Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Vegetable Enchiladas With Roasted Green Chili Salsa

If you like traditional Enchiladas, you will like these green Vegetable Enchiladas. The spicy, zesty roasted green chili salsa is what makes it green and is a delicious alternative for the usual red sauce. The grated vegetables combine with the cheese baking into a creamy goodness and contribute to a hearty but lighter meal.

The wonderfully flavorful salsa is
piquant with fresh lime zest as well as juice and is used as an ingredient in cooking rather than a condiment. I love using it for making both rolled and layered Enchiladas and Mexican Lasagna. The roasted chili salsa was inspired by and adapted from this recipe from Cook Yourself Thin.

The dark green Poblano/Pasilla chilies are available especially in Latino markets; some call them Poblano while others know them as Pasilla. If these as unavailable, the long green chilies called Anaheim work quite well; they are generally available in most markets. Roasted Anaheim chilies are also available canned. Jalapeno chilies vary in their heat - some are so mild that they can be eaten fresh like a cucumber while others are very hot; so check them carefully and use according to your taste. The jalapenos I used were mostly mild to medium hot.

If you use corn tortillas, this dish may be prepared similar to Mexican Lasagna. Whether prepared traditionally or as a casserole, enchiladas are delicious served with a crisp green or Jicama salad and frijoles Mexicanos.

Ingredients for Roasted Green Salsa: Makes about 4 cups

6 Pasilla/Poblano chilies
6 Jalapeno chilies
2 cloves garlic
1 bunch Cilantro, including most of the stems
Zest from 1 Lime
Juice from 2 Limes
11/2 cups water
2 tsp salt


Preheat oven to 400 F.

Prepare a baking sheet by lightly coating with oil/cooking spray.

Wash and dry the chilies and place them and unpeeled garlic cloves in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.

Roast until tops are charred; turn over the veggies and bake until blistered and slightly charred on all sides.

Remove from oven and cool.

Alternately use the toaster oven to roast the chilies; I put them directly on the rack without any oils and roast until charred well on all sides.

When cool, peel the garlic cloves; peel the fine skins off the chilies and remove stems, seeds and the stringy white membranes. It might be tempting to wash off the seeds; but do not wash as the water will wash the flavor down the drain along with the seeds.

If you like a spicy salsa, leave the seeds in the Jalapeno chilies.

Thinly peel the zest from the lime using a sharp vegetable peeler (a micro plane is great for this job as it is very sharp) and squeeze the juice; make sure that you use only the green part of the zest - any white pith will make the salsa bitter.

Place all the ingredients for the salsa in the blender or food processor container along with about 1/2 cup of water and the lime juice. Blend into a smooth puree.

Pour the salsa into a storage container; swish the blender container with a couple of tablespoons of water at a time to get every bit of the salsa sticking to it. Repeat rinsing the blender container with a little water two or three times to extract all of the salsa stuck to it and combine with the salsa. Waste not ...... eh?

Mix the salsa well and check for seasonings; add more water, lime juice, or salt as necessary.

Reserve in the fridge until needed. This salsa will stay fresh for about 3 to 4 days.

Ingredients for Enchiladas: 8 Servings

1 dozen Corn or Whole Wheat Tortillas
1 Recipe Roasted Green Chile Salsa
8 oz. Grated Cheese (Mexican Blend or vegan)
1 small Red Onion, finely chopped
2 cups Corn Kernels, fresh or frozen
2 Zucchini, grated
1 Carrot, grated
Coriander Leaves/Cilantro, for garnishing
Salsa I, Salsa II or Avocado Salsa for serving

  • Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  • Lightly oil a 9x13" pan and spread with a layer of the roasted salsa (about 1 cup).
  • Warm the tortillas so they are pliable and roll without breaking.
  • Combine the grated veggies with the corn kernels and onion and half of the cheese.
  • Spread the tortillas with some of the roasted green salsa.
  • Divide the veggie-cheese mixture among the tortillas and roll them up tightly.
  • Place the rolled enchiladas in the prepared pan.
  • Ladle a generous amount of the roasted salsa over the rolls.
  • Bake for 30 minutes; sprinkle with the remaining cheese and more salsa if the enchiladas are dry and bake until cheese has melted and bubbly.
  • Allow the enchiladas to rest for 5 minutes.
  • Serve hot with Salsa I, Salsa II or Avocado Salsa.


Soon, Then said...

These were great! Thank you! :)

Geetha said...

Thank you Soon, for your comment. I am glad you liked the Enchiladas. Happy cooking :)!