22 November 2009

Avocado Enchiladas

There is something I love about when it starts to really get cold. When you wake up in the morning and the heat is keeping the house toasty warm but you know, looking out the window at the crisp sharp sunlight and the bare branches, that it's cold out there. When your barefeet hit the cold kitchen floor as you go to make that cup of coffee. It's how I know that coats and boots and turkey and stuffing and carols will be fast arriving.

And while I'm sure every cook out there is already pre-cooking for the big feast day, we also still have to make something for dinner. This year, my only holiday duties will involve getting on an airplane and perhaps a bit of sous-chefing at my destination. I'm looking forward to it.

But in the meantime, I wanted something quick and satisfying and green for dinner. Enchiladas come in a million variations, with green and red and all-kinds of bean sauces, and a myriad of fillings, but this one is one of my favorites. This does involve dirtying a few pans, but it's not terribly complicated and a great dish for brunch, lunch or dinner. The filling contains avocados, cheese, and cilantro, wrapped in salsa verde and corn tortillas and covered in more cheese. Of course, you can always doctor up the filling as you like, adding shredded chicken or white beans or some roasted green chile peppers.

So what about you, what do you cook on the eve of a holiday? Do you have a pre-holiday tradition? Give up and order pizza? Relay on pantry staples like pasta? Let me know in the comments.

Avocado Enchiladas

grapeseed, peanut, or canola oil
12 corn tortillas
1 1/2 cups salsa verde (store-bought or homemade)
2 avocados
splash of lemon juice
optional additions: white beans, shredded cooked chicken, roasted poblano peppers
1 lb of monetery jack or mozzarella cheese, grated (you probably won't need all of it)
1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped

1. Lightly oil a casserole dish. Preaheat oven to 350 F.
2. Slice avocados and splash lemon juice over them along with a pinch of salt. Have ready the grated cheese and chopped cilantro and any other filling you want.
3. Place the salsa in a saucepan and bring to a low simmer. Heat about 1/4 inch of oil in a saucepan and heat until hot.
4. Place 1 tortilla in oil and cook on both sides until warm and supple, do not brown. Using tongs, transfer tortilla and dip in salsa to lightly coat.
5. Transfer tortilla to workspace and place some avocado, cheese, and cilantro in the middle. Roll up and place seam side down in the prepared pan. Repeat the process with remaining tortillas, until the casserole is completely full.
6. Spread some of the remaining salsa verde over top of the enchiladas. Top with a thcik sprinkling of grated cheese.
7. Bake until heated through and cheese is melted, about 10-15 minutes.
8. Sprinkle with some cilantro and serve. Sour cream is nice accompaniment.


Julia said...

This is such a lovely food idea. Avocados are filed firmly in the "garnish" category in my brain and it's great to be reminded how good they are when they're a substantial part of the dish.

I was having the same experience of "oh, right, we still need to eat on Monday [Tuesday, Wednesday]..." I also find that the anticipation and focus of culinary imagination towards Thursday makes it harder for me to think about ordinary meals as usual. Last night I made a mushroom pasta (with spinach, roasted red peppers, and caramelized onions), and I suspect over the next few nights we'll have a frittata/salad meal, a burrito meal, and maybe grilled fish: in short, nothing inventive and nothing that generates a lot of leftovers. I caught myself thinking about making a Big Braised Meat thing and then reflected that a fridge full of cooked meat wouldn't really be an advantage this week.
Thank you so much for your wonderful blog--I really enjoy reading everything you write.

saralinda said...

Looks delicious! I will have to make this for my vegetarian dinner guests. Thanks!

The New Girl said...

Oh wow, I'm so sorry I've never thought of this. This seems like the perfect Saturday morning brunch type food. Especially after gorging on all the Thanksgiving foods.

Unknown said...

First, love the site. I found you through Smitten Kitchen and you're now on my blog roll.

For my family thanksgiving is potluck with me always being in charge of the dessert and the bread. I will do my shopping tonight and I'll stick with super simple things to eat all week. Bagel sandwiches, quesadillas, etc. The pie baking will start Tuesday and go through Thursday and rolls will begin Wednesday night into Thursday.

Desperately Seeking Gina said...

These look awesome....My BF and I are vegetarians and we love these kind of simple dishes.

Thank you!

{found you through Smitten Kitchen}

tasteofbeirut said...

My kids and I are nuts about enchilada. I love your recipe. I will have to make it soon!

figtree said...

What a perfect meal. I have 2 avocados that are sitting on my kitchen counter that would love to be part of an enchilada..Happy Thanksgiving.

Barbara said...

Very unusual! I think my family would love them.

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Lea of Little Rock Wedding said...

I haven't heard or try this recipe yet but then sounds yummy let me try this one at home.

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Malaka Gharib said...

Hi Mercedes! I didn't know else how to contact you (no email address on your blog), but I love your blog and I think you might be interested in mine, too! I run http://TheGrandInternational.com, a Filipino-Egyptian food blog. I have lots of Arab recipes on there...but I love your one about the bread-wrapped chicken. So cool! Anyway, I'm in the DC area too, so if you ever want to meet up to cook, I'd be down! -- Malaka

Suzer said...

These look easy and very yum. I'm going back to the traditional this Christmas, with homemade pizza (white and red) and pasta.