Enchiladas Especiales

I love it when my friends inspire me. Case in point: my good friend Beth in Austin posted about her homemade enchiladas verde the other day, and I simply couldn’t stop thinking about them. They just looked, and sounded, so. good. Who am I kidding: of course they sounded good. Mexican food always sounds good to me.

Fast-forward to today, when I picked up a stellar Farmer’s Market Basket that included poblano peppers. After doing a little happy dance realizing I had a new fun ingredient to play with, I calmed down and thought about just how, exactly, I’d eat them. Enchiladas seemed to be the reasonable – or only – answer.

A quick search revealed Rick Bayless’ recipe for enchiladas especiales tacuba style.

Y’all. I wanted to take a bath in that enchilada sauce. It’s like a Mexican béchamel: thick, rich, and muy delicioso.

These enchiladas aren’t spicy. Instead, they are flavorful, and oddly filling. The sauce is so thick and fortified with delicious poblanos & spinach… so technically, this dish has vegetables in it. I served them with some plan ol’ black beans, and washed it all down with a grapefruit margarita (because, you know, what else was I supposed to do with those ginormous grapefruits that I got in my basket today?).

I actually felt bad topping them with cheddar cheese. It seemed so… wrong. I mean, look at them. The cheddar sticks out like a sore thumb on top. Usually, melted cheddar looks good to me, but not here. It needed to be cotija or monterey jack.

If Dave was a bigger fan of goat cheese, I probably would have snuck in a few crumbles in the middle of the rolled up tortillas. But, I followed the recipe exactly, and they were delicious.

The only thing I wish I’d done differently is use ALL of the sauce. I ended up keeping about half of it in a container that I will attempt to freeze for the next time (can one freeze béchamel? I guess we’ll find out!). The sauce was just so good, the enchiladas could’ve used all of it.

I promise these won’t disappoint. Chef Bayless knows what he’s doing. I’m now really excited to attempt his mole!


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