The first time I had salsa verde was a few quarters ago when a student brought in a recipe to sample as a part of a class presentation. I had always noticed those very funny-looking, kinda intimidating tomatillos in the produce section and had no idea what to do with them, how to prepare them, or what they even taste like.
I was missing out.
Tomatillos have a wonderfully unique, green tomato-like flavor and accent other flavors such as onion, garlic, and cilantro beautifully. The addition of poblanos was simply a plus.
I was once told that enchiladas are the most difficult and time-consuming Mexican food to make. While that’s probably true if made traditional through-and-through, but I am rather fond of these quick to come together Creamy Green Chile Enchiladas. Essentially, you can make everything ahead of time – cook and shred chicken and simmer and blend salsa, store, and assemble and bake later.
Weeknight enchiladas? Sign me up!
What makes these enchiladas unique, however, is the cream cheese. This is my first time having cream cheese in enchiladas and now….well, I’m leaning towards the opinion that cream cheese may make everything better. Though, I did cut back the cream cheese by half to keep things on the healthy side. Between the veggie-packed homemade salsa and the whole wheat tortillas, these enchiladas are loaded with fiber. Two enchiladas is a very generous portion for the calories.
You’ll leave the dinner table feeling like you just had one big cheat meal…but you didn’t 😉
Creamy Green Chile Enchiladas slightly adapted from Gourmet: Day to Day
12 tomatillos, paper skin removed and cut in half
2 poblano peppers, quartered
1 head of garlic
1/2 large onion, cut into large chunks
1/4 cup cilantro
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cumin
12 oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
4 oz 1/3 reduced fat cream cheese, cut into cubes
6 oz part-skim Monterrey jack cheese, shredded
10 whole wheat tortillas
In a large skillet, combine tomatillos, poblano peppers, garlic cloves, and onion. Allow to dry roast over medium heat 3-5 minutes until tomatillos become very soft, garlic and onion begin to brown and peppers begin to blister.
Add peppers, tomatillos, garlic cloves, onions and cilantro to a food processor and process until smooth.
Add tomatillo sauce back to skillet. Season with salt and cumin. Season additionally to taste with salt and pepper. Allow to simmer over medium low heat for 3-5 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of tomatillo sauce. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Add shredded chicken to remaining sauce in skillet over medium low heat. Add cubes of cream cheese to sauce. Stir to blend.
To assemble, spray 9 x 13 pan with non stick cooking spray. Spread 1/4 cup of reserved sauce in bottom of pan. Spoon 3-4 tablespoons of chicken mixture onto one side of the tortilla; roll to close. Lay seam side down in pan. Repeat process until all filling or tortillas are gone.
Top enchiladas with 1/4 cup remaining sauce. Top with shredded cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes until cheese is bubbly and starting to brown.
Yield: 5 servings (2 enchiladas each).
Nutrition Information (per serving): 501 calories; 15.4 g. fat; 67 mg. cholesterol; 653 mg. sodium; 58 g. carbohydrate; 6.2 g. fiber; 32.6 g. protein
Result: Creamy, cheesy, and full of flavor. These enchiladas are quite the treat without the guilt. As noted above, the chicken can be cooked and shredded ahead of time and the salsa can be made beforehand, as well. This meal comes together quickly and the enchiladas, much to my surprise reheated beautifully as leftovers for lunch. If you’ve never tried salsa verde – you must! Enjoy!
Catch you tomorrow for a bit of a different post in celebration of a very special day (for me, anyways!).