How was everyones Easter? Ours didn’t turn out quite as expected. We had plans to go to church, have brunch with my family after, and do Easter baskets later that evening with my husbands parents. Unfortunately, what actually happened is that early Easter morning we were woken up by a very upset Aiden, who was running a 103* fever. We ended up spending a good portion of Easter in the ER while they tried to figure out what was going on.
Aiden had a minor procedure the Friday before Easter. Everything had gone well. We expected a quick and excellent recovery. Then there was the fever. It turned out that Aiden had aspirated something during the surgery. Whatever it was that got into his lung started a case of pneumonia. Hence the 103* temp. Needless to say we spent most of Sunday scared witless. Nothing, and I do mean nothing is more terrifying then something being wrong with your child.
We came home Sunday afternoon with antibiotics for Aiden. Fortunately, they seem to be doing the trick, and Aiden is on the road to recovery. It is so so good to see him eating normally, talking and playing more like usual, and all around acting normal Aiden-like. He still seems worn down to me, though I am told that is to be expected all things considered. I think he will require plenty more rest, and of course antibiotics, before we get back to life as usual. However, things have calmed down enough around here that I actually felt up to sitting down and writing this post.
Today’s recipe came about pre-Eater-hospital-visit. Actually, it more or less came from my husband. In the middle of devouring a bowl of that beautiful roasted red pepper soup (imagine my husband devouring something vegetable related!) I made a few weeks back he pointed out that the soup would almost make for a really awesome enchilada sauce. I realized he was quite right, assuming I made a few tweaks.
The resulting sauce is fabulous for enchiladas. The red bell peppers add a sweet note that complements the tomato flavor of traditional enchilada sauce quite nicely; and also contrasts beautiful with the spices. And then you add this to corn tortillas and lots of sharp cheddar… Sounds wonderful right?
Strangely enough, I found the ingredient that really takes the sauce and dish as a whole over the top is the unsweetened coco powder. I know it might sound a little weird, but I remind all the doubters that mole is another sauce that uses chocolate in an unconventional way to great results. In this case the coco adds a real depth to the other flavors in the sauce, and doesn’t end up reading like chocolate at all. Do not be afraid of the coco powder, it work.
Anyhow, I suggest serving these enchiladas with a side of rice and refried beans for optimal consumption purposes. :)
Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Enchiladas – Yields 24 cheese enchiladas.
- 4 red bell peppers
- 6 large tomatoes
- drizzle of olive or canola oil
- 16 oz vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 3 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon red pepper
- 1 teaspoon corn starch
- splash of water
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened coco powder
- 1/4 cup cream
- 24 small corn tortillas
- 32 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- optional, fresh cilantro
1. Wash, halve and seed the four bell peppers and add them to a dutch oven (or other stove to oven safe pot). Wash the tomatoes and add them to the pot as well. Add the garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, oregano, paprika, sea salt, unsweetened coco powder, and red pepper to the pot (start with 1/4 teaspoon of pepper if you like mild sauce, add up to a full teaspoon if you prefer a little more heat). Drizzle the olive or canola oil over the vegetables and spices. Place the pot uncovered in the oven. Set the oven to 400* and roast until the peppers are slightly blacked and soft, about 1 hour.
2. Transfer the dutch oven from the oven to the stove top. Add the vegetable broth to the pot and set the burner to a medium high heat. When the broth has come to a boil, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Allow the vegetables to simmer in the broth for about 10 minutes. Use an immersion blender to puree the vegetables into the broth until completely smooth.
3. In a small bowl mix together the teaspoon of corn starch and splash of water to make a slurry. Add the slurry, the coco powder, and the cream to the sauce. Stir well, until the coco has fully dissolved into the sauce. Allow the sauce to simmer an additional 10 minutes or until thickened slightly.
1. Ladle a generous scoop of enchilada sauce in the bottom of two 9×12 baking pans. Make sure the sauce covers the entire bottom of the pan. Warm the stack of tortillas for 30 seconds or so in the microwave to make them more pliable.
2. Fill each tortillas with a generous handful of shredded cheddar, then gently fold/ roll the tortilla closed. Place the rolled tortilla seam side down into a prepared baking pan. Repeat, placing each enchilada next to the one before it in a neat row, until all the tortillas and cheese have been used up. Cover the tops of the enchiladas heavily with sauce.
3. Bake the enchiladas at 350* for 45 minutes to an hour, or until all the cheese has melted inside. Allow the enchiladas to rest for 5-10 minutes for neater servings. Optional: mice and top with fresh cilantro.