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These enchiladas are light and green.

These enchiladas are light and green

Like casseroles, enchiladas invite experimenting. Almost anything goes--including the calories.

As an alternative to richer choices, lightly seasoned spinach fills and covers rolled corn tortillas. Feta cheese adds a delicate tang, and raisins convey sweetness, much as they do in traditional tamales and the Mexican beef hash, picadillo.

To give this vegetable entree a south-of-the-border flavor jolt, offer a mild or wild salsa, such as canned, refrigerated, or freshly made enchilada or chili sauce or a green chili salsa to add to taste.

Spinach Enchiladas

1/4 cup (1/8 lb.) butter or margarine

2 tablespoons raisins

2 medium-size onions, chopped

3 packages (10 oz. each) frozen chopped spinach, thawed

1 1/2 cups (about 8 oz.) 1/4-inch cubes feta cheese

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon pepper

3 cups regular-strength chicken broth Salad oil

8 corn tortillas (6- to 7-in. diameter)

1 can (10 oz.) red enchilada or red chili sauce, or 1 cup canned green chili salsa

In a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add raisins and stir until puffed, about 1 minute; remove from pan and set aside.

Add another 1 tablespoon butter to pan, melt, and add onions; stir often over medium-high heat until limp, about 5 minutes.

Put spinach in a colander; with your hands or the back of a heavy spoon, squeeze as much liquid as possible from the spinach. Mix spinach and onions in a bowl; set aside 1 1/4 cups of the mixture. To remainder in bowl, add raisins and 3/4 cup of the cheese; mix.

In the frying pan, melt 2 more tablespoons butter over medium heat; stir in the flour, nutmeg, and pepper until well blended. Remove from heat and smoothly blend in 1 1/2 cups chicken broth. Stirring, bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup of the liquid to the spinach mixture in the bowl.

Combine remaining liquid, reserved 1 1/4 cups spinach mixture, remaining 1 1/2 cups chicken broth, and 1/2 cup of the cheese in a blender; cover and whirl until sauce is very smoothly pureed, 3 to 5 minutes.

Pour about 1/4 inch salad oil into an 8- to 10-inch frying pan; set pan on medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add 1 tortilla at a time and cook just until softened, 2 to 3 seconds on each side, turning once with tongs. Drain in a single layer on paper towels.

To assemble, place 1/8 (about 1/2 cup) of the spinach-raisin filling down the center of a tortilla. Roll tortilla to enclose filling, then place seam side down in a 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Repeat to fill each tortilla; place all side by side in the dish. (If made ahead, cover dish and pureed sauce separately and chill up to 4 hours; spinach sauce darkens if stored longer.)

Pour pureed spinach sauce over tortillas, spreading to coat them completely and evenly. Bake, uncovered, in a 350| oven until heated through, 20 to 25 minutes (about 30 minutes if chilled). At the same time, warm the red enchilada sauce over direct heat or in a microwave oven.

Sprinkle enchiladas with the remaining cheese. Drizzle a little red sauce decoratively over all; offer remainder to spoon onto individual portions. Serves 4.

Photo: Pour sauce of pureed spinach over enchiladas; spread to cover spinach- and cheese-filled corn tortillas before baking

Photo: The look is Mexican, but the taste is a surprise. Tart feta cheese garnishes enchiladas and also flavors spinach filling and sauce
COPYRIGHT 1986 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1986 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Date:May 1, 1986
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