Friday, May 20, 2005

Enchiladas Especiales Tacuba Style

Enchiladas Especiales Tacuba Style (Adapted from Rick Bayless)

2 fresh poblano chiles
1 cup lightly packed chopped spinach leaves
2 cups milk
2 cups chicken broth
6 tablespoons butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups shredded cooked chicken
12 corn tortillas
canola oil, for brushing
4 ounces (about 1 cup) Mexican melting cheese (examples would be Chihuahua, quesadilla and asadero) Monterey Jack or mild cheddar would also work
chopped cilantro

Roast poblanos by either placing them directly over a gas flame or on a sheet pan placed under an oven broiler, turning often, until the skins have blistered and blackened on all sides, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Place poblanos into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap - set aside for 10 to 15 minutes. When cool enough to handle, pull and rub off the blackened skins. Tear chiles open and remove seed pods and stems. Place chiles into a food processor or blender - add spinach.

In a medium saucepan, add milk and broth - place over medium-low heat to warm through.

In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in flour and cook, stirring, for one minute. Gradually whisk in the warm broth/milk mixture - increase heat to medium-high and cook, whisking, until the sauce comes to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Pour half of the sauce into the food processor (or blender) with the poblanos and spinach - process until smooth. Pour mixture back into the pot with the remaining sauce - season to taste with salt (we used about 2 teaspoons).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Pour about 1/4 cup of the sauce over the bottoms of each 6 individual ovenproof baking dishes coated with nonstick spray.

Place chicken into a medium bowl and add 1 cup of the sauce, tossing to coat.

Arrange half of the tortillas on a large baking sheet and lightly brush each side with canola oil. Top each tortilla with another one and repeat the brushing. Place into the oven and bake just until the tortillas have softened and warmed through, about 3 minutes. Stack tortillas and wrap in a clean cloth to keep warm.

Working quickly, roll a portion of the chicken up in each tortilla, then place two, seam side down, into each individual baking dish. Divide all remaining sauce evenly over the top of the rolled tortillas in the baking dishes. Scatter the tops with the cheese. Place into the oven and bake until the enchiladas are hot and the cheese has begun to brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with chopped cilantro to serve.

Makes about 6 servings

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