February 2, 2009

Shrimp Enchiladas With Goat Cheese & Chipotle Cream Sauce

I am trying hard to shake my ucky mood from yesterday. I am trying to keep in mind that today is a new day, but my arm still hurts and I am still somewhat cranky. If the boy sleeps today, I may go take a nap too. Typically, a good nap will fix my crabbiness pretty quickly. I am looking forward to dinner this evening, because this is a new recipe that I am dying to try out. My friend Claire emailed it to me when she was looking up goat cheese recipes on recipezaar.com. They don't eat a whole lot of shrimp at her house, so she decided to pass it along to me to test. I just happen to have some frozen shrimp that need to be used, so I thought what the heck...I don't mind being a guinea pig when the dish sounds as promising as this one!

I think I will serve this along side some frozen veggies...probably green beans. I always have an issue with pairing vegetables and Mexican food. Green beans are pretty non-descript, so they usually go along as an okay side dish. This is my first run-through on this dish, so I don't think I will vary it too much. I do have whole wheat tortillas, so I will substitute those in for the flour tortillas. Other than that, I plan to follow the directions and not change anything. The husband is always suspicious of goat cheese, so hopefully this recipe will be so good it will win him over. Thanks again, Claire...I will let you know how this turns out!

Shrimp Enchiladas with Goat Cheese & Chipotle Cream Sauce

1 cup diced leek, white and light green parts (thoroughly washed)
1/2 cup heavy cream (if additional cheese added, bump up the heavy cream by a few tablespoons--see ingredient note below*)
4 ounces mild goat cheese (*optional-1 or 2 ounces of mascarpone)
salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon olive oil
12 shrimp, peeled and deveined (26 to 30 per pound)
2 chipotle chiles in adobo
1 cup heavy cream
4 flour tortillas, 8 inches in diameter

1. Fill a saucepan halfway with water and bring to a boil over high heat.
2. Add the leeks, cook about 1 minute, and immediately drain and rinse with cold water.
3. Wipe the pan dry and return the leeks to the pan.
4. Add cream, goat cheese, salt and pepper.
5. Place the pan over medium heat and cook, stirring until the cheese is melted and the sauce is somewhat thickened, about 10 minutes.
6. Set aside.
7. In a skillet heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add the shrimp and sauté until they just turn pink, 1 to 2 minutes.
8. When cool enough to handle, slice the shrimp lengthwise along their backs so there are now 24 pieces of shrimp.
9. For the chipotle cream: In a mini food processor or with a sharp knife, very finely chop the chilies; strain into a small saucepan (there should be about 1 tablespoon puree).
10. Add the cream to the pan and heat over medium heat, whisking, until the mixture is smooth and heated through.
11. To assemble: Preheat oven to 350°F.
12. Divide the cheese-leek mixture evenly among 4 tortillas, placing the mixture along the length of the center of the tortillas.
13. Place 4 shrimp pieces on top and roll up into a cylinder.
14. Place in an 8 x 8-inch ovenproof dish and pour the chipotle cream over all; cover with foil.
15. Heat in the oven until warmed through, 10 to 15 minutes.
16. Remove from the oven and, with a spatula, place 1 enchilada on each plate.
17. Top each with 2 pieces of the remaining shrimp and surround with a spoonful of the sauce from the bottom of the baking dish.

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The Result:
These were awesome!!!! I think I have redeemed myself, because these were fan-freakin'-tastic! Rich, creamy, spicy, decadent....yummy. Not a low-fat recipe by any means, but boy, were these babies delicious. The taste was certainly restaurant-quality (that is to say, a good restaurant). I would have been quite pleased if I ordered these enchiladas out somewhere and this was the result. The presentation was a bit messy, but that is my fault. I could not bring myself to throw the extra leek/cheese filling away, so I just smeared it on top before baking. Then, I layered it again with the chipotle cream sauce as per the instructions. The result was not very eye-appealing...but, oh lordy mama, were these tasty. I did goof and put a wee bit too much cream in the leek mixture, and had to do some quick adjustments. Since I had used all my goat cheese I had to fix it by adding another cheese with a similar texture. I ended up using two ounces of mascarpone to even it out. It worked, because it thickened beautifully. I may even keep the mascarpone in the dish, when I make it again. (I amended the recipe showing my change.) As you can see, I served this with some steamed mixed veggies and tried to pretty it up as best I could for the photo. Don't you think the artfully arranged shrimp on top of the enchilada give it an extra little something???? I know...it was a stretch.
There were a lot of little steps to the recipe, but it was not very hard to put together. All in all, this is a total keeper...but given the heavy cream, goat cheese, and shrimp, it will be reserved for special occasion splurges only.

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