The Whole (Avocado) Enchilada

It has been a very long and very cold winter so far. Something fresh, green and bright is definitely in order. It certainly isn’t going to happen outside anytime soon so I decided to take matters into my own hands and make one of the standbys I usually reserve for warmer days – Avocado Enchiladas. Almost everything that goes into these is green in color and bold in flavor. Even better they are reasonably healthy, naturally gluten free and super comforting.

I like to use rotisserie chicken in enchiladas because it makes the whole process quick and simple. Well, I thought that until I almost caught our house on fire. Notice the weird lighting in almost all the photographs? That is because I got carried away chopping and taking pictures, failing to notice that I turned the wrong burner on the stove to toast the tortillas. I finally wondered what that weird popping noise was and turned to find the melting plastic container with the chicken smoking, flaming and melting onto the electric burner. Thankfully my husband came to the rescue before it got worse. By the time we were done cleaning up the mess and de-smoking the house the sun was quickly setting. I even managed to break the lock on the window trying to close it. Seriously…how do I manage to do these things? In any case, these became a two day process due to the lack of sufficient lighting and a smoke filled kitchen. During a normal day they take much less time – I promise!

The best part about these enchiladas is the sauce. We even had some left over and used it as dip for tortilla chips. It is that good. Avocado, lime juice, scallions, jalapeno, salsa verde, Greek yogurt, parsley and cilantro are combined to make a super creamy, bright amazing sauce. A word about cilantro: you either love it or hate it. There is no in-between. If you have never tried it taste it before you slap a handful into the food processor. If you are one of the hardcore haters then just leave it out and it will still be awesome. All you do is throw everything into the blender or a food processor and give it a whirl until smooth, adding a little water if you want it a bit thinner.

collage

The fun part of enchiladas is you can stuff them however you’d like. Since the sauce on these is such a powerhouse I like to keep the filling simple. I used chicken (you know, the kind that did not catch fire), red onions and white cheddar cheese. I prefer to keep the onions raw because I think the bite of them holds well to the sauce. I also used gluten free corn tortillas. As most gluten free people know, corn is naturally gluten free. You have to make sure you check the package though because it is a processed food and has a chance to become cross contaminated with gluten products. So, if you have a severe sensitivity please make sure you check for certified gluten free products! Toast your tortillas on both sides in a dry skillet set on high. Again, make sure you do not have something flammable near the burner…

Once the sauce is done and the tortillas are toasted you can stuff and roll your enchiladas. I put a little sauce inside each one followed by the chicken, onions and finally the cheese. I have made these without any cheese and they were just as delicious and creamy.

Roll the stuffed tortilla up and put it seam down into your baking dish. I managed to stuff 8 into my oddly shaped little dish.

Once they are all rolled I put more sauce on top and the leftover onions and cheese. Most people like to go crazy with the cheese but I was holding back in my attempt to make sure these stayed healthy. It is your kitchen though so go crazy!

Bake until the cheese bubbles and they are warm throughout. Sprinkle them with leftover parsley and cilantro if you dare.

Dig in.
Have seconds.
Pretend it is summer.

How did yours turn out? Post questions and comments below!

Avocado Enchiladas

-3 ripe avocados
-1-3 jalapenos, cut in half and seeded (depending on how much heat you like)
-Juice of one lime
-6 scallions (just the green part)
-1 cup salsa verde
-½ cup plain Greek yogurt
-Handful of cilantro
-Handful of flat leaf parsley
-1 tsp cumin
-8 corn tortillas
-Rotisserie chicken or 2-3 cooked breasts
-½ cup white cheddar cheese (or more if you prefer)
-1 cup small diced red onion

-Place first 9 ingredients into a food processor and puree until smooth. Add a small amount of water if you find it is too thick. You can also use a blender, you just will want to chop everything so you don’t kill your motor.
-Toast tortillas in a dry skillet set on high. On my old school electric coil stove this takes 10-15 seconds per side. You want them to get just a touch of color so they are pliable.
-Shred chicken with two forks. It is best to do this while it is still hot.
-Spoon a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of your baking dish.
-Spoon a small amount of sauce onto tortilla. Layer chicken, diced red onion and cheese inside and then roll and place inside baking dish. Repeat with the rest of the tortillas.
-Pour the rest of the sauce on top and throw any leftover red onion on top. Add cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes until cheese bubbles and is melted.
-Top with parsley, cilantro and scallions if desired and serve.

*If you want to make these ahead they freeze well. Just do not bake them before freezing. Thaw overnight in refrigerator. Bake for 30-45 minutes until warm throughout.

Photo Gallery:

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