Monday, November 19, 2012

E is for: Enchiladas {with leftover turkey}

Thanksgiving is quite possibly my favorite holiday.

Why? Because it involves three of my favorite "f's", family, and football. (It's probably not too surprising to learn that my favorite holiday is one that revolves around food).

And as much as I adore cooking (and consuming) a big, fat turkey dinner...I love the leftovers just as much. But after a few meals of turkey sandwiches and reheating the leftover sides, you're still likely left with a lot of extra turkey.

That's where I come in!

I decided to combine two of my favorite meals (Thanksgiving and Mexican) to utilize some of that delicious turkey...and came up with Turkey Enchiladas!

Enchiladas Verdes are my go-to and favorite type of enchilada (and by all means, feel free to do those), but I also love the ease of this red sauce recipe. For my Giants fans out there, you'll probably recognize this from the #RallyEnchilada recipe I posted before Ryan Vogelsong's start in the NLCS. (For you non-Giants fans, the San Francisco pitcher eats enchiladas the night before each of his starts).

I recommended in that recipe to use dried ancho chiles and to soak them in hot water as the base of the sauce. But recently, I was making these with my sister (siiiiister) and we couldn't find dried ancho chiles at the store. We subbed with ancho chile powder...and you know what? It tasted the same. So use whichever your little heart desires...along with some sauteed onions, garlic, chicken broth and other spices.

I feel like corn tortillas are the way to go when making enchiladas, but they can be hard to work with at times. My fix for the breakage that often occurs is twofold: 1.) Pop the tortillas in the microwave for about 30 seconds. It helps make them a little more pliable. 2.) Make sure to dip them in the sauce before filling them and rolling them up. This makes for a messy process, but they will stay together better and you will avoid breaking them. Pour some of the sauce in the bottom of your baking dish. Fill the warmed/dipped tortillas with shredded turkey (sometimes I also add sauteed onions to the mix), roll them up and top with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle shredded cheese over the top.

Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until sauce is hot and bubbly and cheese is melted. Garnish with cilantro and serve alongside Mexican rice and beans.

And if enchiladas aren't your thing, try some of these other leftover ideas: 1.) Throw some turkey in a Breakfast Frittata the day after Thanksgiving. 2.) Or what about subbing turkey in your favorite chicken salad recipe? Try Rosemary {Turkey} Salad in Pears or {Turkey} Salad with Dried Cherries. 3.) Last year I made Asian Lettuce Wraps with leftover turkey and they were fabulous! 4.) I also did Homemade Hot Pockets...great with leftover turkey and veggies. What are some of your favorite ways to use leftover turkey? Leave ideas in the comments section below.

Turkey Enchiladas

by Jaymee Sire
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Keywords: entree turkey enchiladas chile peppers Mexican

  • 5-6 ancho chile peppers, stemmed and seeded OR 4-5 tablespoons ancho chile powder
  • Boiling water (if using whole, dried peppers), 2.5 cups chicken broth (if using chile powder)
  • Olive oil or butter
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste (optional)
  • 2 cups shredded turkey
  • Corn tortillas
  • 1-2 cups shredded cheese
  • cilantro, sour cream, avocado (for serving)
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. If using whole peppers, place dried chiles in a bowl and pour boiling water over the top until fully submerged. Cover tightly and allow to steep 15 minutes, or until softened. (If using chile powder, skip this step).
  3. Sauté onions in a little oil or butter until soft and translucent. Add garlic, spices and tomato paste (if using) and sauté another minute. (If using chile powder, add chicken broth here and cook another few minutes).
  4. Purée everything (onions, chiles, etc) in food processor. (If you used whole chiles, add some of the chili water until it reaches desired consistency). Add more seasoning if necessary.
  5. Pour a little of the sauce in a baking dish. Warm tortillas in microwave for 30 seconds. Dip each tortilla in a little sauce, fill with turkey, roll and place seam side down in the dish.
  6. Pour sauce over the top and sprinkle with cheese. Bake 20-30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly!
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  1. Wow... so did you make these ahead of time for your blog just so we'd have a leftover turkey suggestion? You didn't cook an entire turkey ahead of time just to have leftovers for this blog post did you? Either way, you are beyond awesome.

    A. Lo

    1. A. Lo....yes, I certainly did. :) The job of a food blogger. However, I cheated and used chicken thighs for the photos, but I've made them with turkey in the past.

  2. Looks delicious! I'm your newest Facebook follower..stop by sometime :)


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