Seafood Enchiladas

(Please forgive the grainy photo. I will try and get a new one up ASAP!)

We here at the Circle B Kitchen love enchiladas.  I make them fairly often, and when everyone’s been real good, I make seafood enchiladas.  Well, someone has evidently been very very good, because I made these the other day and much happiness ensued. 

Enchiladas seem to be loved universally, and some version of the rolled stuffed crepe/tortilla/pasta shows up in just about every cuisine on the planet.  In the Circle B Kitchen, the seafood enchilada reigns supreme.  But I’m not going to lie to you, these are a tad labor intensive.   But who cares.  Really, at the end of the day, if you get to sit down and eat a luscious enchilada filled with shrimp or crab or scallops or langostinos (or all of the above) and covered with poblano cream sauce and cheese isn’t it all just so worth it?  It certainly is in my world.

There are three steps to making these (four if you make your own salsa verde), but if you’re a really organized, forward-thinking kind of person, you can make most of this ahead of time and then just do the assemblage when you're ready to bake them off.  If you just don’t have the time for some of these steps or are not so inclined, there are definitely shortcuts you can take.  But I’m hoping you’ll dive in and go the distance.

Step 1 is making the tortillas.  Homemade corn tortillas are really so simple to make.  Sure, I say that now after struggling with them for 5 years.  I was never really happy with mine until I finally figured out a few things, and now I can’t get enough of them. (see the post below for step-by-step instructions on making the tortillas). And let me tell you, you really do want homemade tortillas here.  Oh my.  The texture and flavor are far superior to store-bought.  Having said that, don’t let it be a deal breaker.  Don’t want to make tortillas?  Just buy some good ones, but they must be corn.  Really.

Step 2 involves the filling.  This time I used shrimp, crab and langostino meat.  But other times I have also added bay scallops which are lovely.  Any combination of the above or just shrimp is fine too.  I mix this with homemade tomatillo salsa, but if you have a favorite store-bought one or a good salsa verde (like Herdez), that will work too.

Step 3 is the poblano cream sauce.  This can totally be made the day before.  Oh, this is good stuff and totally makes the dish.  Sometimes poblano chiles can be pretty mild, so if you like heat, feel free to throw a jalapeno in here.  But remember, there will also be some heat inside the enchilada from the salsa verde.

That’s it.  The rest is just filling and rolling the enchiladas, pouring on the sauce, topping with cheese and baking them. 

If you know someone who’s been very good recently, you might make them some seafood enchiladas.  Or make them for someone who's been bad or make them for yourself.  No matter, everyone ends up happy after this meal.

Seafood Enchiladas

Printable Recipe for Seafood Enchiladas

Serves 6

3 cups of any combination of shrimp (raw, peeled and deveined), crab meat, bay scallops and/or cooked langostinos

1 dozen corn tortillas (preferably homemade)

1 recipe poblano cream sauce (see below)

3/4 lb jack cheese, grated

1 ½ cups homemade or store-bought tomatillo salsa or salsa verde

chopped fresh cilantro

1 avocado, sliced for serving(optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1. Make poblano cream sauce and set aside.

2. Saute the shrimp in a little olive oil, salt and pepper until just barely pink. Remove from heat and cut into 1 inch pieces.

3. Saute the scallops, if using, and add to the shrimp along with the crab.

4. Stir the tomatillo salsa or salsa verde into the seafood and set aside.

5. Pour enough poblano cream sauce into the baking pan to just cover the bottom. Fill a tortilla with about 2 tablespoons of the filling and then a bit of grated jack cheese. Roll up and place in baking pan.

6. Continue with the rest of the tortillas. Top with poblano cream sauce and grated jack cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 10 to 15 minutes until browned and bubbly. (you may have to put it under the broiler for a minute to brown).

7. To serve, top with chopped cilantro and sliced avocado.

Poblano Cream Sauce

3 large fresh poblano chiles

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup chopped white onion

1 small garlic clove, minced

3 tablespoons all purpose flour

2 cups warm whole milk

Char chiles directly over gas flame or in broiler until blackened on all sides. Enclose in a paper bag 10 minutes. Peel, seed, and slice chiles.

Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; sauté until soft, about 2 minutes. Add garlic; stir 30 seconds. Stir in flour (mixture may be firm). Sauté 1 minute longer. Whisk in warm millk and a little salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until sauce thickens, whisking occasionally, about 5 minutes.

Pour sauce into blender and add the roasted chiles. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. If not spicy enough, add a chopped jalapeno or some cayenne pepper. But remember that there will also be some heat inside the enchilada from the tomatillo salsa. This sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Whisk over medium heat until just warm before continuing.