Sunday, May 1, 2011

Potato Kale Enchiladas

This blog is beginning to reveal the hegemony of the ppk.  And I'm okay with that.  They're like the Wordsworths or the T.S. Eliots of vegan cooking.  No anxiety of influence here, just yumminess.

So I recently made Isa's lemon garlic chickpeas and mushrooms and her wheatberry "paella" with chickpeas.  Then, last night, inspired by a recent post by epicurian vegan, I decided to go back to ye olde Veganomicon and make some enchiladas.

Potato and kale seem like a rather odd filling for a traditional Mexican dish, and I think this is why I passed over this recipe back when I read through every word of this cookbook.  But this time around, I instantly thought of the amazing meal I had a few weeks ago at Gracias Madre, a vegan Mexican restaurant in San Francisco so famous that I'd heard about it down here in LA.  Instead of using tofu or tempeh or seitan or soyrizo, and instead of even relying all that heavily on beans and other legumes, this restaurant focuses on placing seasonal vegetables in the spotlight.  When I went there, I had tacos filled with 1) asparagus grilled with cumin, 2) mushrooms sauteed with garlic, and 3) mixed greens with chilies.  They were really exceptional, along with the other stuff we had that evening.  With that in mind, I abandoned my "tacos-etc-must-have-a-meaty-filling" prejudices for one more night, and made these enchiladas.

Westside meets Eastside
The original recipe called for large, fresh green chilies, which I didn't have.  What I did have was a can of chipotle en adobo--smoked chilies in tomato sauce (food of the gods!).  I used some of this instead of the fresh chilies, and since sugar was already added, I skipped that as well.  On a similar note, the only canned tomatoes I had were the TJ's ones that already had green chilies added to them.  So no additional chilies, no additional salt, no additional sugar.  The original recipe also calls for 2-3 tsp of  "chili powder."  I just had straight cayenne, which presumably packs more heat, so I only used 1 tsp, thinking I'd add more later as needed--not needed!  This was just the right amount of spicy as was...which is to say, it was darn spicy.  So, to conclude, using (minimally) processed foods like the canned tomatoes and peppers throws everything off, and I'm sorry for that.  Just do it to taste!  :)

Why did I have to go to Trader Joe's to get corn tortillas without weird additives?  This has puzzled me before.  The TJs products aren't any more expensive, and they last quite a long time themselves.

Anyway, the finished product was really delicious.  The chipotles gave the sauce a tangy, smoky flavor, and the filling was hearty and satisfying.  It also ended up being pretty spicy.

Alas, enchiladas are not the most photogenic food.  I imagine that garnished with cilantro and avocado, they might look a little more appealing.  Some sort of cashew sour cream would also be nice.  But this stripped-down version certainly tasted just fine.

Potato Kale Enchiladas
(adapted from Veganomicon)

Enchilada sauce:
olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 tsp cayenne (or less, to taste)
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp marjoram
1 14-oz can canned tomatoes with chilies added
1/2 a tiny can of chipotle en adobo (feel free to make substitutions here with the chilies and tomatoes--as long as it's not inedibly spicy, you're probably fine)
sugar, salt, and cayenne to taste
Potato-Kale Filling
1 pound potatoes, peeled and small-diced
 olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound kale, finely chopped (I used Trader Joe's mixed greens--kale, turnip and mustard greens, and spinach)
1/4 c veg stock
3 TB lime juice
salt to taste (none was needed for me)
12 corn tortillas (perhaps fewer)

1. Boil potatoes until they soft.  Drain and set aside.  Preheat oven to 375*.
2. For sauce: heat oil in a sauce pan, saute onions.  Add remaining ingredients and simmer.  Turn off heat; cool.  Puree.  Adjust seasonings to taste.
3. For filling: heat oil in a large skillet.  Cook garlic and cumin.  Then add potatoes, greens, stock, and lime juice.  Cover and reduce heat; cook until greens are wilted.  Add salt to taste.
4. To assemble enchiladas: oil a large baking dish.  Dredge a tortilla in sauce on both sides (I also spooned some more sauce on the inside side).  Spoon some filling into the tortilla, then roll it up and place it edge-side-down in the baking dish.  Do this for all of them; they should fit rather snugly (the picture only shows a half batch).  Pour another cup of sauce over the top, then cover with foil and bake 25 minutes.  Then, uncover and bake another 10 minutes or until the tortillas are slightly brown and crispy in places.  Top enchiladas with additional sauce, cilantro, avocado, cheesy sauce, cashew sour cream, etc.  Serves 4-6.

1 comment:

ralph havens said...

great recipe but the corn tortillas are probably GMO. gotta really look for corn that is not GMO; grains in general not so healthy; GMO grains linked to sterility.