and seasoned with salt, pepper and lime juice. That's it! I gave Lee a spoonful to taste when he walked in the door. Oh yeah!

I had a pint jar of sauce left after I smothered the enchiladas in it

Tomatillo Sauce

1 pound tomatillos, husked and rinsed
3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 Anaheim chile, seeded, deveined
1 white onion, quartered
*1/2 jalapeno chile, seeded, deveined
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, plus more for sprinkling
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for sprinkling
Juice from 1/2 lime


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the tomatillos, garlic, Anaheim chile, onions and jalapeno on a baking sheet. Toss the vegetables with the oil, salt and pepper. Roast the vegetables until the tomatillos turn a dark-green color and the onions golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Let the vegetables cool slightly. Peel the garlic and transfer all the ingredients to a blender. Blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the lime juice and sprinkle with more salt and pepper.

The tomatillo sauce can be made 1 day ahead, covered and chilled.

*Note: I didn't have a jalapeno pepper to put into the sauce today, and I think I prefer it without it. Super mild green sauce this way.

Dinner included cheese enchiladas with tomatillo sauce, rice pilaf, roasted chicken and steamed broccoli and carrots.

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