Friday, May 14, 2010

Crab Enchiladas con Chile Amarillo, for Mother's Day and the May Daring Cooks' Challenge

The May 2010 Daring Cooks' Challenge was to create enchiladas. Our hosts this month, Barbara of Barbara Bakes and Bunnee of Anna+Food chose a delicious Stacked Green Chile and Grilled Chicken Enchilada recipe in celebration of Cinco de Mayo! The recipe, featuring a homemade enchilada sauce was found on and written by Robb Walsh.

For this challenge, we were not required to use the chosen recipe.  We were encouraged, but not required, to make homemade tortillas, and we were free to make any homemade Mexican-style sauce, as long as it was challenging and daring, such as mole or a tomato-based sauce.  We were also given the liberty of using something other than chicken in the enchilada filling.

During the first week in May, I prefer celebrating the Kentucky Derby over Cinco de Mayo.  However, in celebration of Mother's Day I offered to prepare my Daring Cooks' Challenge for mom. My inspiration was New Mexico, via MARK MILLER'S INDIAN MARKET COOKBOOK, Recipes from Santa Fe's Coyota Cafe.

Although I do have several pounds of roasted Hatch green chiles in my freezer, and absolutely love their flavor, Mark's recipe for Crab Enchiladas with a blackened yellow tomato sauce was too intriguing to pass up. It also appeared to be a lighter, healthier, version of enchiladas - better for those of us who are frantically trying to get "summer ready."  The succulent crab filling, with lump crab, red and yellow bell peppers, roasted corn, serrano chile, and fresh herbs, is gently rolled inside delicate homemade crepes flavored with fresh corn kernels and green chile powder. The enchiladas are baked briefly, placed on top of a pool of blackened yellow tomato sauce, and garnished with a small mound of pickled carrot, jicama and pineapple slaw. For our first course, I served Yellow Summer Squash Soup with Red Chile Crema, also from Mark's cookbook. The colors in this dish are so vibrant!

Crab Enchiladas con Chile Amarillo
Crab Rolled in Green Chile Corn Crepes with Blackened Yellow Tomato Sauce and Pickled Carrot-Jicama Slaw
Adapted ever so slightly from Mark Miller's Indian Market Cookbook

Crab Filling
1 cup lump crab meat
1 Tablespoon seeded and minced red bell pepper
1 Tablespoon seeded and minced yellow bell pepper
1 cup fresh corn kernels, roasted (on a grill or over your stove's gas flame)
1 teaspoon minced fresh marjoram
1 Tablespoon minced fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 serrano chile, seeded and minced
  • Thoroughly combine all Crab Filling ingredients in a bowl.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Pickled Carrot-Jicama Slaw
1 cup finely julienned carrot
1/2 cup finely julienned jicama
1/2 cup finely julienned pineapple
1 serrano chile, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup unseasoned rice wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon minced fresh basil
  • Thoroughly combine all Slaw ingredients in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup fresh corn kernals
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons green chile powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup softened, unsalted butter plus 1 Tablespoon for buttering baking dish
1 egg
2 Tablespoons water
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Puree the milk and corn together in a blender and strain through a sieve into a mixing bowl.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the flour, chile powder, and salt. Cream in the butter and mix in the egg. Add the water and the corn-milk mixture and mix until all lumps are eliminated.
  • Heat a crepe pan and brush pan with vegetable oil.  Ladle in enough batter to make a thin crepe and cook over medium-high heat for about 30 seconds per side, until lightly browned.  Repeat for remaining batter (8 crepes), stacking the cooked crepes between parchment or waxed paper to keep them from sticking together.
Blackened Yellow Tomato Sauce
1/2 Tablespoon peanut oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 Tablespoon minced ginger
2 Yellow tomatoes (about 1 lb.), skin blackened over gas flame or under broiler
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon bottled Habanero Chile Sauce
1/2 Tablespoon fresh basil
  • Heat the oil in a saute pan and saute the garlic and ginger over high heat for 2 minutes, being careful not to brown the mixture.
  • Yransfer to a blender and add the tomatoes, water, salt, and hot sauce. Blend until just combined and textured, rather than smooth. Add the basil and pulse to incorporate.
  • Transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until needed.
  • Warm before serving.

Assembly, Baking and Plating
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Butter a baking dish with the remaining tablespoon of unsalted butter
  • Divide the crab filling between the crepes, roll up, and place in baking dish.
  • Bake for about 8 minutes.
  • To serve, ladle about 1/2 cup of the rewarmed, roasted yellow tomato sauce onto each plate.  Place two crepes on top of the sauce, and garnish with a small mound of slaw.

While writing this post, I started craving the wonderful heat and flavor of New Mexico Hatch green chiles and decided to go for Round Two. I stopped for some tomatillos and chicken breasts, defrosted a package of those roasted Hatch chiles I mentioned earlier, and whipped up Fine Cooking's Stacked Green Chile and Chicken Enchiladas.  You can find the recipe, here.

Many of the Daring Cooks were unable to find fresh tomatillos, but it wasn't a problem here in San Diego.

I used Queso Anejo Enchilado cheese, one of John's favorites, instead of Monterey Jack, and garnished the stack with a little leftover Carrot-Jicama Slaw.

Oh my, memories of Santa Fe! These chiles pack the heat and flavor like no other!

Thank you, Barbara and Anna, for hosting this month's Challenge!  Please visit The Daring Kitchen for all of the Challenge recipes, and take a stroll through the Daring Cooks' Blogroll to see what some of the other daring members created this month!

You may be interested in these recipes from Mark Miller's Tacos and Indian Market Cookbooks...

Spicy Pacific Tartares - Salmon with Smoked Chiles and Ahi Tuna with Serrano-Cilantro Mayonnaise


Sarah said...

Your enchiladas and salad are drool worthy but I would be happy with just a piece of roasted corn. Great job!

Jo said...

Great job on your challenge. Love the sound of crab enchiladas and those individual servings are so cute.

Bunnee said...

Your enchiladas look so good and I love the tomatillo picture - so artistic! I think trying a crab version is on my list of things to do.

Bunnee said...

Colorful pictures, creative sauces, and a wonderful filling. Good job!

shelley c. said...

Your pictures are so good - all of the food looks so vibrant, colorful, fresh and delicious. Your enchiladas look fantastic! Great job with the challenge.

Ruth H. said...

That jicama salad looks unbelievable! You clearly had fun with this challenge, and your results look great!

Audax said...

While reading about the crab recipe I had to stop and get something to eat it made me literally hungry it sounds so delicious I will be making it very soon this weekend for a BBQ and both version are so tasty sounding. Bravo on your fabulous efforts and results. Lovely photos as always. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

Monkeyshines in the Kitchen said...

Your enchiladas look amazing and mouthwatering - what a great direction to take for the challenge! The jicama slaw looks awesome too...

blepharisma said...

I chose crab enchiladas, too! I really like the taste of crab mixed with the spicy sauces and cheese. Sooo good!

Your crêpes look fantastic, and sound so different!

Rochelle said...

That looks insanely good! I LOVE crab, and wish I had made mine like yours :D

anjelikuh said...

wonderful enchilada you made! I enjoyed looking though your photography, everything looks so gooood. Crab sounds like a great addition to enchiladas, great job!

Apu said...

They look very good!!

Anonymous said...

Such a beautiful spread of food. I am also digging the crab crepe enchiladas. Wonderfully done.

Barbara said...

That roasted corn is making my mouth water! And I simply love your photo of the tomatillos. Super job!

bunkycooks said...

These look great! I finally got my post up after getting back last night. It was great to meet you both. It really was a great experience at camp. When you come our way, give us a ring! :)

Carolyn Jung said...

I love Mark Miller's restaurants. And you are so smart to have that stash of hatch chiles in the freezer. The enchiladas look awesome.

Lori said...

Great job. Everything looks so good. I love all your photos. I especially love that tomatillo photo- it looks like it is going to take off.