By JAMIE LIPHARDT for the Flathead Beacon
Autumn is in full swing. Comfort food is back on the menu. You want to use up some sweet potatoes that have been lying around. You’re craving enchiladas. Perfect. The combination of this ingredient with this dish is the answer to switching things up.
Break away from the revolving door of proteins and go meatless. Sweet potato enchiladas are hearty, satisfying and crowd pleasing. Family dinner, company is coming, or the next potluck contribution. Nobody will be disappointed. If you’re short on time, you can substitute canned enchilada sauce, but I highly recommend making it from scratch. It makes the dish taste much more authentic, not to mention you will never want to buy the canned version again. It may sound a bit time consuming, but you can plan to make the sauce and bake the sweet potatoes a day in advance.
- 5 dried pasilla peppers
- 5 dried ancho chiles or 5 dried New Mexico chiles
- 2 cups boiling water
- 2 cups tomato sauce
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup good quality olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon crumbled Mexican oregano
- 1 teaspoon cumin
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place chiles on a baking sheet. Roast five minutes, at most, or they can become bitter. Let them cool to touch. Cut tops off, split in two with a sharp knife. Remove seeds and veins. Cover with boiling water, let steep about an hour. Remove each half to a platter and scrape the pulp with the edge of a spoon. Combine all ingredients including the water in a sauce pan. Bring to a simmer, simmer for 15 minutes.
- 3 large sweet potatoes
- 1 Tbsp. cumin
- 1 Tbsp. chile powder
- (for additional heat you can add some pureed chipotle pepper to taste)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 12 corn tortillas
Garnish ~ cotija cheese (can substitute feta), shredded jack cheese, chopped cilantro and lime wedges
Grease a 9×13 baking dish and spread about one cup of enchilada sauce on bottom. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roast sweet potatoes until soft, about 35-40 minutes. When cool to touch, scoop flesh from skins into a medium sized bowl and mix with cumin, chile, (chipotle if using), salt and pepper. Warm the tortillas so they’re pliable and fill each with about a 1/4 cup of filling. Roll and place, seam side down in the baking dish. Top with remaining enchilada sauce, and as much of each of the cheeses to satisfy your personal taste. Bake at 375 degrees, uncovered for 30 minutes. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with lime wedges. Enjoy!
Jamie Liphardt is a personal chef with Delicious HomeCooked Food in Bigfork.