BUTTERNUT + GREEN CHILE ENCHILADAS
We lost Aunt Suzy this week. It has felt strange and sad and I am in no place to speak on grief here. My heart hurts for her boys and husband, my mom and grandma and the gaggle of friends she had who adored her. Talking about anything else feels cheap right now, so excuse my brevity.
I did however want to share this enchilada recipe. You see, this is the recipe (and I use that term very loosely since I make them different every time) I make when I deliver food to friends in need. Mostly families with a new baby. I got extra ingredients this week to make a batch for friends who are battling cancer with their baby girl, and I passed off a plate today to a friend who stopped by who has been sick with a flu this whole week. It feels good to feed someone. I read my pal Ashley’s post this week and saw much of myself in her words. Of course I like food; I enjoy eating and I find it somewhat of a challenge to make wholesome food more tasty, but, BUT, I like cooking because I’m a nurturer. It’s what comfort I have to give when there are no words. In my language, it says I care for you when a gesture is the only thing that can fill silence. I made a few notes on details below, but enchiladas are pretty forgiving. These are not particularly authentic. They have more vegetables than cheese and a fresh, green topping for color and contrast. Use more sauce if you like them saucey or more cheese if you want a little more decadence.
Give extra hugs. Make your wrongs, right. It’s a fragile life we lead, friends. xo
BUTTERNUT + GREEN CHILE ENCHILADAS // Serves 4
If squash are no longer good, or available, sweet potatoes are a great alternative. I would say about two large potatoes will give you the same yield as the squash here. Spice level is subject to what sort of sauce or salsa you use.
Because I think this is a great meal to deliver to someone in need, it can be made halfway and finished off by the receiver of said enchiladas. Prepare everything and simply don’t bake them, just cover in foil and leave the directions for the cook temp + time. You can replace the black beans with two small shredded chicken breasts if you’re looking for something more omnivorous but I venture to claim these are plenty filling for the meat eating sort. The cilantro topping can be made in advance but I wouldn’t suggest salting it if it will be eaten more than a half day later. The salt makes the vegetables get a little mushy.
- 1 large butternut squash
- 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
- 1 tsp. chili powder 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 5-6 ounces soft goat cheese, divided
- milk or broth as needed to thin
- 1 1/2 cups/ 15 oz. can cooked black beans, drained
- 1/2 cup/ 4oz. can mild, fire roasted green chiles
- 8 corn tortillas
- 12 oz. green salsa or enchilada sauce*
- // cilantro topping //
- 1 small bunch cilantro
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
- juice of one lime
- pinch of salt
- 1 avocado, diced
Preheat the oven to 400′. Peel, seed and cube the squash. Line a baking tray with parchment. On the baking tray, toss the squash with the oil, chili powder, smoked paprika and salt to coat. Spread in a single layer and roast on the middle rack for 30-40 minutes or until nice and soft. Turn the oven down to 350′.
Put 4 oz. of the goat cheese in a mixing bowl, reserving the rest for garnish. Add the squash to the mixing bowl with a generous splash of milk or broth and mash until roughly smooth.
Mix the black beans and green chiles together. Char the tortillas over the stove. Gather your assembly line with the tortillas, beans, and squash mash. In a 13×9 baking dish, spread 1/3 cup of the enchilada sauce to cover the bottom. Into the tortillas, spread about a heaping 1/4 cup of the squash mash and a few spoonfuls of the beans on top. Roll the tortilla and put it in your dish, seam side down. Continue with remaining tortillas for as many will fit in your dish. Spread remaining enchilada sauce over the top and sprinkle on remaining goat cheese. Lightly cover with foil and bake at 350′ for 20 minutes to warm through. Take off the foil and broil another 5 minutes to char the tops.
While the enchiladas bake, make the cilantro topping. Roughly chop the cilantro and put it, the green onions and pom seeds in a small mixing bowl. Add the lime juice and a pinch of salt and stir to mix. When ready to serve, gently stir in the diced avocado. Serve the enchiladas with a scoop of the cilantro topping on top.
* I use a jarred enchilada sauce or salsa but you could make your own should you have the desire and time. This batch I tried the hatch valley salsa from Trader Joes but I also really like their red enchilada sauce. I am anxious to try Laura’s next time (those enchiladas look amazing).