Watch Evolution Happen!

I’ve been inspired by Carnitas Queretaro’s wonderful enchipotladas – enchiladas sauced with a creamy rich blend of crema and chipotle peppers.  I want to develop nopaladas – enchiladas with prickly pear cactus, chiles and a tomatillo and crema sauce.  Here’s a first try from the Gringo Courmanderie Test Kitchen using all fire-roasted vegetables.  The tortillas were stuffed with strips of cactus, poblano pepper and Mexican Manchego cheese. It was pretty good and will be better with adjustments of tomatillo and crema.  I’m also going to work on a non-roasted version of the sauce and then have a taste testing at some point in the near future.

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Ingredients for Test I:  Fire roasted jalapeño, long green chile, poblano chile, tomatillos , onion and prickly pear pads and garlic, gorillas, Manchego cheese, crema and kosher salt.

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You can see the poblano pepper and cactus strips inside the rolled tortilla.  This test was at breakfast, so there had to be eggs on the side!

Keep checking to see how evolution process for both versions of the sauce.

Test II: the other sauce…

For Test II, I made a more traditional tomatillo sauce by boiling tomatillos, chiles, onion and garlic.  After pureeing the vegetables, I let it cool.  I had about a cup of sauce.  I added 1/4 Cup of crema and let it chill in the refrigerator for a couple of days.  Finger tip tasting was very good.

Because I had houseguests, I decided they could be guinea pigs for this version of the recipe.  Remember, the goal is the creation of Nopaladas – cactus enchiladas in a tomatillo/crema sauce.

I cooked up a batch of nopalitos and made the jicama and nopalito salad that is posted on here.  Then Sous Chef Laura  heated the tomatillo/crema sauce and we began to stack the enchiladas as a side dish.  We used 3-inch corn tortillas layered with red onion, sautéed nopalitos, queso fresco and chopped cilantro and a dipper of sauce.  We made three layers and garnished the stack with a sprinkle of cilantro and a ring of jalapeño pickled red onion for color and an extra tart kick to the crema rich sauce.

The nopaladas were well received.  There was a little too much chile heat for one taste tester from Missouri. I felt there was a little too much crema and will have to adjust that next text.  The two other tasters wolfed them down and mumbled goooood, goooooood.  That was reassuring!  I also need to work on the color of the sauce.  The cream makes it smoother and darker than I like.  Perhaps a chunkier base sauce.  Suggestions are welcome.

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Plated up:  left front, noplada with jalapeño  pickled red onion garnish; a small loin steak and jicama and nopalito salad. The Gringo Gourmanderie Test Kitchen is on the right track with this one!

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