Friday, April 25, 2014

Lunch Week 15: Turkey Enchiladas

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch the next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it every week unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided.

So my lunch for this week is: Turkey Enchiladas
Now that I'm all well rested from my trip, I'm back to cooking more elaborately. So for lunch this week, I had turkey enchiladas. Sure you can use shredded chicken or ground beef instead. But for health reasons, I used turkey. It is about 95% lean which is a huge difference from other meats. Oh and this dish lasted really well through the end of the week. It was a true make ahead dish.

So the first step to making enchiladas is the sauce. In a food processor (you can use a blender as well), puree chipotle chilis, onion, garlic, spices, and water. You'll want to puree with until very smooth.
In a sided pan, heat up the tomato sauce with the chili puree. Slowly simmer for about 30 minutes until slightly reduced. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
In another pan, saute onions until browned. Add chicken stock and reduce until almost completely evaporated. Add ground turkey and cook until completely browned all the way through. Remove from heat and let cool.
Once cooled, add shredded cheese, scallions, chopped jalapenos, and tomatoes to turkey and onion mixture. Mix well.
Now it's rolling up time. Scoop some of the filling mixture onto a corn tortilla. Roll up from one end to the other.
Then place snugly onto a sauce lined oven safe casserole dish. Continue with the rest of the filling and tortilla.
Top filled tortillas with more sauce and rest of the shredded cheese. Try to cover every exposed surface sauce and cheese.
Bake covered in the oven for about 20 minutes then uncover and bake for abother 20 minutes. Cheese should be melted, sauce should be bubbly.
Let cool 10 minutes then serve with various fresh toppings like tomatoes, cilantro, scallion greens, and avocados.
Like I said, this was a really good lunch. With all the other ingredients, you can't even tell that it's turkey meat in the middle with the spiciness of the sauce and jalapenos to the freshness of the topping, and the melted cheese. Everything together was really good. And the best part is that it heated up really well in the office microwave. That, my readers, and sometimes me the hardest hurdle to overcome.

Recipe below is adapted from Food & Wine's recipe for Red Chile-Chicken Enchiladas

Turkey Enchiladas
Servings 10-15

6 chipotle chilis in adobo sauce
1 cup water
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
6 large garlic cloves
2 tablespoon ground cumin
3 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon dried oregano
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
5 cups canned tomato sauce (40 ounces)
Salt and freshly ground pepper

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large onions, thinly sliced
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
3 lbs ground turkey meat
2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
4 scallions, thinly cliced
1 tomato, finely chopped
1 1/2 pound Monterey Jack cheese, shredded and divided
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Vegetable oil for frying
40 corn tortillas

Serve with chopped avocado, tomato, scallions, and cilantro.

Preheat oven to 350oF
1. In a blender, puree chilis, onion, garlic, cumin, coriander, oregano, and water.
2. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over moderately low heat. Add the tomato sauce and adobo chili puree. Cook uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.
3. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat and stirring until lightly browned. Add the broth and cook until the onions are very soft and the broth has mostly evaporated. Add ground turkey meat and cumin. Cook completely through. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and let cool.
4. Add cooled turkey meat to chopped scallios, cilantro, and cheese.
5. Ladle sauce into shallow baking dish. Spoon 1/4 cup of turkey filling onto each tortilla. Roll up and place into baking dish. Repeat with rest of the tortillas. Once the shallow dish is filled, ladle more sauce on top and finish with shredded cheese.
6. Cover the enchiladas with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes. Let the enchiladas cool for 10 minutes. Serve with chopped avocado, tomato, scallions, and cilantro.

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