The flavor profile largely favors Southwestern foods, but I wanted to do more to highlight the Italian culture than simply construct an enchilada like a nice big pan of lasagna by using corn tortillas as I would lasagna noodles. To do this I incorporated ricotta cheese, as is typical when making lasagna. The ricotta's presence helps politely remind your taste buds that, although the inspirational Mexican flavors are sitting in the VIP lounge, Italy is still on the guest list and a force to be reckoned with.
|Lasagna-styled Enchilada with Punch-drunk Barley|
Total Time: 40 to 50 min.
|Some featured ingredients|
1.25 lb. ground turkey
1 tbls. olive oil
1 can red enchilada sauce (net wt. 19 oz.)
8 corn tortillas
1 each red, yellow, green peppers, sliced
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 c. ricotta cheese
1 tsp. cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 - 1 c. shredded cheddar and jack cheese
Fire Roasted Corn + Avocado Relish (recipe follows)
Chipotle Crema (recipe follows)
1. Preheat oven to 375 deg. Turn a burner to medium and begin heating a pan with olive oil. Once heated begin cooking and browning the turkey. Season with salt and pepper to taste, or add fiesta lime seasoning if you have it. Also, pour a little enchilada sauce over the meat during the cooking process so the meat retains some moisture.
2. While the turkey is cooking, lightly coat tortillas with olive oil, salt, pepper and bake. Place tortillas in the oven for about 5 min., or until tortillas begin to crisp and turn golden brown. This will help add a little flavor and texture. You may bake the tortillas while the oven is preheating.
3. Prepare the vegetables by slicing the peppers and chopping the onion.
4. Add some flair to the ricotta cheese by mixing in a few drops of lime juice and zest, cumin and pepper.
5. Once the oven is preheated, turkey browned and tortillas baked it is time to construct the meal.
7. Tent loosely with foil, so the cheese and edges don't burn, before placing in the oven for about 40 min., or until heated through and vegetables are tender.
|Baked and ready to eat!|
9. Let the dish sit for at least 5 min. to facilitate cutting. Portion into 6 servings and top each with Fire Roasted Corn + Avocado Relish and Chipotle Crema.
1. It can be difficult to keep the turkey moist, but you may easily use any meat of your choosing. You could also make it vegetarian by leaving the meat behind and adding a greater variety of vegetables!
2. Crisping the tortillas may be skipped because the tortillas will soften again during the baking process. However, I like to flavor each component of a dish so each layer continues to build flavor, and decided baking the tortillas was a great way to add flavor. Some edges that didn't get covered remain crispy as well, thus adding a pleasant textural contrast.
3. Let the cheese brown to your liking. Personally, I would have let the cheese get a little more brown, but my family and I were pretty hungry, so I got a little impatient and decided it was time to eat!
Fire Roasted Corn + Avocado Relish
Makes: about 2 c.
Time: 5 - 10 min. (depends how fast you can chop!)
|A refreshing relish full of bright flavors and tantalizing textural contrasts.|
1 ear of corn, grilled
1 avocado, chopped
1/4 yellow onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, diced
1 roma tomato, chopped
1 med. tomatillo, chopped
1/4 c. chopped jicama
2 tbls. cilantro, chopped (roughly chopped is fine)
Juice and zest of 1 lime
Salt and pepper to taste
1. To grill the corn, heat your grill to medium and remove the corn's husk and silk. Coat the corn lightly with canola oil, salt and pepper. Grill until corn is nicely charred on all sides.
2. Remove the kernels and combine with the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and mix.
3. Allow the relish to cool in the fridge for a bit so the flavors can really come together.
Makes: 6 oz.
Time: < 5 min.
|It's kind of like the cherry on top, only it isn't a cherry!|
6 oz. plain Greek yogurt
1 chipotle pepper in adobo, chopped
1. Combine both ingredients in a bowl and stir.
All done! Pretty easy, huh?