Make Enchiladas With Your Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey

Make Enchiladas With Your Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey

Crimson chile enchiladas stuffed with cheese have at all times been a serious a part of my eating regimen. For particular events (and generally simply because), my dad, who grew up in Hobbs, New Mexico, serves up flat, stacked enchiladas made with dried or contemporary purple chiles from Chimayo, a city about thirty minutes north of Santa Fe identified for producing tremendous flavorful peppers.

Once I moved to New York Metropolis, in 2006, my brother Jake, who was additionally my roommate on the time, helped me get by way of my first Thanksgiving away from residence by making our personal model of Dad’s enchiladas. We stuffed tortillas with cheese and lined them in spicy purple sauce, and our tiny Brooklyn condo turned the place for anybody we knew with no place to go.

We gathered that manner for the ten years I lived in New York, and after I moved to Austin, in 2016, I insisted on bringing the Brooklyn Thanksgiving custom to our Texas household desk. I’m heading to Tucson, Arizona, to spend the vacation with my husband’s household this 12 months, so I’ll miss our Tex-Mex feast, however I’ve one other excuse to make killer enchiladas: leftover barbecue and a fridge filled with odds and ends that should be eaten earlier than we skip city. I’ve about half a pound of smoked turkey from a latest photograph shoot on the Salt Lick, a cup or so of roasted butternut squash, and some handfuls of contemporary spinach that has began to lose its luster.

Since this batch of enchiladas is extra about cleansing out my fridge than celebrating, I’m foregoing a very selfmade sauce and choosing ease (look away, Dad). I’m doctoring jarred purple enchilada sauce by mixing some leftover roasted garlic and purple peppers, a heaping spoonful of Kashmiri chili powder from India (you possibly can additionally use any kind of purple chile flakes), a fast shake of onion powder, and a pinch of salt.

I’m aiming to create as few soiled dishes as attainable, so as an alternative of baking stacked enchiladas in particular person containers within the oven, I’m making rolled and stuffed enchiladas. I’ll freeze one casserole dish to eat the day after we get again, and earlier than we depart, we’ll have contemporary enchiladas topped with very delicate avocado, plain Greek yogurt, cilantro, and pomegranate seeds—all designed to take the sting off the warmth whereas utilizing extra issues in our fridge.

This “recipe” for smoked turkey enchiladas with squash and spinach is much from conventional, however I can promise will probably be scrumptious should you stick to some guidelines. Frying the corn tortillas earlier than rolling is nonnegotiable; this helps maintain them from getting soggy once you bake them in sauce. One other must-do is including a beneficiant quantity of melty cheese on prime. I choose cheddar, Monterey Jack, or colby, however softer cheeses equivalent to goat, feta, or cream cheese are additionally nice. In case you’re utilizing up your Thanksgiving leftovers, the sky’s the restrict right here—simply make sure that what you set contained in the tortillas is properly combined and fork-tender.

Smoked Turkey Enchiladas Thanksgiving Leftovers
It’s necessary to fry the tortillas earlier than filling them to maintain them from getting soggy. {Photograph} by Mackenzie Smith Kelley

Smoked Turkey Enchiladas Thanksgiving Leftovers
Utilizing loads of shredded cheese is essential in these enchiladas. {Photograph} by Mackenzie Smith Kelley

After you have searched your fridge for inspiration, take into consideration tips on how to make it simply spoonable into sizzling, fried tortillas. Leftover barbecue works properly as a result of it’s going to by no means be as juicy by itself because it was when it was contemporary from the fireplace, however tucking it into an enchilada melds the flavors of smoke and salt, giving the meat an opportunity to be as succulent as the primary time round.

So, when you have meat, shred or chop it. If in case you have cooked root greens or squash, make sure that they’re nearly mashable. In case your spinach is delicate and outdated (good for this), it might not should be chopped or cooked, however heartier greens like kale or chard, and even perky new spinach, needs to be cooked tender or chopped very small. After you have optimized your fillings, combine all the things along with a couple of cup of shredded cheese till your combination is totally homogenous, with a little bit of this and a little bit of that in each chunk.

Preheat your oven to 450 levels F, then arrange a big plate lined with paper towels to empty oil from the fried tortillas. In a skillet, warmth vegetable oil till it bubbles when the sting of the tortilla touches the oil. Cook dinner corn tortillas on all sides till you see a little bit shade and massive bubbles begin to type within the center, or about 10 to fifteen seconds per facet.

Coat a casserole dish with a ladleful of enchilada sauce. One after the other, put a fried tortilla on the ready casserole dish and add a number of spoonfuls of filling earlier than rolling tightly and putting in a row, seam facet down. As soon as your whole enchiladas are rolled, cowl them with extra sauce and shredded cheese. Bake till the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is melted, about 15 to twenty minutes.

I don’t checklist correct portions right here, which implies there is no such thing as a manner for me to let you know what number of tortillas or how a lot sauce and cheese to make use of, so there’s a probability you’ll run out of 1 ingredient earlier than the others. In case you run out of sauce, make quesadillas with the remainder of your filling, cheese, and tortillas. In case you run out of filling, make plain cheese enchiladas. In case you run out of cheese, you’ll be able to eat the filling by itself (will probably be excellent!) or make taquitos by frying the tortillas full of filling in your sizzling oil. And should you run out of oil, I concede you could truly make the enchiladas with out it; simply plan for them to be extra of a shapeless casserole that you simply scoop out with a spoon.

All of that’s to say, something you make needs to be appreciated for what it’s: a home-cooked meal made with substances you get pleasure from. It  will not be good, however it’s going to fill you up—and certain train you ways you are able to do it higher subsequent time.

Stuffing leftover barbecue inside different meals is a wonderfully scrumptious manner to put it aside from being boring, dry, or thrown within the trash. Smothering any leftovers in sauce and cheese is foolproof. Enchiladas obtain each!

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