Okay, okay! Calling all my enchilada people to the table.
Today’s post is the fourth in our Feeding a Broken Heart series, which is a collection of posts meant to inspire you to make healing food for the people you know, love, and care about. If you’re new here, I would love for you to know that this series was inspired by our adorable son Afton, his early birth, his passing, and his definite would-have-been love of enchiladas. I’m his mom and I just know these things.
My friend Melissa was the one who got me back on the enchilada train after grief-eating (read: not eating) for a few weeks after we lost Afton. She brought over a small-ish size pan, due to our paranoid fear of freezer overload, of sweet potato black bean enchiladas which are totally not what I’m showing you today because she made it without a recipe, and I can’t try to replicate her genius level whimsy.
But that got me thinking: what about that roasted tomatillo enchilada casserole? The ones inspired from Bread & Wine, the ones I used to bring to my friends when they needed some home-cooked love, the ones with the magically delicious and zingy ROASTED TOMATILLOS? Couldn’t we step those up into enchilada form?
Answer: Yes. Enchiladas verdes reunion tour, happening now.
These enchiladas verdes take a little bit of time, as all the best enchiladas do.
But none of it is hard. Pinky promise.
That’s why I’m calling them Simple Enchiladas Verdes. Really, they are simple. You’re talking to a girl who has about 2% energy for any given task at any given time these days, and even I managed this.
- Sauce. Which mostly involves roasted vegetables and flipping the switch of the blender on.
- Filling. Mixing up whatever you want to be in your filling, and may I recommend the last-minute addition of sautéed mushrooms? yaaap. you’re so there with me.
- Bake. Roll em up, drown in more tomatillo sauce and an extra generous handful of cheese, and bake. Mwah.
And then your sprinkle cilantro down the middle, because you’re just that good.
To be honest, other than the rock-out sauce, these are pretty humble and basic and chill, which makes them a REALLY perfect food to bring someone who needs a home-cooked meal to heal their heart. In really dire situations, they might be a good excuse to find your way into the fridge for a totally weird and wonderful midnight snack. Hypothetically. If it helps.
Is it a diagnosis? a loss? an end to a season? Whatever it is, and whether it’s yours or someone else’s, just know that we’re sitting over here, eating these enchiladas, soaking up that same food-heals-everything power that you are. And all the better if we can do it by way heaping plats of cheesy enchiladas verdes, yeah? We are cheering for you.
Enchiladas Verdes made with a simple roasted tomatillo sauce, a little cream, and chicken, mushrooms, or whatever filling ingredients you have on hand.
For the Roasted Tomatillo Sauce:
- 15 tomatillos, husks removed
- 3 jalapeno peppers, ribs and seeds removed
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup fresh packed cilantro
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- salt to taste
For the Enchiladas Verdes:
- 10-15 tortillas – corn or flour will work
- 12 ounces shredded cheese – Pepper Jack or Monterrey Jack are my favorites
- 1 lb. cooked chicken, shredded
- additional mix-ins like sautéed mushrooms, white beans, spinach, or whatever is striking your fancy
- Make the Sauce: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place tomatillos and jalapeños on the baking sheet. Wrap garlic in foil and add to baking sheet. Drizzle everything with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast for 30 minutes, stirring halfway to prevent excessive scorching. Pulse everything in a blender (including juices). Add other sauce ingredients, blend until smooth. Season with salt to taste.
- Make the Filling: In a large bowl, combine about one third of the sauce (2 or so cups) with the chicken. Stir in about half of the cheese and any other mix-ins you want.
- Make the Enchiladas Verdes: Reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Grease a 9×13 baking dish. Place filling on tortillas, roll up, and arrange in pan, seam side down. Cover with another cup or two of sauce and remaining cheese (just eyeball it). Bake for about 15 minutes, until bubbly and delish. Top with cilantro or cotija or red onion – all your favorite standbys are welcome.
You can make this really low maintenance by just layering all the ingredients like a lasagna. It ends up more like a casserole and it’s very delicious. (See this recipe.)
This makes a lot of sauce, so you might have 1-2 cups of sauce left over for later. Lucky you!
Dipping the tortillas in hot water or hot oil real quick before rolling them up is always a good idea. Keeps everything nice and soft while baking.
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