Thursday, October 29, 2009

Green Enchiladas

The first time I made green enchilada sauce, it was with a recipe from "The Vegetarian Table: Mexico" by Victoria Wise.  I always found that it didn't make quite enough sauce for my tastes and frequently used more tomatillos than she recommended.  After a recent review of recipes for green enchilada sauce across the internet, I have come to the conclusion that the recipe is fairly basic and should bear the personal touch of the person preparing it.

I defrosted the roasted green Anaheim chiles from a few weeks ago - that yielded about 5 c of roasted, peeled peppers.  After shelling out some bucks for tomatillos and onions at Rainbow Grocery, I was ready to go!  You can modify the amount of ingredients to taste, and remember - it's easier to add than to take away ingredients.

Green Enchilada Sauce
  • 5 cups roasted & peeled green Anaheim or Poblano chiles 
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 small-med white or yellow onions (mine were just smaller than tennis ball size), peeled and quartered
  • 1 - 2 lbs husked tomatillos, halved or quartered
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 c raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 pint yellow cherry tomatoes
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, stems trimmed off
  • fresh parsley, stems trimmed off
  • fresh leafy greens - Romaine, white mustard, arugula (careful with strong flavors like spinach)
  • sea salt
  • 1 Tb coriander seed
  • 1 Tb cumin seed


  1. Pour 2 cups vegetable broth into a sauce pot, add garlic, onions & tomatillos, add water to cover and bring to a boil.  Let simmer til onions are transluscent and tomatillos are soft.
  2. Heat up a dry cast iron skillet, spread the pumpkin seeds in a single layer and heat til they start to pop.  Turn down the heat if necessary to prevent burning.  Use a wooden spoon to keep the seeds moving as needed and pop/toast as many as you can.  Put into a separate dish.
  3. Put cumin and coriander seed into the hot pan - warm and slightly toast but don't burn - then put spices into coffee or spice grinder and pulverize, set aside.
  4. Check your veggies - add half of the cleaned cilantro to the water to soften, and turn down the heat if your veggies are soft.
  5. Mix in the roasted peppers with the veggies in the pot.  
  6. Reserve 1/8 c toasted pumpkin seeds and put rest of toasted pumpkin seeds into food processor or blender, add water from veggies to get it moving when necessary, until all seeds are ground.
  7. Continue adding veggies & cooking broth til all is processed and smooth. Add yellow cherry tomatoes and leafy greens -- I used white mustard because it was in my garden, you might try romaine (it's got Vitamin C!).  
  8. Add about half of the ground cumin & coriander.
  9. Taste - adjust cumin, coriander, salt and cilantro as needed.
  10. Return to pot and heat on medium, stirring.  Cook down if necessary, or add more water/broth if necessary.  Taste and adjust as needed. 
  11. Make a batch of enchiladas and freeze or can the rest of your sauce!
  • 1 medium size pan of enchiladas
  • 4 - 16 oz jars

Green Enchiladas
Enchiladas are one of my favorite things to make because they are so easy and you can put whatever you want into them.

  • 1 package corn tortillas
  • 1/2 yellow onion, minced
  • 1/2 package Westsoy seasoned seitan strips, julienned
  • 1 c yellow cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 c chopped cilantro leaves
  1. Sautee onions and garlic with oil or broth til translucent.
  2. Add cherry tomatoes and cook til they start to split.
  3. Add seitan and cilantro.
  4. Stir and add broth or water to deglaze when it starts to stick to the pan.
  5. Warm up the tortillas in the microwave for 20 seconds, or steam them - you want them to be soft but not cooked so that they don't crack when you roll them up.
  6. Lay tortillas in the sauce - get both sides wet with the sauce, then lay the tortilla over your casserole dish. Put down a line of fillings along edge and roll up the tortilla, put it in the casserole pan.  
  7. Once your pan is full of tortillas drenched in sauce and filled with seitan, cover with a little more enchilada sauce and bake for 15-20 minutes while you set the table or make your guacamole.
  8. Sprinkle with toasted pumpkin seeds and serve!

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