This dish is not very in-tune with the season as the cooking parts will heat your kitchen up on the QT and takes a bit of forethought (those poblanos don’t roast themselves), but we’ve had a few chilly days here in the Kawarthas, my BFF was visiting and doesn’t often get to eat shrimp, and it combines three of my favorite things – seafood, cheese and spicy heat – so these guys got made last night.
They’re pretty seriously rich and delicious, with a slow heat from the poblano peppers that creeps into each bite and a nice balance of sweet from the veg and savoury, velvetty cheesiness and a lot of shrimpy flavour. They’re a great way to make a little seafood go a long way. A super-great choice for dinner parties.
The recipe makes 8 enchiladas and a single enchilada will fill your tum up, but your mouth will want more.
Serving tip: Cut the enchiladas in half width-wise and serve each eater two halves. It’s so much easier than trying to negotiate with floopy, 10 inch things.
What you need:
- 2-3 roasted poblano peppers
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil, divided
- 8 10 inch flour tortillas
- 3 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
- 1.5 cups of queso blanco, feta, or chèvre, crumbled as necessary
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 tsp dried oregano flakes
- 1 tsp cumin seeds, lightly ground
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cooking onion, diced or 1 cup of leek, in 1/4 inch slices
- 2 red peppers, diced
- 2 cups arugula, chopped
- 1 lb of raw shrimp, peeled and cut in half widthwise
- 1 can of corn
- 2 cups of Monterey Jack
What you do:
- De-seed, then toss the poblanos in 1 tbsp of the olive oil and roast at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes, or until tender and close to blackening. I typically get this step out of the way a few days in advance by roasting them when I’m roasting other things and do quite a lot more than just 2 or 3 because roasted poblanos are a nice thing to have kicking around the fridge for all kinds of purposes.
- In a large sauce pan over medium heat, melt the butter and add the flour, stirring and cooking continuously until golden brown,
- Stir in the milk and stock and bring just to a simmer.
- Finely chop the poblanos and stir those in, along with the queso/feta/chèvre, garlic, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper, until everything is combined. Be careful with the salt because the cheese is going to add a lot of salt to the sauce and there’s still more cheese to go into the dish. I typically use no salt at all.
- Kill the heat.
- In a large frying pan over medium-high, heat the remaining tbsp of olive oil, then add the leeks.
- Cook just until the leeks begin to become tender, then add the shrimp, peppers, corn and arugula.
- Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, over medium-high heat just until the shrimp start getting pink and losing their transparency. Remove from heat, stir in two ladles full of the sauce and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 425.
- Coat the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish with one ladle full of the sauce.
- Begin filling the tortillas with a small handful of Monterey Jack, then about 2/3 of a cup of the shrimp and vegetable mixture. Roll them up and place them in the baking pan. Repeat until all 8 tortillas are full.
- Ladle the remaining sauce over the filled enchiladas, then top with the remaining Monterey Jack and pop the pan into the oven. Bake for about 15 minutes until all bubbly and golden brown.
- Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.