Thursday, August 7, 2008

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Chile Sauce


I love enchiladas, but finding a healthy alternative can be difficult. They are loaded with cheese at the very least, and sometimes the tortillas are gently fried in oil before you fill them.

Cooks Illustrated's Red Chile Enchiladas looked like it could be easily modified — if only it didn't call for more than a brick of monterey jack. I liked a lot of the recipe. Pickled jalapenos were a fun twist I don't normally see and fresh cilantro in the filling sounded fantastic. As did making my own red chile sauce (I like to move away from the canned varieties when possible.)

This time, I reduced the cheese by quite a lot. I reduced the cheese in the filling by half and used only 1/2 cup on top. But it wasn't quite cheesy enough for my liking.

So here's what I plan to next time.. combine two of enchilada recipes to come up with something a little cheesier, but still fits in my menu plan. It looks like there's a lot of ingredients, but it comes together fairly quickly, and while the sauce is simmering, you can easily start mixing the filling.

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Chile Sauce
Sauce and filling:
4 teaspoons canola or safflower oil
1 medium onion, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
2 cans tomato sauce (8 ounces each)
2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
1/3 cup (3 oz.) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 can pickled jalapenos, drained and chopped
Tortillas and toppings:
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1/4 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded
Sour cream, avocado, lime wedges for garnishing (optional)

Preheat the oven to 300°.

FOR THE SAUCE AND FILLING: Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat add onion and cook until soft and starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, coriander, cumin, salt, and sugar; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomato sauce and 1/4 cup water. Bring to simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low; simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat.

Combine with cilantro, jalapenos, and cream cheese, chicken, and 1/2 cup sauce in medium bowl and set aside.

Lay the tortillas out on a baking sheet and spray each side with cooking spray. Warm in the oven for 4 minutes, or until soft and pliable.

TO ASSEMBLE: Preheat oven to 475°. Spray 13x9 baking dish with cooking spray. Spoon about 1/4 cup chicken mixture down center of tortilla; roll up. Place tortilla, seam-side down. Repeat procedure with remaining tortillas and filling. Pour remaining chile sauce over the enchiladas and top with 1/4 cup monterey jack. Bake for about 18 minutes or thoroughly heated and cheese is melted. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Nutritional Info (without optional toppings): 370 calories, 12 grams fat, 6 grams fiber

No comments: