Last November, I went on a salsa verde canning binge. Springdale Farm had the most lovely purple and green tomatillos. It was so easy and fun, and at the time I could think of lots of things to do with salsa verde; comprised of charred tomatillos, onions, peppers, garlic, cilantro and lime juice. I am a compulsive girl, and canned about 12 pints of salsa verde. I have given some away, and used some to make Chiliquiles thus far.
I was invited to s dinner for Valentines day, and decided to make chicken enchiladas, using the salsa verde and a Dewberry Hills Farm chicken I had purchased at the farmer’s market. I also had on hand lots of cilantro pesto and fresh cilantro from raiding the garden at Austin Wine Merchant. (Austin Wine Merchant has a working garden on all sides of the parking lot, which I help them with from time to time.)
In order to make the salsa verde shelf stable, the canning recipe calls for quite a bit of lime juice, making it fairly tart and astringent. My goal to counter this tartness, was the addition of a creamy element, via Full Quiver Neufchatel, which is like a decadent, thick cream cheese. First, I cooked and diced the chicken and dumped it into a big bowl.
Next, I made my cilantro cream mixture, by combining 2 tubs of Neufchatel with about a 1/3 cup of the cilantro pesto I had made earlier. The creamy sauce was too thick, so I thinned it with some goat milk, then added more handfuls of cilantro and blended it. Once I was happy with the texture, I added it into the chicken, with about 3 cups of grated Full Quiver Monterrey Jack cheese, mixed it and set it aside.
I had purchased fresh corn tortillas from El Milagro tortilla factory on East 6th. I attempted to soften them enough to roll, by moistening them in the Salsa Verde. This did not work, they still broke. So, in batches of twos, I heated them in a little oil until soft and pliable.
I poured about a pint of the salsa in my dish, and commenced rolling the chicken, cheese mixture into each tortilla and filling the pan. Once it was filled to capacity, I poured over a bit more salsa, the topped with a good amount of grated Full Quiver Cheddar, and some chopped cilantro for color and garnish.
The enchiladas were heated at the farm, so there is no final melty picture, but I think you get the gist. They were well received, although I would have tweeked the recipe more to add more heat to the chicken mixture. Alas, peppers aren’t in season, so I make do with what I can get from the farmer’s market and farm stands. This coming pepper season, I will roast lots of green chiles and keep them in the freezer for future enchiladas and other dishes.