When I attempt something new, I futz around on the internet until I find a recipe that looks interesting, and then I play with it a bit. I decided to start with this Food Network Recipe, which was from Rachel Ray's $40 a Day show. Rather than use pre-made green chile sauce, I decided to make my own green salsa recipe using Simply Recipe's Tomatillo Salsa Verde. And, we decided we needed some "yellow rice" on the side, so I found this recipe from TammysRecipes.com.
How Do You Raja a Pepper?
Cooking 101: Read your recipe and read it again. So, before I started cooking, I read the at the enchilada prep and it said to prepare the peppers "raja style." Frankly, I had no clue what this meant. Google was my friend again here - I found this helpful article that told me to roast them, sweat them, and cut them up. Ah, easy enough. Even though the recipe said only to roast the poblanos, I thought it would be nice to also roast our friends the bell peppers, which I thought would add a nice flavor element to the dish.
Behold, the beautiful poblanos and bell peppers before I stuck them under the broiler:
I won't lie - I am lousy at timing things. My mother's adage about how long things should be cooked? "Until it's done." Hence I never got in the habit of looking at a clock. But I can tell you I rotated them with tongs until each side was nice and charred. I could have probably let them go longer, but I am impatient.
So, What is a Tomatillo?
If you've gone to Chipotle, or eaten salsa verde, you've had a tomatillo. But, since I promised my future father-in-law I'd look it up, here it is, per Wikipedia:
The tomatillo (Physalis philadelphica) is a plant of the tomato family, related to the cape gooseberry, bearing small, spherical and green or green-purple fruit of the same name. Tomatillos, referred to as green tomato (Spanish: tomate verde) in Mexico, are a staple in Mexican cuisine.
The salsa recipe gave the option of roasting or boiling them, and I decided to roast for enhanced flavor. I also cut it down to one serrano - it was fine and had plenty of kick. I also left out the sugar - I'm trying to use as little refined sugar as possible when I cook (baking is another story :) ) and I didn't see the need for it.
Finished Product and My Vegetarian Tweaks
I made the following additional switches & subs:
- For the enchiladas themselves, I swapped out mushrooms for black beans - we wanted the added protein and the color oomph.
- Also, I was going to use yukon potatoes per the original recipe, but, frankly, I got lazy and decided not to bother. It was fine without them. I (meaning Balducci's) also didn't have the hoja santa or espazote.
- For the rice, I used olive oil in lieu of butter, and vegetable broth in lieu of chicken broth. We also used brown rice. The tumeric got it nice and yellow - you honestly wouldn't know the difference.
Everyone had two servings, so I am considering this a success!