I haven’t yet guzzled my requisite pumpkin spice latte of the season. If you’ve guzzled at least one, more power to you. If you’ve made a homemade pumpkin spice latte, well, bless you. I’m way behind and I should probably turn in my Fall-lover badge right about now.
This recipe, however, is my way of making amends. Instead of a sweet coffee drink, I’ve made these Roasted Pumpkin Enchiladas (roasted in my gorgeous Falcon Serving Tray) almost weekly since small, heavy, orange gourds began appearing at the local markets. The flavor is wholesome and warm, not sugary, filled with corn tortillas, a quick pumpkin enchilada sauce, roasted chicken and cheese. Instead of chicken, try black beans; it’s a fantastic stand-in. The sauce definitely tastes like amped-up melted pumpkin and not thick salsa with a little pumpkin for color. This dish is all about the pumpkin (or squash, if that’s what you have on hand).
Instead of peeling the pumpkin first, I peel the pumpkin last, after the roast. It’s actually easier and provides me with some quiet time in the kitchen because no matter how many times you ask, no one wants to help peel pumpkin nor pull the seeds away from the gloppy innards. But they all want to eat up the roasted pumpkin seeds, now don’t they?
Choose a very good quality salsa or a homemade sort. And don’t skip the cilantro or lime part; they both provide more than a pretty garnish. The cilantro cuts the generous richness of the dish and the lime provides a bracing brightness that reminds you to pop open a light beer.
Roasted Pumpkin Enchiladas
Serves: 4 people as an entree
Ingredients:For the Pumpkin Enchilada Sauce
- 1 small (about 2 to 3 pounds) edible pumpkin or squash
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 cup mild green tomatillo salsa or red tomato salsa
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus extra for sprinkling
- 8 corn tortillas
- 2 cups shredded chicken (from a rotisserie chicken)
- 2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese (or mozzarella cheese)
- 2 tablespoons (from a small bunch) fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 fresh lime, sliced into 4 wedges
Directions:Make the Pumpkin Enchilada Sauce
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Cut the pumpkin in half and remove and discard the innards. Slice pumpkin into large chunks about 1-inch by 2-inches. Spread the pieces on a roasting pan, toss with the olive oil and roast in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes or until pumpkin pierces easily when poked with a fork and it's picked up a little golden color in parts. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature.
- Once cooled, use a small knife to remove the skin off each piece. You can certainly decide to peel the entire pumpkin before you roast, but I find it easier and quite meditative to remove it after the roasting. Discard the skin. Set pumpkin aside. (As a guide, it should come to 1 to 1-1/2 pounds in total weight.)
- In a food processor or blender, add the pumpkin, stock, salsa, yogurt, hot sauce and salt. Blend until smooth, adding extra stock if needed to achieve the smooth consistency of a thick soup. (If you came up with more cooked pumpkin, add another 1/2 cup of stock to get the right consistency.)
- Split sauce into 2 even portions, freezing 1 for a future meal or, you know, a very swell savory gift.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Spread 1/2 cup of pumpkin enchilada sauce on the bottom of your tray or casserole dish. Fill each tortilla with 1 tablespoon of pumpkin enchilada sauce, a 1/4 cup of shredded chicken and 1 tablespoon of shredded cheese and roll to seal. Place each rolled tortilla in the tray, repeating the steps with the remaining tortillas and placing them next to each other in the tray.
- Spread the remaining pumpkin enchilada sauce over all the tortillas. Sprinkle the remaining cheese across the tortillas. Drizzle with a short stream of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt.
- Roast in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until cheese has melted and sauce along edges of pan is bubbling. Cool for a few minutes. Sprinkle cilantro across enchiladas. Serve with a wedge of lime, squeezing juice from each wedge on a double-enchilada portion.
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