Suzi's Blog

Thanksgiving Leftovers: Turkey Enchiladas with Creams Tomatillo Sauce

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

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


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


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

Cinco de Mayo Salsa: Sweet Strawberries with Arbol Chilies

truly mexican

Cinco de Mayo. It’s become something like St. Patrick’s Day, an extended holiday where all of us can share some joy. Personally, I prefer Cinco. St. Patrick’s is about parades and beer. Cinco is about food and beer — and margaritas.

Brian and I try to expand our repertoire of Mexican recipes each Cinco. From the new book Truly Mexican by Roberto Santibanez, here is an idea that will fortify your table and please every guest who loves heat. It’s a salsa with the fire of chilies, the tang of tomatillos, and the lovely sweetness of early strawberries. Rather than have “plain old” salsa, liven it up with this new flavor combination.

This recipe calls for dried arbol chilies, not fresh. The dried versions are rated as very spicy. You do not have to deseed or devein them before roasting.

Sweet Strawberry Salsa with Arbol Chiles

Yield: 1 ½ cup


  • 2 dried arbol chilies, wiped clean stemmed
  • 2 tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • 1 pound strawberries, rinsed, hulled and quartered [3 ½ cups]
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 10 whole peppercorns
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 small Turkish bay leaves or 1 small California leaf
  • ¼ teaspoon fine salt or ½ teaspoon kosher salt


Heat a heavy skillet over medium-low heat and roast the tomatillos and toast the chilies, turning the chilies over and pressing down on them frequently with tongs, until they are browned all over and with some blackened spots, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the chilies and continue to roast the tomatillos, turning them over only once, until their tops and bottoms have blackened and the tomatillos are khaki-green color and cooked to the core, 20 to 30 minutes total.

Add the strawberries to the tomatillos in the hot skillet and cook, stirring over medium heat, until they start to give off liquid.  Add the toasted chilies, sugar, peppercorns, cloves, bay leaves, and salt. Cook until the strawberries are soft, about 5 minutes.

Transfer the mixture to the blender jar and blend until the spices break down and salsa is very smooth, about 1 minute, then strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve, pressing don and then discard the solids.

This salsa keeps in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Source: Truly Mexican by Roberto Santibanez