Sunday, December 11, 2011

Chipotle Enchiladas & the Battle of the Salt

A mexican restaurant in town charges $16/plate of chicken enchiladas which, on pure principle, I refuse to pay unless there is somehow fois gras worked in. Enchiladas are no doubt tasty but also not too tough or expensive to put together. So, I set off to create my own version that I hoped would not only be far superior but significantly less costly than $16 a plate.

It's only in the last few years I've begun to pay particular attention to the quantity of salt in foods. Even  a simple can of black beans contains 35% of your daily serving of salt. I don't get this, they are already canned, why do they need to be super-duper preserved with loads of salt? Because of modern technology, we no longer have to eat such 'preserved delicacies' like lutefisk (shudder) so why are we putting so much damn salt in everything?

Pre-made enchilada sauce is no exception with 15% daily serving of salt per 1/4 cup. Freaking crazy talk. Enter - homemade enchilada sauce which has 5 ingredients and takes 10 minutes. Not only do you  control the salt but it's way tastier, you'll never buy canned enchilada sauce again.

Over the past many months I've made this recipe well over a dozen times. Repetitive? A little. Delicious? Ridiculously.

It takes a bit of time to put everything together and yes, I know there are a lot of ingredients but I am willing to guess that you have the vast majority of them already in your house. For all the vegetarians out there or if you aren't feeling like eating chicken, I've made these with grilled sweet potato chunks and it was super good too.

I cannot stress the importance of both the chipotles and using corn tortillas; flour tortillas get a bit soggy and the chipotle adds a phenomenal depth and smokiness to the dish, letting the ingredients shine.

Happy spring everyone!

Chipotle Enchiladas


3 bone-in skinless chicken breasts
Season with:
chili powder
cayenne powder

Place in baking dish and cover with tinfoil
Bake at 375 for about 30-45 minutes or until cooked through
Once cool enough to touch, remove meat from bone and shred into bite sized pieces


1 - 14oz can fire roasted tomatoes or crushed tomatoes
6 cloves garlic
1 medium onion
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Saute garlic and onion in 1 tbsp oil over medium heat. Once almost soft, add seasonings. Continue to cook until onions are soft and spices are fragrant. Add tomatoes and be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to pick up all the good stuff. Cook 2-3 minutes more. Using a hand blender (or transfer to food processor), blend the mixture until smooth. Set aside.


2 cloves garlic
1 medium onion
1 can black beans - rinsed
1 cup frozen corn - thawed
1 can diced green chilies
1/2 can chipotle peppers - chopped
1 - 28oz can stewed tomatoes
corn tortillas
1 c pepper jack or jalapeno havarti cheese
Sour cream
Fresh Cilantro

In a few tbsp of oil, saute garlic and onion until soft. Add chillies, chipotle peppers, corn and black beans. Saute and stir together until combined and fragrant. Add tomatoes and cook until bubbling. Add shredded chicken and combine.

In a 9x13 baking dish, spread about half of the enchilada sauce on the bottom. Lightly dip each tortilla in the enchilada sauce to moisten (it will help it from cracking). Holding a corn tortilla in your hand, add the filling such that there is still room to roll the tortilla up. Place the filled tortilla fold-side down in the baking dish. Repeat until pan is filled. Spoon remaining enchilada sauce on top. Add cheese on top of sauce.

Bake at 375F for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Serve with sour cream and fresh cilantro

1 comment:

  1. YAYYY!!! you're back...this looks delish!

    I love that you're bringing mexico to the great white ;-)

    miss ya' bisous,