Monday, May 10, 2010


Bug enjoys interesting food preparation, Mexican food, especially enchiladas, and Rick Bayless' show, One Plate at a Time. One night, he caught an episode that showed Bayless preparing enchiladas using a green sauce made with spinach. Yes, spinach!

Enchiladas Dish2
A dish of enchiladas Popeye would love

Adapted from Rick Bayless' recipe, Enchiladas Especiales Tacuba Style

1-1/2 lb boneless chicken breasts or your preferred chicken pieces to yield 3 c of shredded chicken
chicken broth (~4 c)
1 Tbsp adobo seasoning
2 fresh poblano chiles
2 c chicken broth
2 c milk
6 Tbsp butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 c flour
1 c chopped spinach leaves
12 corn tortillas
vegetable oil
Mexican cheese
cilantro or parsley (optional)

1. Place chicken in a pot and add enough chicken broth to generously cover completely (at least an inch above) and 1 Tbsp adobo seasoning. Bring to boil then simmer for 1 hour. Meanwhile, the rest of the dish can be put together or this step can be done earlier. Chicken should be removed from the pot and the meat chopped and shredded.

Store bought [Goya] adobo seasoning was used. I've seen several adobo seasoning recipes online. The standard blend utilizes paprika, black pepper, onion powder, Mexican oregano, cumin, chile powder, and garlic powder. Some recipes may add salt, MSG, achiote (annatto) powder, brown sugar, and/or saffron.

2. Roast poblano chile then set aside.
a. Preheat oven to 425°F or use the broiler, setting the rack 4-5 inches from the heat source.
b. Place chiles on a baking sheet lined with foil, then place into the oven for ~20 minutes or in the broiler for ~10 minutes, until peppers darken or appear blistered.
c. Remove from oven or broiler when ready and wrap the chiles in foil for 10-15 minutes or when the peppers are cool enough to handle.
d. Remove the blackened skin by gently rubbing; cut open to remove the seeds and stem, then rinse. If chiles are hot, i.e., high Scoville scale, please use gloves.

3. In a saucepan on low heat, add milk and chicken broth. Make sure the milk does not scald.

4. In another saucepan, melt butter. Turn heat to medium, add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes or when the garlic becomes aromatic. Increase heat to medium-high and slowly add flour. Stir until fully incorporated.

5. Add the chicken broth mixture to the flour mixture and stir until it comes to a boil, reduce heat to simmer for a few minutes, then set aside.

6. Add chopped chiles, spinach, and pour approximately half of the flour-broth mixture into a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour blended mixture back into the sauce pan with the remaining flour-broth mixture. Stir. Salt to taste.

7. Warm tortillas in your desired manner (oven, stove top, microwave oven).
Stovetop method: Heat a skillet and add 1-2 c of vegetable (neutral) oil. The oil just needs to be warm, not screaming hot. With tongs, quickly submerge each tortilla into the skillet for a few seconds then remove. Stack tortillas and cover so they remain warm.

8. Heat oven to 350°F. Add 1 c of the spinach sauce to the shredded chicken, then mix. Spread 1/4 c of the spinach sauce along the bottom of a 13"x9" baking dish. Roll shredded chicken into the tortilla so they are cylindrical, open on both ends, and place them in the baking dish with the tapered, sealed end down so they are tightly adjacent to one another. Spread another layer of the spinach sauce over the layer of enchiladas, scatter a layer of cheese on top. Bake for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro. If you are averse to the flavor of cilantro as I am, parsley should be fine.

Ug ug ug ug!

Bug had made more shredded chicken to make flauta. Instead of baking the rolled tortilla, he deep fried them in vegetable (neutral) oil using tongs to hold the end together for a minute to seal, after which he flipped the flauta and cooked the other side.

Bug's prior experiments making flauta were unsuccessful because the tortilla would split. Quickly frying them helped immensely.


The shredded chicken was seasoned well, thanks to the adobo seasoning, and moist. Despite being cooked for over an hour, it wasn't bludgeoned into mushy nothingness. The spinach sauce was surprising. I wouldn't have guessed spinach was in it. The thick texture and color could have fooled me that it had avocado. I can't wait to have this again!

- Cassaendra

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