Monday, September 20, 2010

sunday - shrimp enchiladas with sweet potatoes and parsnips

Ok, so this was definitely a weekend meal rather than a weeknight meal, as these shrimp enchiladas with sweet potatoes and parsnips from this month's Bon Appétit took quite some time to prepare. Part of the reason it took so long was that I made the tomatillo salsa from scratch (I picked up two pounds of tomatillos at the farmers' market this weekend and planned on canning salsa based on this recipe, but I ended up using so much of the salsa for the enchiladas that I modified the recipe to be less acidic and stored the extra in the freezer.). If you use purchased salsa verde like the recipe suggests and buy peeled/cooked shrimp (I had to peel my shrimp--also time-consuming), it will go much faster. It's worth the time investment, though, as these enchiladas are delicious! And, being from Tucson, I know my enchiladas. The root vegetables gave it a nice sweetness, and the shrimp added a nice texture to the soft root vegetable filling. You could omit the shrimp, however, and have a great vegetarian meal. I used queso fresco, which I highly recommend, but feta has a very similar taste if that's all you can find.

I served a simple arugula salad with the enchiladas, tossed with olive oil and lemon juice.

Shrimp Enchiladas with Sweet Potatoes and Parsnips

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds or 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 pound parsnips, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
12 ounces sweet potatoes (about 2 small), peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 red onion, sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
1/2 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 salsa verde or mild tomatillo salsa (recipe follows, or used purchased salsa)
1/4 cup sour cream
8 ounces cooked peeled deveined shrimp, coarsely chopped (optional)
12 6-inch-diameter corn tortillas
8 ounces crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese (about 2 cups)

Preheat oven to 400° F. Spray rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. If using whole cumin seeds, toast the seeds in small skillet over medium heat until beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Cool. Transfer to spice mill; process until finely ground (or finely chop and crush with a knife). Combine parsnips, sweet potatoes, and red onion in large bowl. Add ground cumin, oil, chili powder, oregano, and 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 sour cream 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, if using, and toss to incorporate evenly. Season filling to taste with salt and pepper.

Wrap tortillas in damp paper towels, and microwave for 30-second intervals until heated through. 

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. Bake enchiladas until heated through, about 20 minutes.

Makes 6 servings.

Tomatillo Salsa

2 pounds tomatillos (about 27 medium)
1 large onion, chopped
2 jalapeño chiles, seeded and chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Add all ingredients to food processor; process until almost smooth. Transfer salsa to sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Makes about 4 pints. Can be stored in freezer for up to 3 months.

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