Tuesday, January 20, 2015

turkey enchiladas (dairy free)

So, Tex-Mex is pretty darn hard to do without cheese.  I'm going to put that out there right now.  The flavor profiles really need to be adapted and intensified to make up for the lack of rich, ooey gooey cheese.  I am not usually very thrilled with the outcome when I make many dishes.  They just feel thin and weary.  These enchiladas are the very first success I've had in 4 years of dairy free home cooking.  And you know what the best part is?  They don't use a cheese substitute, either.  They are filling and rich. 
In my head as I was making them, I was calling them "garbage enchiladas", not because of their flavor, but because of what I put in them.  If you've been reading any length of time you'll notice that many times I build my dinners around food items that are needing to be used up before they're wasted.  This meal was the perfect outlet for that!  So, I'll give you a list of items I used, but you can take it in a different direction and still follow the general idea.  You could also double the recipe easily, if you're feeding a bigger family.  This fed a family of four with about two servings left over, and everyone had second helpings.

For the filling I used:
- 1/2 can jalapeno corn
- 1/2 red bell pepper
- about 1/2 cup leftover cooked turkey breast, cut into small pieces but shredded would work too
- 1/2 onion
- 1/2 can black beans
- shredded cabbage
- cilantro

Mix all of this in a bowl.  Add 1/2 can of green enchilada sauce (I used Market Pantry brand, it's dairy free), then add salt & pepper to taste.  I tossed in a dash of oregano and a dash of cayenne for good measure, but if you're not a fan of the spicy foods, it's not necessary.

Fill your tortillas with the mixture.  I overfilled because I ended up with not enough tortillas and extra filling.  Roll them up and add to your baking dish of choice.

Add the remainder of filling (if any) to the top, then dump the other half of the can of sauce on top.  Now, if you want a little more richness, you could make a quick white gravy or bechamel sauce.  I did, just to give it the extra creaminess, but it's totally not necessary.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes.

 The gravy, which was very simple, gave it the look of enchiladas when it came out of the oven.  If you want to make the gravy, here's how:

Make a roux with flour and olive oil, then whisk in the non-dairy milk of your choice until it's the texture of a thin gravy.  I don't often use measurements when I make gravies and sauces, I just wing it.  Add onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  If you wanted this to mimic the umami of cheese, you could add some nutritional yeast, but I didn't find it necessary.  This gravy will give it a savory flavor, but not over powering.  I did throw in a dash of chipotle Tabasco, but that's totally optional. 

Ta-da!  Dairy free enchiladas without a vegan cheese substitute.  Enjoy!

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