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  I made this recipe for Two for Tuesdays Blog Hop Carnival (something I was originally made aware of by another blog that I read from time to time).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:
1 large sweet potato, cubed and roasted
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)*
Chipotle Sauce
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.  


  1. Nice! Food and recipes are totally ever-evolving...what makes it real is the love and care you put into making the food for you and your loved ones. Your enchiladas sound AMAZING! I've come to the conclusion that I don't "fill" my enchiladas enough...usually sprinkle the "stuff" over the top...I must start rolling it all inside. I love the sound of all of these flavors together...often I'll use similar ingredients and add some black beans (that almost sounds Puerto Rican, though doesn't it?)...anyway, I ramble... Awesome dish and I'm so glad you joined us at Two for Tuesdays this week. =)

  2. ...I ramble so much I often leave out parts...I meant to say I use that combo in burritos or quesedillas... sorry. you'll get used to my wacky brain...cuz I'm stopping by often ;)

  3. Thanks! You're right about the black beans. We have a burrito place around here that has a sweet potato, black bean burrito. And I think it's called 'the cuban'. It would give a nice balance to the enchiladas. I love enchiladas (maybe more than tacos!). Thanks for stopping by, I'll be posting again on your page!

  4. Sweet potatoes and chiles, sweet and heat, oh boy are you ever speaking my language. Thank you so much for linking up at Two for Tuesday, this is a wonderful real food recipe.

  5. Sounds yummy, but I think i might have to throw in a fe wedges of laughing cow for the cottage. I show no signs of outgrowing my distaste. Great photos..I'm hungry now!

  6. Hello Jose and welcome to the two for tuesday recipe blog hop! I am now following your blog and I also picked up your RSS feed! I was telling girlichef today how happy I was so many people linked up Mexican recipes to the hop because I so adore them! These look so unique and since I lean towards vegetarian, I always love to try new combos like this! Thanks again! Alex@amoderatelife

  7. Oh how wonderfully spicy and sweet - I love the originalness of this recipe. I also clicked over to the chipolte sauce - I have been looking for a recipe and now I have it! thanks for linking to Two for Tuesdays!

  8. @Aunt Mary. I think another option would be to take like 1/3 cup of ricotta and maybe grate some sharp cheese into that to kick up the flavor. I didn't know you were averse to cottage cheese but I think my mom is too. Maybe it's genetic!
    @Alex. Thank you so much for the add. I'm honored. I'll continue to post mostly Mexican food recipes but also a variety of vegetarian recipes and a few baked things.
    @Christy, thanks. I've had the idea of mixing sweet potato enchiladas with a chipotle sauce for a while now. I just went back to my epicurious recipe box and found out that I've had a sweet potato soup with chipotle recipe sitting there for the past couple of years. I think somehow the flavor pairing stuck in my head from that. Cheers!

  9. What an interesting combination - sweet potatoes in enchiladas. I love taking traditional recipes and tweaking and evolving them and adding in unique ingredients! Thanks so much for sharing this at Two for Tuesdays!

  10. Yum!This looks so delicious.I saw your blog from the foodie blog roll and I like what you have here.if you won't mind I'd love to guide Foodista readers to this post.Just add the foodista widget to the end of this post and it's all set, Thanks!

  11. Hey Jose...just droppin' by to say hello!! Now...where's the new food!? LOL ;)

  12. Hm! Not a filling I would have assumed would work in an enchilada but sounds delicious. Must try ;]

  13. What is the green stuff you served them with? I love enchiladas, probably my favorite Mexican dish. Thanks for the suggestions.

  14. @Beth. Thanks so much! Sweet potatoes mix really well with spicy food, it's true.
    @Alisa, certainly! I will do it right away! And thanks!
    @Girlichef I have a couple recipes coming up!
    @Mr. and Mrs., let me know how it turns out if you try it!
    @Merut, it's green rice. I'll have to post a recipe for that soon.
    Thanks guys!


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