Lake Norman Magazine

Healthy twist on modern Mexican enchiladas

A lot of what we consider classic Mexican dishes has the same few ingredients. A tortilla with meat and cheese and some type of tomato based sauce can be a taco, burrito or enchilada.When thinking of ways to make these types of dishes a bit different I thought why not make them a little more health conscious as well.The first thought was replacing the beef with either chicken or turkey, for lower fat and higher protein content.  Substituting the cheddar cheese with goat cheese doesn’t lower the fat grams of calories by much, but it is a less oiler cheese making for a cleaner tasting and feeling final product. Deciding to go with a fresh uncooked sauce allows more vitamins, minerals and nutrients to be present in the dish. If you prefer a fresh cooked tomato sauces with no additives it will provide lots of cancer fighting antioxidants and will not take anything away from the overall dish.Whichever sauce you choose to use make it fresh homemade. Making your own sauces provides a time and place to get some of the family in the kitchen to help with dinner. It will also allow you to be in control of what is going into your food.Chicken & Goat Cheese Enchiladas-Tomatillo Salsa Serves 4 to 6 as an EntréeFor the Enchiladas:· 4 Each             Chicken Breast-boneless, skinless-6-8 ounce each· To Taste              Chef Troy’s Back- or kosher salt and black pepper· 2-3 Tablespoons   Canola Oil· 6 Ounces             Goat Cheese-crumbled· 2 to 3 Cups          Grilled Tomatillo Salsa-recipe follows· 12 Each               Corn Tortillas-or flour tortillasTo Garnish:· 1 Cup                                 Greek Yogurt· 1/2 Teaspoon                      Black Pepper· 1/2 Each                             Lime-juice of· 2 Tablespoons                     Cilantro-choppedCombine all ingredients, place in a covered bowl and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.Chicken:Pre heat iron skillet or sauté pan to medium heat.Pat chicken dry with a paper towel and season chicken with Chef Troy’s Back Rub. Warm oil in pan and then add the chicken breast. You should hear a soft sizzle, if it is loud and popping the pan is too hot, turn heat down slightly and continue to cook on both sides for 5 to 6 minutes per side or just until chicken is cooked through.Remove chicken from heat and let rest while making the tomatillo salsa, see recipe below.Once chicken is cool enough to handle, slice into thin pieces and set aside.Assembling the Enchiladas:Preheat oven to 375 degreesIn a mixing bowl place the chicken, half of the cheese and 1 cup of the Tomatillo Salsa, mix until well combined.Warm each tortilla in a warm skillet/pan for 30 t 45 seconds on each side (or place in a damp kitchen towel and microwave for 25 seconds); lightly brush some of the salsa liquid on both sides of the tortilla to keep from cracking.Lay tortillas on a flat surface and place about a 1/4 cup in the middle of each tortilla, spread filling out to the end of the tortilla in a line, roll up tortilla, repeat until all the tortillas are filled.In a 9 x 13 inch baking pan place 1/2 cup of the salsa on the bottom of the pan and arrange the enchiladas in single row, top with remaining salsa and the rest of the cheese.Place in preheated oven and baking until warmed through, about 25 to 30 minutes, remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.Plate 2 to 3 enchiladas on each plate and garnish with the lime cilantro yogurt and serve.Tomatillo SalsaMakes about 2 to 3 Cups        1 Pound                        Tomatillo-outer paper skin removed, washed, dried, cut in half1 Each                           Yellow Onion-medium size, fine diced2 Each                           Poblano Peppers-stem and seeds removed, fine diced1 Each                           Jalapeno Peppers-stem and seeds removed, fine diced2 Cloves                        Garlic-large cloves, peeled and fine diced2 Each                           Limes-cut in half1/2 Cup                         Cilantro-leaves only, do not pack, chopped2 Tablespoon               White Vinegar2 Tablespoons             Olive Oil2 Teaspoons                  Kosher Salt-plus extra to season vegetables before grilling 1 Teaspoon                   Black Pepper-plus extra to season vegetables before grilling 1/2 Teaspoon               Crushed Red PepperTo Assemble:In a food processor place the tomatillos and pulse five or six times to chop. Tomatillo should still have some texture. Place the Tomatillo in a mixing bowl with the onion, poblano, jalapeno, garlic, and cilantro and mix well. In a separate bowl add the juice from the limes, vinegar, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper and whisk. While still whisking slowly add the oil until all has been incorporated. Pour over the tomatillo mixture and mix to combine.Serve at room temperature. Can be store for up to 3 days covered in the refrigerator.