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Saturday, July 2, 2016

Green Chile Pork Enchiladas...and Pulled Pork Sandwiches Too?





I first learned to prepare pork with green chiles back in Arizona, and I still associate this combination with warm summer days. Back then, I would cook the meat to the falling apart stage and then use it as a kind of pulled pork filling for good hard rolls.

While that still is an option, I now prefer the pork mixture as a filling for enchiladas. If desired, you can make up a double batch of the pork, take out half of the diced meat for the enchiladas and then continue cooking until the falling apart stage for a later meal of pulled pork sandwiches.

Boneless pork loins are currently a real bargain, so this might be the time to try out doubling up the prep. Using the slow cooker keeps the kitchen cool too, a win-win for easy summer meals.


Green Chile Pork Enchiladas

16 corn tortillas


Meat
1 ½ lb boneless pork roast, cubed
2 large cloves garlic
2-3 chicken bouillon cubes or 1 T chicken bouillon powder
½ large onion, finely diced
4 oz can green chiles, including all liquid
water

Filling
2 c nonfat yogurt
2 c mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 c (or more, to taste) chopped cilantro

Enchilada Sauce
canola oil
15 oz can diced tomatoes
1 can or jar of spaghetti sauce, your favorite variety
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 rib celery, diced
2 to 3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 c unsweetened applesauce OR butternut squash puree (optional)
1 to 2 T chili powder, to taste
1 t cumin

Topping
approximately 2 c mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese



1.  Combine the pork and the next five ingredients in a slow cooker, adding about 2 to 3 tablespoons of water. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours, until meat is just tender.

2.  Meanwhile, prepare the enchilada sauce. Saute the onions,  celery, and garlic in a small amount of oil until the onions begin to turn golden. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes to blend the flavors.

3.  Combine the yogurt, cheese, and cilantro.

4.  Assemble the enchiladas:
  • Spread a small amount of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 9 X 13 casserole or pan.
  • Warm the tortillas by spreading 3 or 4 of them in the microwave for about 20 seconds or so. Repeat warming tortillas as you go.
  • Put about 4 to 5 cubes of the pork down the center of a tortilla and top with a tablespoon or two of the cheese yogurt mixture. Roll the tortilla up and lay in pan. Repeat with remaining tortillas, nestling them in closely.
 
  • Spread the remaining enchilada sauce over the rolled tortillas and then spread with as much shredded mozzarella as desired.

5.  Cover tightly and bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove foil and bake another 10 minutes or so, until the top is bubbly and just starting to brown.

Allow to sit 15 minutes or so before serving.

NOTES:

Do not discard the liquid from the meat! This has a great flavor and can be used as a basis for soup or in place of any Mexican-themed recipe calling for chicken broth.

If you have a favorite enchilada sauce, you can just substitute that, using two 15 ounce jars of the sauce.

For a "redder" version of the enchiladas, omit the cheese topping, finishing the assembly by just spreading the enchilada sauce over the top.


And here, if you decide to prepare enough meat for pulled pork, is the recipe for that:

Green Chile Pulled Pork

1 ½ lb boneless pork roast, cubed
2 large cloves garlic
2-3 chicken bouillon cubes or 1 T chicken bouillon powder
½ large onion, finely diced
4 oz can green chiles, including all liquid
hot sauce, cumin, or chili powder to taste
2 to 3 T water

1.  Prepare the meat as in the enchilada recipe above, but cook in the slow cooker until the meat is falling apart.
2.  Serve the mixture in good hard rolls, being sure to include some of the liquid along with the meat for each sandwich.


If preparing pork for both of the recipes above, remove half the pork from the liquid when the cubes are barely tender. Use these for the enchiladas. Taste the remaining amount for seasoning (this is the point where you may want to add hot sauce, more cumin or chili powder to taste. Then continue cooking the remainder of the meat until the cubes can be pulled apart with a fork.












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