Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Sweet Potato Ricotta Enchiladas in Chipotle Sauce: Real Food
Elitist enchiladas! This is my first attempt to expand my blog into the greater online world of cooking blogs. I made this recipe for Two for Tuesdays Blog Hop Carnival (something I was originally made aware of by another blog that I read from time to time). The theme is 'real food' and girlichef describes it like this:
...slow food, traditional food, hand-prepared food, nourishing food...food that is NOT processed....food that doesn't come from a package...food that your great-grandmother would have made &/or eaten. REAL food is homemade. REAL food is from scratch. REAL food has recognizable ingredients. REAL food is made from traditional ingredients. REAL food is food you make with your own hands...from food grown, milled, raised by you or by people (not machines). Think family farmer. Think farmer's market. Think garden. Think local grain mill. Think REAL.
I'd like to think of the food I like to eat and cook as real food, but the challenge was a good one. And I try to support local growers whenever possible: the sweet potatoes come from our favorite co-op, poblanos and onions from our Farmers' Market, and the chipotles from a local Mexican restaurant/grocer. I believe pretty strongly in local and organic ingredients and I always avoid processed foods with ingredients I can't pronounce. That said, I don't think my grandmother ever made sweet potato enchiladas. But the flavors work together really well. I think the idea came to me a year ago when Rosie and I made pumpkin filled ravioli and then reused the filling for an enchilada 'casserole' of sorts. It was such a great combination and I've been wanting to try it again, but with sweet potato instead of pumpkin. While I guess these enchiladas are sort of enchiladas meet manicotti, the truth is that I don't believe in culinary essentialism: no one country has ever produced a great dish without other influences, right? But anyway...
Alright, on to the recipe.
Sweet potato filling:
2 garlic cloves, roasted
2 roasted poblanos, peeled and chopped
2 green onions, chopped
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup ricotta (or cottage cheese)*
8 corn tortillas
To make filling:
Peel and cube sweet potato. Drizzle with a little vegetable oil. Roast at 400 for about 20 minutes or until crisp. You can put the poblanos in at the same time if desired (they will take longer, up to a half hour). Garlic takes little time to roast (maybe 8-9 minutes).
Once cooled, place sweet potatoes, coarsely chopped poblanos and garlic in a food processor. Process until smooth, scraping down the sides when necessary. Add cilantro, green onion and a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and process again. Finally add the cheese and process until smooth. (This can be done in advance and refrigerated for 24 hours).
To make enchiladas. See my post here to read how I prepare corn tortillas for rolling in a way that cuts back on oil. Ladle enough sauce to cover a 9 x 13 baking dish. How much filling you want to use is up to you, I'd say about 1/4 cup. When you fill the dish (8-10 enchiladas), ladle the rest of the sauce over the enchiladas and garnish with some grated cheese if desired. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.
Enjoy! We sure did!
* - So while it may be less of a foodie ingredient, I've found a cottage cheese that I love and I think it offers a great alternative to ricotta. But ricotta sounds a little more upscale so it's in the title. But if you are cottage cheese-phobic (as I once was), you should know that the Michigan Brand cottage cheese is great with a nice sharp flavor and not at all watery. We eat it with corn chips, mix it with eggs, bake it into quiches, etc. etc. Give it a try, you won't even notice a cottage cheese texture in this.