Friday, March 4, 2011

Enchiladas Verdes (Mild, Cali-Mex Version)

Enchiladas Verdes (Mild, Cali-Mex Version)
As shared from the kitchen of Once Upon a Plate by Mari
Makes 12 Enchiladas

I've adapted this recipe from an old Sunset Magazine "Food Processor Cook Book", 1978.  In spite of its name, it is not an authentic Mexican recipe but it tastes very good ~ and is perfect if you have family members or friends who cannot tolerate spicy food.  When I make these I usually add cooked, shredded chicken along with the cheese to half of the batch to satisfy the meat-eaters at the table.

The original recipe called for 1 can (10 3/4 oz.) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted.  I prefer to make a quick Cream/Chicken flavored Bechamel (white) sauce instead. Directions below the main recipe.  I usually make the Bechamel first, keeping it warm while proceeding with the the recipe.

To make the recipe vegetarian friendly; omit the chicken both in the tortillas, and in the Bechamel sauce (stir in a little green taco sauce, or salsa to the finished sauce to boost the flavor a bit.)

12 ounces jack cheese
2 large onions
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Additional vegetable oil for frying tortillas
1 dozen corn tortillas
2 or 3 green onions, white and green parts
1/2 package (10 or 12 ounce size) frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed dry
1/2 cup fresh spinach, lightly blanched, squeezed dry
1 can (4 oz.) whole California green chilies (seeds removed)
1 recipe Chicken- Bechamel sauce (see below)
1 can 10 3/4 oz. condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 cup sour cream
Optional additional filling: cooked, shredded chicken
Optional for garnish:  
Cilantro springs, tomato and/or avocado wedges, black olives, salsa of your choice

Food Processor Method:
Insert shredding disc into work bowl of food processor; shred cheese and set aside. With a knife, cut onions in chunks. Switch to metal blade and process onion with on-off burst until coarsely chopped. Heat the 1 tablespoon oil in a wide frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft (about 5 minutes). Stir in the salt.
In a small frying pan heat 1/2 inch oil over medium heat. One at a time, dip tortillas in oil for a few seconds on each side until just soft. Drain on paper towels. 
Sprinkle 2 tablespoons each cooked onion and cheese across the middle of each tortilla (add chicken if you wish), roll tortilla to enclose the filling. Please filled tortillas, seam side down in a shallow, greased 9 x 13-inch baking pan.

Cut green onions into 1-inch lengths. Process until chopped. Add spinach, chiles, bechamel (or the undiluted soup) and sour cream and process until pureed.  Spoon sauce over tortillas and sprinkle remaining cheese over all.

To serve bake in 350*(F) oven, uncovered for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbling.

Chicken flavored Bechamel Sauce:

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
3/4 cups milk or half & half, heated
3/4 cups richly flavored chicken stock, or broth, heated
Freshly ground pepper

Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the paste cooks and bubbles a bit, but don't let it brown — about 2 minutes. Add the hot milk and chicken stock/broth, continuing to stir as the sauce thickens. Bring it to a boil. Add salt and pepper to taste, lower the heat, and cook, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes more. Keep warm over very low heat until tortillas are assembled.

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