spicy prawn + charred pepper stacked enchiladas
I’ve been dining-out far more than eating-in of late, and have barely rustled up a proper weekday meal at home in weeks (unless the juices and brown rice boiled during my 7-day detox constitutes as cooking). I did however manage to squeeze in this month’s Daring Cooks challenge; not that I had a choice seeing I had skipped making April’s Brunswick Stew. Barbara (Barbara Bakes) and Bunnee (Anna+Food)’s chosen task was to create stacked Mexican Enchiladas, complete with homemade enchilada sauce.
As I couldn’t get hold of the tomatillos and anaheim chillies required for their suggested recipe (Green Chile and Grilled Chicken), I made a red chilli sauced version, loosely based on Bobby Flay’s Traditional New Mexico Red Chile Cheese Stacked Enchiladas. The sauce probably isn’t terribly authentic as I added passata (to tone down the chillis – I hadn’t deseeded them properly so it was HOT!) and also substituted normal oregano for the Mexican variety.
The resulting enchiladas look a little like huevos rancheros (as I snapped it without the guac, sour cream and lettuce garnish), but believe me they taste nothing like it. The cheesy layers are filled with soft charred peppers and sweet bouncy chunks of prawn, all bound together with a real kicker of a sauce. I especially liked the runny-yolked egg resting on top, cracked over the enchilada halfway-through cooking, then returned to the oven to bake until set. I’ve consciously not fried the corn tortillas or the egg to keep the oil content low, but of course you can go all out and do so if you wish.
Spicy Prawn and Charred Pepper Stacked Enchiladas
6 corn tortillas
200g (2 cups) monterey jack (or cheddar) cheese, grated
150g prawns, roughly chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 green pepper
1 tbsp oil
red chilli sauce:
3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup water
8-10 dried chillis
pinch dried oregano (mexican, if you have it)
200g (1 cup) passata
iceberg or gem lettuce, shredded
Preheat the grill to 240°C (465°F).
First make the chilli sauce. Remove stems and seeds from the dried chilli pods and leave to soak in tepid water for 10 minutes. Place chillies, garlic and water in a blender and purée until smooth. Add more water if needed to get a smoother consistency. Spoon the puréed chilli into a saucepan and add the passata, oregano and salt (to taste). Bring to a boil, and then leave to gently simmer for 15-20 minutes. Pork can be browned and added to sauce while simmering.
While the sauce is cooking place the green pepper under the hot grill, turning every 5-6 minutes until blackened all over. Remove the pepper and pop in a plastic bag. Knot the bag and set aside.
Change the oven setting to 180°C (350°F).
Lightly season the prawns with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a small skillet over a medium high heat and add the prawns. Cook for 2 minutes, then turn over for another couple of minutes, sizzling until coloured and cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside.
Once the pepper is cool enough to handle, remove the stem and discard the seeds. Cut into small pieces, roughly the size of the chopped prawn. Set aside.
To compose the enchiladas, take one corn tortilla and place on a baking tray. Slather with a generous amount of red chilli sauce then sprinkle on some cheese, and a scattering of prawn and peppers. Place another tortilla over and repeat, then top with a final tortilla and brush with a little sauce and sprinkly lightly with cheese. Repeat the process to make your second enchilada stack.
Place in the preheated oven and bake until the cheese starts to melt (10-15 minutes), then remove from the oven. Use a spoon and push the sauce and cheese outward on the top of each enchilada to form a shallow well, then crack over both eggs. Return them to the oven for a further 10-12 minutes until the egg whites have gone opaque and the yolks are just set (you may need to put it on the grill setting for the last couple of minutes to achieve this.
Serve straight from the oven with a dollop of guacamole, plenty of shredded lettuce and lashings of sour cream. And don’t forget the ice cold beers!