late last summer (as in, september, but it was still warm out), my husband and i spent a few days at the cape. one of the nights we were there, we ate out at a mexican restaurant in town.
now, i don’t think i’ve mentioned before but, my husband grew up on the west coast. this is relevant because, like every other single person from the west coast, he looks down on east coast skiing and east coast mexican food (the mexican food i will concede but the skiing i’m not sold on yet).
all of this is to say, he was either humoring me or really craving mexican food the night we went to this restaurant. either way, i’m glad because i ended up having a really delicious corn and goat cheese enchilada.
i tried to study the dish and take notes when i got home because i knew that i wanted to try to recreate it myself. since it was already mid-september by the time i first ate it, though, i shelved the idea and put it on my “summer 2016” ideas list.
whether or not it was wise to let nearly a year pass between eating the enchiladas and trying to recreate them is debatable. if the goal was to recreate them as authentically as possible, this year long time lapse probably wouldn’t be my go to strategy.
fortunately, we are talking about corn and goat cheese enchiladas soooo, i’m not really sure that authenticity is the most relevant measure. instead, i decided to just go with what tastes good, even if it meant a departure from the dish i had last summer.
…which explains how about half of the ingredients wound up in here. my notes from last year didn’t say anything about black beans, cilantro, or cheddar, for example, but the first batch of corn and goat cheese enchiladas that i made were way too sweet and needed some other flavors to help round them out.
this version though. this version is good. not authentic to mexico or the dish i enjoyed last summer, but authentically good.
- 6 extra large or 8 regular size ears of corn, shucked (or 5 ¼ cups (26 oz. / 736 g.) frozen yellow corn, defrosted)
- 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
- 6 oz. / 170 g. fresh baby spinach or roughly chopped spinach
- 8 oz. / 227 g. white mushrooms, sliced
- 4 oz. / 113 g. goat cheese, crumbled
- 4 oz. / 113 g. extra sharp cheddar, grated
- 15.5 oz. / 439 g. canned low sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
- (8) 8” flour tortillas
- salsa, for serving
- 1 jalapeño, roughly chopped (keep the seeds for a medium-hot sauce, remove the seeds for a mild sauce)
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro (it’s fine to include thin stems)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ cup (2 oz. / 57 g.) light sour cream
- ¼ cup water
- bring a large pot of water to a boil. add the corn on the cob. (if you’re using frozen corn, just put it in a strainer and run it under cold water to defrost any ice chunks off; no need to boil it.) boil the corn on the cob for 4 minutes then remove from the hot water and set aside to cool until you can comfortably handle it.
- heat 2 teaspoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. when hot, add the spinach and sauté for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until the spinach is wilted. transfer to a large bowl. heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil in the same skillet and sauté the mushrooms for about 5 minutes, until they are golden brown. add the mushrooms to the large bowl with the spinach.
- using a sharp knife, remove the corn from the cobs. put about 2 cups of the corn in a food processor or blender and put the rest in the large bowl with the spinach and mushrooms.
- add the black beans to the bowl with the vegetables. stir everything to combine, especially the spinach, which likes to clump together. add the goat and cheddar cheeses, stir again.
- add the spicy corn sauce ingredients to the food processor or blender with the corn kernels and blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. the sauce should be fairly thin. set aside.
- spray a 9 x 13” baking dish with nonstick spray or oil lightly with olive oil. preheat the oven to 350° F.
- lay the first tortilla on a plate and spread about 1 cup of the filling across the middle of the tortilla. fold the 2 edges over the filling and place the enchilada seam side down in the prepared dish. it’s a snug fit to get all 8 enchiladas into a 9 x 13” dish but it is possible, just push them together and wedge the last couple in (rather than making a second layer).
- reserve about ½ cup of the spicy corn sauce and pour the rest over the enchiladas, making sure to cover the edges that always get crispier than the middle.
- bake the enchiladas uncovered for 20 – 25 minutes, until the cheese on the inside melts (you should be able to peek in from the edges) and the edges of the tortillas are starting to turn golden brown.
- serve immediately, passing the remaining spicy corn sauce and salsa, if you wish.
they’re not paying me to say it but trader joe’s handmade flour tortillas are noticeably better than your average packaged tortillas. the location i shop at has two different kinds of flour tortillas and it’s the “handmade” ones that i especially like, if you regularly shop at trader joe’s. if not, your usual favorite flour tortilla will work just fine!
leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several days. the best way to reheat the enchiladas is to microwave just the portion you want to eat just enough so the center isn’t cold, then transfer it to a foil-lined baking sheet and heat the rest of the way in the toaster oven or oven. that will allow the tortilla to crisp up a bit without totally drying out. if that’s all too much work, i have also just microwaved them until they were all the way hot and they were delicious, albeit with a soft tortilla.
invented based on the hungo enchiladas i enjoyed at anejo mexican bistro and tequila bar in falmouth, ma (warning: mute your speakers - before - you click the link; it’s all 1998-play-music-once-the-website-loads up in there).