Fall Harvest Green Tomato Enchiladas

Enchiladas are a great way to use all of the green tomatoes when the summer garden comes to an end and the plants have to be pulled. I love green tomato salsa and enchilada sauce, probably more than traditional red salsa. The bright flavors in this sauce pair beautifully with pulled pork, chicken, or vegetarian bean and corn filling. I will include all these options in the recipe. However you choose to stuff them, cheesy spicy enchiladas are fabulous when they are covered in green tomato salsa.

I procrastinate–as long as possible–each year when it comes to pulling the tomato plants. I should be a reasonable person and get them out of the garden as soon as they become overgrown and less productive. But the love that I have for summer tomatoes is far greater than my love of any fall crop. The final plants to be pulled are usually my Black Cherries because I just can’t stand to see them go. So when I recently pulled my plants, I had a big bowl of green cherry tomatoes mixed with a few Roma’s and a couple of Chocolate Amazon’s. Any and all green tomatoes are great in green enchilada sauce.  Making this fabulous comfort food is a great way to feel better about the tomato season coming to an end.

The filling for these can be made with whatever you happen to have on hand. We had Boston butt left over from a party (my favorite enchilada filler). You could always bake and pull apart chicken, or just go buy a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store for a quick and easy filler. To make delicious vegetarian enchiladas combine black beans, spinach and roasted corn to use as the filling.

The recipe for the sauce can be doubled or tripled and freezes beautifully. This recipe makes enough for two large 8 by 10 casseroles: one to enjoy now and one to put in the freezer for later. After the enchiladas pans are assembled but before baking, wrap the extra pan with 2 layers of aluminum foil and a layer of Saran Wrap before freezing. The fabulous freezer meal will provide an easy weeknight dinner. I love recipes that make enough for an extra dish to get stocked away, especially when those dishes contain homegrown tomatoes!

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Ingredients

Filling

  • 4 cups pulled pork, chicken or mixed cooked vegetables such as black beans, roasted corn and spinach (cook or drain to remove all water).
  • 1 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1 cup diced sweet potato
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 1 jalapeno diced
  • 1/4 cup cooking stock if using meat for a filler
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 1 packet taco seasoning, homemade if you prefer (I always go with store-bought because I’ve never figured out a perfect mix. If you have one, please share!)

Sauce

  • 8 cups green tomatoes (If large tomatoes are used they should be cored and roughly cut. Cherry tomatoes can be used whole.)
  • 2 cups roughly cut assorted peppers including sweet peppers and at least 1 Jalapeno.
  • 4 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Wrappings and Fixings

  • Approximately 24 corn tortillas
  • 6 cups of grated cheeses, I used Oaxaca and Edam for this batch. Sometimes I use Monterrey Jack and Cheddar.
  • Cilantro, avocado and sour cream for garnishing

Directions

To make filling

  • Roast diced sweet potatoes on a lightly oiled pan at 375° for 15 minutes.
  • Caramelize diced onion, slowly over low heat for 10 minutes. When the onions are translucent and lightly golden, add diced bell peppers and jalapeno. Saute onions with peppers for 5 more minutes.
  • Add sweet potatoes, meat or vegetable filling, taco seasoning, cream cheese, and if using meat 1/4 cup of cooking stock.
  • Heat filling on low heat and stir until heated through and ingredients are combined thoroughly.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

To make sauce

  • Using a food processor or blender, puree tomatoes, onion,  garlic and peppers.
  •  In a medium sauce pan combine pureed vegetables with apple cider vinegar, apple juice, salt, pepper and  lime juice.
  • Simmer for 20-30 minutes.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Assembly

  • Lightly oil 2 casserole dishes. This recipe will roughly fill two 8″ x 11″ or 9″ pans
  • Put a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of the dishes.
  • Fill Corn tortillas with filling and cheeses, reserving enough cheese to go on top. There are many ways to assemble enchiladas. Ours usually end up like a casserole. They don’t have to be pretty.
  • Pour remaining sauce over the filled tortillas.
  • Top with remaining cheese. Grate additional cheese to add to the top if you want more cheese. Who doesn’t want more cheese?
  • Bake at 375° for 30 minutes.
  • Serve with avocado, sour cream and cilantro.

The process of making these is a bit time-consuming. But, you will be rewarded with 2 incredibly delicious casseroles of enchiladas. You might start picking tomatoes early next Spring, just to make these Green Tomato Enchiladas again.

 

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