While spring recipes are waiting to be sprung, try this dish from Ann Martin Rolke, a Sacramento culinary consultant whose career includes kitchen time at Red Sage in downtown Washington.
These enchiladas have three things going for them: They offer an unexpected flavor combination of sweet and heat, they make a satisfying meatless meal, and they're a good way to use that spare can of pumpkin puree in the pantry. For some colorful crunch, add a half-cup of diced red bell pepper. Using prepared salsa verde is the quicker option, but a homemade version would up the ante.
Serve with a lightly dressed salad of jicama, red onion and baby spinach.
- 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
- 10 ounces frozen corn kernels (may substitute fresh corn kernels)
- 1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion
- 1/2 cup pecan pieces
- 1 tablespoon medium clove garlic, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika or chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 8 6-inch corn tortillas (from the dairy case)
- 1 ounce baby spinach leaves, washed and patted dry (optional)
- 1 3/4 cups (16 ounces) salsa verde, store-bought or homemade
- 1 1/2 cups grated or shredded Monterey Jack or pepper Jack cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-by-12-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking oil spray.
In a medium bowl, combine the pumpkin, corn, onion, pecans, garlic, cumin, paprika or chili powder, salt and cinnamon. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Separate the 8 corn tortillas and lay them on a work surface. Spoon equal amounts of the pumpkin mixture down the center of each tortilla. Lay a few baby spinach leaves on top of the mixture, if desired, and roll to close. Place seam side down in the baking dish. Top the enchiladas with the salsa, spreading it to cover, and sprinkle the cheese on top. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the cheese has browned and the filling is hot. Place 2 enchiladas on each plate; serve immediately.
Adapted from Rolke's "Hands-Off Cooking: Low-Supervision, High-Flavor Meals for Busy People" (Wiley, 2007).
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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