I’m not going to call these “salsa verde” enchiladas, because I doubt I’d be representing them right. There are all kinds of food purists out there that would want to crucify me for it, so I’ve made up my own name. This recipe actually started out because I was thinking a lot about salsa verde enchiladas that week.
Plus “black and green” is somehow more appetizing to my 3 year old than “stuff with a bunch of peppers.” Ha.
I get really upset about picky eaters. I mean, it’s okay not to like food, but to not even try food and not even like normal food—that gets my goat. I was worried Amaya was going to be a picky eater when she first started eating, and I’ve made it my mission to get her try all sorts of foods. I’m not talking about pig organs or hundred year old eggs or anything like that. Just plain ol’ good food that people eat.
Sure, she eats chicken nuggets and mac ‘n cheese just like the rest of the toddlers out there, but if I put something on her plate that I made that I consider “adult” food, then I expect her to at least try it. Maybe a bunch of bites of it.
This has led to more than one argument, but she’s come to expect it from me. She knows she’ll have to try everything.
Anticipating a new dinner food, I usually talk to her about it before I even make it. She comes with me to the store, and I show her the ingredients. When I’m making dinner and she’s hanging around for attention I’ll tell her what I’m making. Often she’ll say, “I don’t even want that,” but she knows what’s coming anyway.
After she tries a bite of new food, I always say, “It tastes good, right?” She looks at me warily, like I’ve tricked her, and usually answers, “Yes.” Then I say, “Three more bites,” just to settle in the taste. Sometimes she decides she didn’t like it that much, but she thinks she’s getting away with something if she only has to eat three bites.
Casserole types of dishes are the hardest because there’s stuff in there that you can’t identify. It’s pretty important to her to know what’s going on in her mouth. I always make sure there’s something that I know she likes already, and then the new stuff is identified way before she eats it.
This time the main new food was poblano peppers. I am absolutely in love with poblanos, for their smoky dark taste, but I think most kids have a hard time with peppers because of their texture. She was with me when I bought them and I told her about how they get sweeter when you roast them in the oven. “Sweet” is a word that she knows, for sure.
This was not a spicy dish (although I’m working on letting her eat some spicy stuff too). The spice depends mostly on how hot your poblanos are. I’ve had some very spicy poblanos, even though they are normally extremely mild. You might want to test out what your store carries, first.
The verdict? We loved it. Even the girl. I was a little surprised it went over so well.
Black and Green Enchiladas (makes a casserole pan full)
- 1 lb pork butt
- 1/2 C brown sugar
- 1 can tomato salsa (or 1 cup bottled)
- 1 T oil
- 1 zuchinni, diced
- 1 can black beans (or 2 C fresh made)
- 2 large poblano peppers
- 1 C frozen or fresh corn
- 1/2 C heavy cream (a lesser amount of milk could be substituted, but cream tastes better)
- 1/2 t salt
- 2 C shredded cheese (either cheddar, or Mexican mix blend)
- 20 (or so) corn tortillas
- 2 C salsa verde (heat depending on what you want)
- Ahead of time: Cook the pork butt in a dutch oven or slow cooker, depending on the method you like. I cooked it in a dutch oven at 350 degrees for 2 1/2 hours. Put the pork butt, brown sugar, and salsa in—just make sure the pork butt is covered with the add-ins, put the lid on, and cook. This makes more pork than you need so you’ll have some left over for a dish later in the week. When the pork is falling apart soft, shred it with two forks.
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees and place the 2 poblano peppers on a cookie sheet. Spray or rub vegetable oil on the peppers and place in the oven. After skins are turning dark brown/black and blistering (about 10 minutes), flip it over and try to get the whole skin cooked. Remove from oven and place the peppers in a bowl and cover with a plate or lid. Let cool.
- After the peppers have cooled, remove from bowl and peel off the skins. Split open the peppers and remove seeds (discard). Chop the peppers into 1/4” pieces.
- Heat 1 T oil medium high in a saute pan. Put in zuchinni and cook until turning translucent (stirring constantly), about 3-4 minutes. Add corn and peppers and cook until heated through, 2 more minutes. Add salt and black beans, stir. Add heavy cream, stir and heat until thickened (maybe 2 more minutes). You can add other spices here, as you wish. I put in minced garlic as well. Remove from heat.
- Lay tortillas on a cookie sheet and heat in the oven at 350 until softened (3 minutes). Note: The microwave does not work for this. You should either heat the tortillas in a pan or in the oven. Leave the oven on to cook the enchiladas.
- Put about 2 C of the shredded pork into the vegetables and mix thoroughly.
- Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray or rub with a little bit of oil.
- To assemble: Put salsa verde in a large wide mouthed bowl. Dip a tortilla in the salsa, put a little more than a half cup of vegetable/meat mix lined down the middle of the tortilla, add a couple tablespoons of cheese, roll it up like a cigar, and place it in a casserole dish (15x10inch). As you add more filled tortillas, keep pushing the rolled enchiladas over and squish in as many as you can. Once you’ve filled the pan or exhausted your mix, pour the rest of the salsa verde and cheese over the top of the enchiladas.
- Bake for 20 minutes at 350 or until the cheese is slightly browned.