Thursday, January 5, 2012

Sweet Potato Enchiladas

I try to eat relatively seasonally, which is easy (and awesome) in the spring and summer when my garden and the farmer's market are going gangbusters but more difficult in the winter, when there's not much around but potatoes, sweet potatoes, and winter squashes.

So far I have yet to find a squash dish that the DDH enjoys; he even picks the chunks of butternut squash out of soups and stews. He likes sweet potatoes better, but even if the Mrs. Hauser's Sweet Potatoes his mom makes for holidays is one of his favorite dishes ever, there are only so many times in a year that you can only justify brown sugar as a main dinner ingredient.

I have a collection of "eating the harvest" type cookbooks that I consult when I have on hand either a vegetable that I don't necessarily use very often or a plethora of a vegetable that needs some creativity to use up before they all go bad (zucchini, anyone?). This recipe is adapted from Farmer John's Cookbook: The Real Dirt on Vegetables, which my lovely brother sent me for Christmas last year.

A lot of the meals in these cookbooks tend to be vegetarian (I think all the ones in Farmer John's are, though he'll suggest meat you can add; he suggests adding chorizo to these enchiladas). I don't particularly care, but the DDH tends to feel that meals without meat aren't filling enough. He didn't eat these last night (I was supposed to be at church and thus not cooking dinner, so he picked up Arby's (blech), but choir was canceled and so I decided to stay home and cook), but I thought they were very filling. We'll see what his verdict is once he has them for lunch today.

Anyway, on with the recipe!

First, you will either need four cups of enchilada sauce. You can buy that, I guess, or make it like thus:

Heat 1 TBS vegetable oil in a large skillet or saucepan. Add 1 medium onion, minced, 1 TBS chili powder, 2 tsp cumin, 1 tsp dried oregano (or 2 tsp fresh). Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.

Stir in 8 cloves garlic, pressed and continue to saute until the onion is soft, 2-3 more minutes.

Add 4 cups tomato puree (I used two little cans of tomato paste stirred into water to make four cups; you could buy tomato puree or puree a bunch of tomatoes if you have them on hand) and salt to taste. Let simmer for 30-45 minutes or until the flavors are combined.

Anyway. You will also need some mashed sweet potatoes. I baked 3 medium sweet potatoes in the oven at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes on Sunday, then peeled and mashed them Tuesday, then cooked them in this on Wednesday. Or you could do it all at once. Or you could buy canned sweet potatoes and mash them, or something. Fresh ones would taste better, though.

So as for the actual enchiladas:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Melt 1 TBS butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 large onion, diced and saute until translucent, about 7 minutes. Stir in 3 cloves garlic, pressed and cook for 1 minute.

Stir in 2 tsp cumin, 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp coriander, and 1 tsp salt. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add your mashed sweet potatoes and cook for 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat.

Warm some tortillas. The recipe called for 12 corn tortillas; I think I used 8 or 10 small flour ones. Obviously there will be a texture and flavor difference, but I had flour tortillas on hand because neither of us are big corn tortilla people. I warm the tortillas wrapped in barely damp paper towels in the microwave for 30 seconds.

Scoop some sweet potato mixture into each tortilla and roll it up. Place in a greased 9x13 baking dish.

Pour your enchilada sauce over the rolled up tortillas. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Bake until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted, 20-25 minutes.

I liked them a lot. New Mexicans be warned that they aren't at all spicy; up your chili powder if you want some bite, or add some chopped jalepenos or chiles to the onions when you cook those. They also don't really taste much like sweet potatoes, but more like tomatoey cuminy goodness.

Anyway. Filling and delicious; not too terribly complicated but a bit time consuming. I have to find out if the DDH likes them before I'll know if I can make them again, though, since that's a big pan of food for one person. ^_^

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