Monday, January 25, 2010

Enchiladas, brought to you by the color WHITE

Chicken-Less White Bean Pepper Jack Enchiladas

What's white filled with white and red all over? Chicken-less White Bean Pepper Jack Enchiladas! Yesterday, my husband requested enchiladas. Unfortunately, the "don't leave the apartment all weekend" rule was in effect, and we were out of melt-able cheese. So today on my way home I picked up a bit of Pepper Jack cheese from the deli downstairs. I came home and started to gather my ingredients, when I realized I had a choice of black or white beans. I thought about the other ingredients going into the mix: a relatively white cheese, and white onions. I also have a stock of fake chicken I've been meaning to experiment with. Hey... all these things are white? Sometimes an easy way to put new things together is by color, so I decided to go with it, and use the white beans today. Heck, even the tortillas are white corn. Add a little garlic, throw in some of that white wine I'm drinking and voila! At the end, however, I couldn't resist the addition of a little green, as the pan of protein flavors was begging for cilantro and lime juice.

Chicken-less White Bean Pepper Jack Enchiladas
1/2 C Spanish Onion, chopped
1 Clove garlic, minced
1 14oz can Great Northern beans (or Cannellini, but i prefer Great Northern for the milder flavor)
2 Tbsp Dry White Wine (I used Indaba Chardonnay)
1 package imitation chicken strips (or real chicken, seasoned with adobo or salt/pepper/garlic)
1 Tbsp Adobo seasoning
1/8 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp dried oregano
1/4 C fresh squeezed Lime Juice
1/4 C chopped fresh Cilantro
Salt, Black Pepper, Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
8oz Pepper Jack Cheese, shredded (about a 1-1/2" thick block from the deli)
4-6 Corn Tortillas

Enchilada Sauce:
3 Tbsp Canola Oil
1 tsp Arrowroot (Or 1 Tbsp Flour)
2 Tbsp Chili Powder
2 8oz cans Tomato Sauce (no salt added)
1 Tbsp Cayenne
1/8 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp oregano
Salt, to taste (about 1 tsp)

Heat 1 Tbsp Canola oil in a deep skillet and saute the onions and garlic about 4 minutes. Add the beans, wine and seasoning. Simmer until wine evaporates, about 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and add lime juice a little at a time until it's to your taste, and season as needed. Stir in cilantro and set aside.

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce by heating canola oil in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the arrowroot or flour and chili powder, and stir to dissolve. Add tomato sauce and seasonings and heat through.

Lay tortillas on a plate, cover with a damp paper towel, and microwave on low (30%) for about 15-20 seconds, so they are more pliable. Fill each down the center with bean mixture and cheese, reserving some cheese for the topping. Fold closed, secure with toothpick and place in glass or ceramic baking dish (because the acid in tomato sauce does crazy things to a nonstick pan). Top with generous amount of sauce and cheese (you may have sauce left, save or use for a condiment). Bake at 400F for about 20 minutes.

Serve with sour cream or guacamole (see below).


Fillings: Pepper Jack cheese, Chardonnay, White Corn Tortillas, Chicken-Less strips, Great Northern white beans, onions, garlic

Chicken-Less Strips from Trader Joe's

Hot Filling

Prep for assembly

Chunky Avocado & Lime: Mash together avocado, fresh cilantro, lime juice, salt & pepper.

To cut an avocado: Cut in half & remove pit. Score almost to the skin with a paring knife. Scoop out chunks with a tabelspoon.

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