June 27, 2016

Shrimp Enchiladas with Jalapeño Cream Sauce

Confession: I taught the most difficult cooking class I've ever had last night. It was a demo class featuring all shrimp recipes: smoked shrimp salad, shrimp and corn fritters, coconut shrimp bisque, shrimp enchiladas...with watermelon-blueberry margaritas, strawberry shortcake, and mascarpone sorbet.

Thanks to Ruth Sparrow for letting me this photo from Kitchen Conservatory's Instagram feed.

It was...ambitious. To say the least.

I used 10 pounds of shrimp total and cooked for 19 people. For the first time, I wasn't as prepared as I should have been, even thought I got there 2 hours before class started. I didn't make the recipes in the order I should have, and by the end of the night I still hadn't made the sorbet or the shortcakes. Luckily, I had a great class that didn't care if I improvised the dessert. I ended up serving Grand Marnier macerated strawberries with mascarpone whipped cream. Everyone was too full at that point for shortcakes anyway.

In fact, I had to improvise a couple other recipes in order to finish at a decent time (and still went 30 minutes over). I ended up leaving out some of the chopped vegetables (onions, carrots, etc.) in the rice and enchiladas. I kept the spirit of the recipes, but took a few shortcuts (like combining steps and eyeballing measurements) to save time. Plus, I used the opportunity to talk about adapting recipes and "winging it." It was a teachable moment, at least.

Everyone left happy and full, so that's all that matters. They said everything was delicious. I told them it was because it was all made with love, sweat, and panic. ;-)

The best dish of the night were the enchiladas...corn tortillas layered with spicy sautéed shrimp and spinach, sprinkled with cheese, and topped with a creamy sauce. 

Click through for my adapted recipe.

Shrimp Enchiladas with Jalapeño Cream Sauce
adapted from Damn Delicious

4 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds peeled & deveined shrimp
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 small container of baby spinach
1 bag of finely shredded cabbage
1 can chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
16 ounces monterey jack cheese, shredded
18 6-inch corn tortillas
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons flour
1 cup sour cream
1 cup heavy cream
1 large jalapeño, seeded
handful of cilantro leaves
salt & pepper
  • Saute the shrimp and garlic in the olive oil. Season with a little salted and pepper. Just when the shrimp started to turn pink, add the spinach, cabbage, chipotle peppers & their sauce, and oregano to the pan. Cook until the shrimp are just done and the greens have wilted. Turn off the heat and set aside. 
  • Layer 6 tortillas in the bottom of a greased 9x13 casserole dish. Using a slotted spoon, top with half of the shrimp mixture and 1/3 of the shredded cheese. Cover with 6 more tortillas, the rest of the shrimp mixture, and another 1/3 of cheese. Top with the remaining tortillas.
  • Make the sauce by melting the butter in a small saucepan. Whisk in the flour. Then add the sauce and drippings from the shrimp pan. Pour this mixture into a blender. Add the sour cream, heavy cream, jalapeño, and cilantro. Season with salt & pepper. Blend until smooth. Add more cream to thin if needed.
  • Pour the cream sauce over the enchiladas and top with the rest of the shredded cheese.
  • Bake at 400 degrees until the top is golden brown and bubbly.
  • Cut into squares and serve with black beans & rice. *
* Toast some basmati rice in olive oil. Add the appropriate amount of chicken stock. Cover and cook until the rice is tender. Stir in black beans (drained & rinsed), canned green chiles, lots of lime juice, and some cilantro. Season with salt & pepper.

More shrimp recipes:

Shrimp Shumai
Stovetop Shrimp Boil
Thai Shrimp with Chili, Mint, Basil & Parsley


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