Wednesday, September 22, 2010

"Chicken" a.k.a. tempeh enchiladas

That's tempeh the food, not a mispelling of the city in Arizona. 

I've introduced M to Mexican food and while he doesn't quite get the difference between enchilada, fajita, burrito, etc., he loves it all. His favorite is still tostada night when I make some refried beans, salsa and guacamole, cut up some tomatoes & lettuce, grate some cheese, and put out sour cream.  This time I thought I try something new - enchiladas. And while I love cheese enchiladas, sometimes you need something a bit heartier and so when a friend pointed out a chicken enchilada recipe, I decided to change it up a bit.

To replace the chicken, I used tempeh, which is a fantastic substitute for chicken in most recipes and for people who just don't like tofu. It's originally from Indonesia and is made with soy beans instead of curd like tofu. It has it's own taste, unlike tofu, and is firm, sort of chewy and has kernels of soybean in it. You'll want to boil tempeh for 10 15 minutes before including it in most recipes.

You'll need a few ingredients that aren't that easy to find in Austria. For one, soft corn tortillas. I have yet to find a place that sells them. I make them from scratch. A corn tortilla recipe is coming soon; I promise! You'll also need green chilis. Luckily, I've found the pointy bell peppers from Hungary or even, in a pinch, the jarred, whole green chilis are a decent substitute.

I managed this whole thing in one evening including making tortillas and the sauce, but I would recommend making the sauce and tortillas ahead of time. Both can be frozen and can be used as the basis of many different Mexican recipes.

"Chicken" a.k.a. tempeh enchiladas

Adapted from:  Green-Sauced Chicken Enchiladas
Notes: Make the tortillas and sauce first if you haven't already. You can chop the onions and shred the cheese while the sauce is simmering. If you can at all find them or make them, corn tortillas will turn out much better than flour tortillas. Flour tortillas will tend to get a bit mushy. Please try to find a good quality cheddar cheese - from Ireland if you're in Europe. Most of the cheddar cheese that's sold in Austrian grocery stores is a poor cousin to good cheddar cheese. You can substitute however a mix of Vorarlberger Bergkäse and Emmental.
Prep time: 10 min (not including time for the sauce)
Cooking time: 15 min; in the oven.
Servings: 4


Tempeh enchiladas
8 6-inch or 10 5-inch corn tortillas

green enchilada sauce (see below for recipe)

1 1/2 cup / 200 g / 7 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
200 g / 7 oz. of tempeh

olive oil or similar to grease your cooking pan

Preheat your oven to 177°C / 350°F.

Chop tempeh into dice sized cubes. Bring a small pot of water with the tempeh to boil and boil for 10 to 15 min. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile on a very hot, dry cast iron griddle or non-stick pan, heat the tortillas on each side until warm and pliable; about 1 min.

Spread about 1 to 2 tablespoons of enchilada sauce, enough to cover each tortillas completely. On top of that add about 1 tablespoon of shredded cheeses. Roll up the tortilla and place it, seam side down, into the corner of a greased casserole dish. Repeat until all of the tortillas are used up. You should have approx. half of the cheese and a bit more than half of the sauce left over.

Crumble the drained tempeh with your fingers over the top of the rolled up enchiladas. Spread the remaining sauce over the tempeh. Cover with the remaining cheddar cheese.

Bake at 177°C/350°F for 15 min.

Green-chili enchilada sauce
Adapted from:  Green Enchilada Sauce
Notes: The original recipe called for roasting fresh green chilis in the oven and removing their skins. While that probably tastes delish, it takes forever and fresh chilis weren't available in the grocery store. I replaced it with jarred peppers that I drained and quickly browned on a dry non-stick pan. It worked out just fine and saved me a lot of time. 
Prep time: 15 min
Cooking time: 20 min; simmering on the stove.
Servings: 3 cups / 700 ml


600 g jarred green chilis
2 small or 1 large onions
2 medium tomatoes
6 garlic cloves

1/2 cup / 120 ml water
3/4 teaspoon salt

InstructionsDrain the jarred chilis. On a dry non-stick pan over medium high heat, brown the chilis. Set aside to cool. Finely slice or chop the onions. Chop the tomatoes.  Mince the garlic. Chop the cooled chilis.
Place all of the ingredients in a medium sized sauce pan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 20 min. Using a stand mixer, blend until it is a thick sauce.
© 2010 Nicole

1 comment:

  1. I really like the sound of the green chilli sauce. Thanks for sharing.



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