Shrimp Enchiladas with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Parsnips

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Folks, I have just discovered my new love and it is shrimp enchiladas in a green chili verde sauce with roasted sweet potatoes, parsnips, and goat cheese. The fact that I just got these out of the oven a little less than two hours ago and am posting the recipe so soon is enough to prove that they are out-of-this-world amazing. The combination of shrimp and root vegetables is definitely unexpected but incredible. Your taste buds are in for a great surprise.

I finally made a point to make something nice in the kitchen this weekend, so that I’d have lunch to bring to school or have for dinner the next few days. And it totally did the trick. I went on a crazy Epicurious bookmarking rampage and found a ton of new and amazing Bon Appetit recipes, and this was one of them. I have to admit I have never actually made enchiladas before. Yes, I’ve made “traditional” chicken enchiladas with red sauce, cheddar cheese, and olives with my mom at times, but this is different. WAY different and a thousand times more amazing. And I made these all on my own and bought all of the ingredients myself. What a big girl I am. Hah. Anyways, these will knock your socks off. But only if you tweak them a bit like I did. Don’t tell anyone, but the secret is swapping out goat cheese for the queso fresco (but I mixed it with a little feta also). It helps cool down the medium spiciness of the salsa verde and tomatillos. Your taste buds will thank you and have died and gone to heaven.

One day if I open a restaurant, these will definitely have to be on the menu. Garnish with a little avocado, cilantro, and lime and you’re good to go. Ahh. These are SO GOOD! If this kind of comfort food doesn’t help ease your feet into the breadth of autumn, I don’t know what will.

Shrimp Enchiladas with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Parsnips
Serves 6
Bon Appetit October 2010 issue

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 pound parsnips, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
12 ounces red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams; about 2 small), peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 red onion, sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
5 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1 large garlic clove, peeled
1 small jalapeño chile, halved, seeded
2 cups coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup chopped green onions (about 6)
1 4-ounce can diced green chiles (preferably fire-roasted), drained
2 cups purchased salsa verde or mild tomatillo salsa
1/2 cup crema mexicana, crème fraîche, or sour cream, divided
8 ounces cooked peeled deveined shrimp, coarsely chopped
12 5 1/2- to 6-inch-diameter corn tortillas
8 ounces crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese (about 2 cups)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Toast cumin seeds in small skillet over medium heat until beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Cool. Transfer to spice mill; process until finely ground. Combine parsnips, sweet potatoes, and red onion in large bowl. Add ground cumin, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, chili powder, oregano, and 1 teaspoon coarse salt; toss to coat. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Roast vegetables until soft and browned in spots, turning occasionally, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool. DO AHEAD: Can be prepared 4 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.

Preheat oven to 375°F. With machine running, add garlic and jalapeño through feed tube of processor and process until finely chopped. Add cilantro, green onions, and drained green chiles. Using on/off turns, process until coarse puree forms. Add salsa; process to blend. Transfer salsa mixture to large deep skillet. Add 1/4 cup crema and stir over medium-low heat just until warm (do not allow to boil). Remove from heat. Season salsa mixture to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and keep warm.
Measure 1 cup roasted vegetables; set aside. Transfer remaining vegetables to processor. Using on/off turns, process until coarsely chopped. Transfer to large bowl. Add shrimp and toss to incorporate evenly. Season filling to taste with salt and pepper.
Heat remaining 3 tablespoons oil in medium skillet over medium-high heat. Working with 1 tortilla at a time, cook until just softened, about 15 seconds per side (do not allow to brown). Transfer tortillas to paper towels to drain. (I skipped this step. I really don’t think it is necessary.)
Spread 1/2 cup salsa mixture over bottom of 15 x 10 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Place 1 tortilla on work surface; sprinkle generous 2 teaspoons crumbled cheese down center. Top with generous 1/4 cup roasted vegetable filling, arranging down center atop cheese. Roll up tortilla and place, seam side down, in prepared dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas, cheese, and filling. Scatter reserved 1 cup roasted vegetables over enchiladas. Spoon remaining salsa mixture over. Sprinkle with any remaining cheese; drizzle with remaining 1/4 cup crema (whisking if necessary to loosen enough to drizzle). Bake enchiladas until heated through, about 20 minutes.

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