April 2, 2018
Yesterday was a cold, grey day and I was in the mood for some spice. Deep red, fragrant New Mexico chilé fit the bill. In the fridge were a leftover roasted sweet potato, a head of fennel and a half dozen large mushrooms, a good combo for veggie enchiladas. I sauteed a yellow onion in olive oil, added the sliced fennel, each lyre shape cut into strips. When they were tender and a little caramelized I added the sliced mushrooms and let them soften. Next two chopped cloves of garlic and the cubed sweet potatoes went in .
Now for the chilé. Ta-da. This is in my book, a recipe gift from Rod and Renee Carswell, artist pals from college and wonderful cooks.
In a tablespoon of safflower oil sauté a minced clove of garlic until fragrant but not colored. Add a tablespoon of flour and cook for a minute. Add 1/4 cup of New Mexico red chilé then stir in a cup of water or chicken or veggie stock. I find water to work well, not disguising the chilé flavor. Stir until smooth and let cook for ten minutes or so, adding another cup of water as the sauce thickens. Add a few tablespoons of the chilé to the vegetables.
Now the corn tortillas. They need to be softened for folding. I used a comal, a flat iron disk that heats quickly. Use whatever heavy skillet you have. I lightly brushed the tortillas with oil then heat on each side until pliable. As each tortilla was ready, I arranged several tablespoons of the filling along the center with a slender finger of cheese. This time I used Catamount Hills ─ cheddar or Jack are good or whatever you have. Smoked cheddar is particularly delicious here. I rolled the tortilla around the filling and placed in the casserole, tucking each close to the others.
If not baking the enchiladas immediately, cover and store without the sauce. Otherwise, ladle the chilé over the enchiladas, top with a little grated cheese, cover with foil and bake at 350° until hot and bubbly, about 30 minutes if at room temperature to start. Otherwise allow an additional 10 minutes or so. Uncover the dish for the last 10 minutes.
I love cilantro, so strewed a good handful over the finished dish. The beautiful ceramic casserole was made by my sister Susan Hopkins, a pottery neophyte. She learns fast!
I served a small salad ─ the inner remains of a head of Bibb lettuce, sliced into ribbons, chopped jicama and radishes, chunks of avocado and a sliced orange. Dressed simply with salt and pepper, olive oil, and a good squeeze of lime juice.
Top: Salad 2013, oil on canvas, 18 x 18 inches