There is a funky little college restaurant (okay it’s a bar) near our house that we’ve adopted as our family hangout. I’m sure the tattooed pool players and hipster waiters just love it when our kids come in and take over the shooting gallery video game (sans quarters) and we special order non-spicy black bean burritos to split. Although the place is known for large margaritas and its wide variety of tacos, I’ve become a fan of the salads and especially the mushroom-poblano enchiladas. I seriously devour the entire pile and have to resist the urge to lick plate afterward. Talk about not missing meat, I think this dish could make a less-meat-atarian out of Ted Nugent.
The enchiladas didn’t seem very complicated, so I decided to try making them at home. That way, I could eat as many as I wanted plus have some leftovers for lunch the next day. They turned out great. (By the way, if your kids won’t go for mushrooms, etc., you can make a few plain cheese enchiladas in the same pan.) If you live near the DU area in Denver, you can just head over to the Pioneer to try these. If not, this homemade version is pretty close to theirs and super easy to make. If I were you, I’d double or triple this recipe.
Mushroom and Poblano Pepper Enchiladas
- 1 large poblano pepper (If you can’t find poblanos, substitute Anaheim chiles — and, if you want it spicy, add a bit of fresh jalapeno.)
- Olive oil
- 8-10 oz. mushrooms, sliced (You can use regular button mushrooms or any combination of button, cremini, and baby ‘bellas.)
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 cup shredded cheese (Monterey jack and cheddar)
- Corn tortillas
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- Green chili sauce for topping (Green chili is pretty easy to make, and I’ve included a traditional, non-vegetarian recipe below. If you don’t have a freezer full of roasted green chiles, you can use the canned ones, but you know how I feel about canned foods. There are several brands of decent vegetarian jarred sauce. Nanita’s is a Colorado brand that sells online; it’s pretty tasty. Also 505 is widely available, even at Costco I think.)
To make enchiladas:
Remove the stem and seeds from the chile(s) just like you would from a regular bell pepper and cut into small strips. In a skillet heat 1 capfull of oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, peppers, cumin, and a pinch of salt. Sautée, stirring occasionally, for about 5-7 minutes until veggies are soft. If you want some bits to be slightly browned, cook an additional few minutes and don’t stir so much. Add the sour cream and about half the cheese.
Preheat the broiler. Get out your largest casserole dish and spray with cooking spray or lightly oil it. Wrap the tortillas in a damp kitchen towel and microwave for 30-60 seconds (or, to make sure they’re good and pliable — and especially delicious — dunk them, using tongs, one at a time in a shallow pan of the green chile sauce for about 30 seconds). Spoon the mushroom-chile mixture into the warmed tortillas, wrap them around the filling, and put in the pan. Continue doing this until you’ve used all the stuffing and the enchiladas fill the pan snugly and with no gaps. Cover with a thin layer of green chili and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Broil until cheese is melted. My oven has a “low broil” setting, and I used that with the rack about 5 inches below the broiler.
Serve with extra green chile and chopped tomato if you want.
So, here’s the recipe for an old school green chile. It’s not even close to vegetarian, but it’s delicious. It’s from the Pink Adobe Cookbook, which I think might be out of print but was full of extremely decadent recipes (i.e. Brie Soup) from the famous Pink Adobe Restaurant in Santa Fe. I’ve made this green chili many times and usually cut the amount of meat in half or less.
Pink Adobe Green Chile Stew
Yield 6 servings
2 tbs olive oil
2 lb boneless pork, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 c chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 c flour
2 c peeled and chopped fresh tomatoes
2 cups roasted, peeled and chopped fresh Hatch green chilies (use rubber gloves!)
Or 2 7-oz cans green chilies drained and chopped.
1 fresh jalapeno chopped (again, gloves), membranes and seeds removed
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp sugar
1 cup chicken or beef broth
Heat olive oil in 4-quart dutch oven with cover. Add pork and cook until lightly browned. Add onion and garlic and stir with meat. Add flour and stir 1-2 mins. Add tomatoes, chilies, jalapeno, salt, pepper and sugar. Mix to incorporate. Add broth. Lower heat. Cover pot and simmer for 1- 1 1/2 hours until meat is tender.
What I do that it doesn’t say in the cookbook is puree about half the chiles in the blender, which really helps the consistency a lot.
Serve with flour tortillas (or enchiladas of course).