Hatch Sweet Potato Enchiladas

As usual, when I move to a new city, I always try to figure out what exactly makes the locals go *crazy* for certain foods. For the first couple of years we lived in San Antonio, I couldn’t figure out what all of the fuss was about when our local grocery store, HEB, had their annual “Hatch Chile Festival.” These chiles come from a town called Hatch, New Mexico, and the stores here in San Antonio sell them raw (just like other peppers) as well as freshly-roasted at the stores. I mean, sure, chiles are great, but what makes these so special?

So, I avoided buying them for the first couple of years, simply because I didn’t get it! Well, last year, I finally got on the bandwagon and bought some Hatch chiles to try for myself. They were fantastic – a little smoky, a little earthy, and a little spicy (depending on whether you buy the mild or hot, the heat level varies). I went a little crazy and bought too many – I used some in a quiche and made a few other unmemorable recipes with them, but then I froze the rest and forgot about them for a while. Over last winter, I finally realized that I *must* use the chiles before this year’s festival began! So, at that point, I found this recipe on the Central Market website, and tweaked it until it was just the perfect recipe for me. The result? A fantastic, filling enchilada recipe! And it freezes well, too – so I had these for quite a while!

Well, now it’s Hatch chile season again, so I bought some more chiles and roasted them, so I decided to make this again! And it’s just as tasty as I remember! Enjoy!

Hatch sweet potato enchiladas - done

Hatch Sweet Potato Enchiladas
Adapted from Wendi A. from Central Market competition
Serves 12

Ingredients:
Tomatillo Puree and Enchilada Sauce:
10 medium tomatillos
1/2 jalapeno, smoked and seeded
1/2 Serrano, smoked and seeded
8 Hatch chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded and diced

1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp dried thyme

2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 sweet onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced

1 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1 tbsp lime juice

Sweet Potato Filling and Enchiladas:
2 pounds sweet potatoes
1 cup fat free sour cream (I use Lilly brand)
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp Chili powder
1 tsp curry powder
Salt and pepper
1/2 tsp oregano
4 green onions, chopped

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar, divided (can sub 2 cups ff shredded cheddar, if desired)
12 medium flour tortillas
Cilantro to garnish, if desired

Hatch sweet potato enchiladas - ingredients

Directions:
1. For tomatillo puree: Preheat oven to 375. Place tomatillos on parchment paper or foil-lined cookie sheet. Cook 30 minutes or until soft in the middle. The last 10 minutes, place jalapeno, Serrano, and Hatch pepper on a cookie sheet and put in the oven, so the skins can blacken. Once skin is blackened, place the peppers in a paper bag to cool.

2. Slice tomatillos open at bottom and squeeze juice into food processor. When peppers are cooled lightly, rub paper bag until skin is peeled. Then slice Serrano and jalapeno in half. Place only half of each pepper in processor. Peel, seed, and chop Hatch pepper and set aside for enchilada sauce. Add a little water. Puree until mixed thoroughly and add to the sauce.

Hatch sweet potato enchiladas - sauce in food processor

3. For enchilada sauce: In a skillet, sauté the cornstarch and olive oil over medium heat for 1 minute. Add cayenne, cumin, and thyme, and cook until fragrant. Add garlic, onion, red pepper, and green pepper and vegetables and sauté another minute. Add broth, tomatillo puree, and lime juice. Raise heat and bring to a boil for 5 minutes.
Hatch sweet potato enchiladas - cooking sauce

Stir constantly until thickened. Turn heat down to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Cool. Add back to the food processor and blend until smooth.

4. For sweet potato filling: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wrap sweet potatoes in foil and bake the sweet potatoes until tender, about 1 hour. Cool and peel the sweet potatoes. Place the sweet potatoes in a bowl and mix in the sour cream, chili powder, curry, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper until well blended. Stir in green onions.

Hatch sweet potato enchiladas - filling

5. Putting it all together: Preheat oven to 350 and spray 2 13×9 baking dishes with olive oil cooking spray. Place a spoonful of sweet potato filling down the center of each tortilla, add 1 tablespoon cheese, roll it up, and place filled tortillas seam side down in dish.

Hatch sweet potato enchiladas - adding filling Hatch sweet potato enchiladas - filled

Pour enchilada sauce over the tortillas (about 2 cups sauce per pan) and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the enchilada sauce is bubbling and the cheese is beginning to brown.
Hatch sweet potato enchiladas - baked

Cool for 5 minutes and serve. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro, if desired.

**Note** This is a labor-intensive recipe, but don’t let that scare you – it can be made ahead (in parts or entirely). The sweet potato filling and the enchilada sauce can both be made 1-2 days ahead. Alternatively, the entire recipe can be made ahead & assembled, then covered and refrigerated 1-2 days before baking. And the enchiladas freeze well, too!

Nutritional info (using 1 cup sharp cheddar):
Calories: 255.6
Total Fat: 7.2 g
Cholesterol: 11.3 mg
Sodium: 449.8 mg
Total Carbs: 37.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 4.6 g
Protein: 9.2 g

Nutritional info (using 2 cups ff cheddar):
Calories: 247.7
Total Fat: 4.1 g
Cholesterol: 4.7 mg
Sodium: 578.0 mg
Total Carbs: 38.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 4.6 g
Protein: 12.8 g

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