Suzi's Blog

Oh, About Those Turkey Leftovers: Turkey Enchiladas with Creamy Tomatillo Sauce

turkey enchiladas

“Uh, not next week,” I said to Suzen. “Thanksgiving cannot be next week.”

“It is,” Suzen insisted.

“But, but, the Christmas decorations have only been up for six weeks,” I said. “This is screwed up.”

“Very,” Suzen agreed.

On this blog we have always treated Thanksgiving as very, very special. We have posted some great ideas and, while we normally don’t repeat items, for this holiday Suzen and I want to blast out some old but wonderful ideas for you over the next few days. A week from today, it will be the day after Thanksgiving. You will be tired. Relaxing. Hopefully have the day off. And you will be hungry. Thursday night you will have sworn off food for life. By Friday night, that resolution will have you sticking your head inside your refrigerator. You have some leftover turkey? Now you have this spectacular recipe.

I posted this recipe in early 2010, at my daughter’s request, but I’m doing it again because this is just the best possible way to enjoy leftover turkey. It’s not “leftovers.” It’s “delicious” and rich and different. This recipe stands on its own.

The enchiladas are paired with one of my favorite foods: tomatillos.  This green fruit is a staple of Mexican cuisine.  Although in the same botanical family as the tomato, a tomatillo is definitely not a tomato.  If you’ve had green salsa with a bite, you’ve enjoyed the particular intensity that only a tomatillo can supply. In this recipe that inherent tomatillo sting is muted into a voluptuous cream sauce that is an outstanding match for that distinctive turkey flavor.  Your mouth is simply going to resonate with a symphony of tones.

When I make this dish, I do follow the recipe but I am heavy handed with the amount of green onion and green chiles. And I suggest sticking with the canned tomatillos, not the salsa verde.

You can garnish the whole dish with cilantro or sliced scallions for one more level of flavor.

Turkey Enchiladas with Creamy tomatillo Sauce

Ingredients:

2 cups shredded roast turkey
2 green onions, including tender green tops, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons cream cheese at room temperature
1 ⅓cups (5 ½ ounces) shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
2 cans (7 ounces each) salsa verde or 1 can (13 ounces) tomatillos, drained
2 tablespoons canned chopped green chiles, drained
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
⅔ cup heavy (whipping) cream
¼ cup canola oil
8 corn tortillas

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, combine the turkey, green onions, cream cheese, and 1 cup of the jack cheese and stir to mix thoroughly. Set aside.

In a blender or food processor, combine the tomatillo, chiles, cilantro, and cream and process until smooth.

Heat the oil in a heavy, 6 -inch skillet over medium-high heat. Using tongs, carefully place one tortilla at a time in the hot oil and fry for 5 to 10 seconds just until softened. Flip the tortilla and soften the other side. Drain over the skillet, and place on a plate lined with a paper towel. Place another paper towel on top and press to absorb the oil. Repeat until all 8 tortillas are softened and drained.

Divide the turkey mixture among the tortillas (about ½cup each), mounding it in a line down the center. Roll tightly and then place, seam side down, in a 7 x 11″ baking pan. Pour the tomatillo cream sauce over the enchiladas, and sprinkle the remaining ⅓cup jack cheese down the center. Bake for about 20 minutes until heated through and bubbly. Serve immediately.

Source: The New Thanksgiving Table by Diane Morgan

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Turkey Leftovers: Part 1, The Enchiladas

The day after Thanksgiving, when you open the refrigerator door, it is there. That mound of leftover turkey meat. Personally, warmed turkey and stuffing and gravy the next day are fine with me. I think the stuffing, like many foods, has benefited from one more day for the flavor to meld. Still after warming things up today, after the cold sandwich tomorrow with mayo and lettuce and a dab of cranberry sauce, what do you do?

The turkey needs to get used up. And it dries in the refrigerator. After three days or so, that white meat resembles jerky, no matter how well you have wrapped it all up.

Here’s a great solution for you. Almost a year ago, I posted a recipe for turkey enchiladas. Actually, it was Turkey Enchiladas with Creamy Tomatillo Sauce. To find it, just use the search box to the left. Ah, it’s the second recipe on that page that will appear so do scroll down. It’s there.

I know. I should just give you the link directly to the recipe. I’m sorry. I tried that and I failed. I have not mastered the link science of WordPress, the tool I use to blog, and I have to master that. In the meantime, please follow the search path.

These enchiladas are wonderful. And, with all the sauce involved, it’s the perfect way to revive some turkey meat that has begun to dry out.

I’ll have another idea for turkey leftovers tomorrow, a recipe ideal to finish out the weekend.