This recipe is inspired by tamales with poblano chilis. Most tamales I have eaten have been filled with beef, pork or chicken and, although I have had some great tamales over the years, one type of tamale remains unique among the rest because of its simplicity, clarity and sheer perfection. If you’ve never had a green chili tamale you’ve been missing out on a wonderful thing!
Here in the United States, poblano chilis are mostly known as the main ingredient in chili rellenos…you know, the big green chili dipped in fluffy egg whites and fried to a delicious, golden brown. As for Chihuahua cheese, well, it’s a soft, pale cheese, similar to, but not exactly like mozzarella. Poblano chilis and Chihuahua cheese were made for each other.
Oh, by the way, mark your calendar. I’m making a vegetarian dish!
4 chilis poblano, roasted and cut into slivers
1 lb Chihuahua cheese (cut into ¼” sticks)
3 Tbs butter
4 Tbs flour
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp garlic powder
4 cups vegetable stock
14 corn tortillas (homemade, if you’re lucky)
¼ cup green sauce (salsa verde: tomatillo/serrano sauce)
Rinse the poblanos under cold water. Dry them off and place them on a parchment paper covered baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 30 minutes, turning every 10 minutes.
Once the chilis have blistered on all sides, remove them and place them in a plastic storage bag for about 15 minutes. Steaming the chilis will allow you to easily peel away the outer layer of the chilis.
Once the chilis have steamed and cooled, remove them from the bag and place them on a clean work surface. Remove the stems and peel away the outer “skin” of the chilis. They should peel easily. Slice the chilis lengthwise and lay them open. Remove the seeds.
Cut the cleaned chilis into thin ribbons and set aside.
Slice the cheese into ¼” sticks. Set aside.
Start a roux with the butter and flour. Add the cumin and garlic powder. Simmer and whisk for a few minutes.
Add the vegetable stock. Stir until thickened.
Pour one half of the sauce into a large casserole dish. Keep the rest of the sauce in a warm place.
Lay some tortillas on a clean work surface and add the fillings. These will be some thin enchiladas!
Add 1 strip of cheese and an equal amount of poblano chili to a tortilla.
Roll the tortilla and place in the casserole dish. Continue in this fashion until you run out of chilis, cheese or tortillas. Pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas.
Add some dots of the salsa verde along the top of the enchiladas.
Add strips of Chihuahua cheese across the top of the rolled enchiladas.
Bake in a 350° oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cheese on top bubbles and begins to brown.
Note: I was hungry and I forgot to take a picture of the final dish. I trust that you can imagine what the finished dish looked like…soft, creamy enchiladas with a toasted cheesy topping. Yes…that pretty much sums it up. Enjoy!