Tuesday, December 28th, 2010
I have been the Chef at Villa Creek for over eight years. In that time I have received e-mail requests, phone calls, and even snail mail letters asking for the Recipe to one of our most popular dishes. The Butternut Squash Enchiladas. The idea for the Famed Butternut Squash Enchiladas was actually created by a friend of Cris and Joann Cherry. They put it on the menu before I was hired. When I arrived I recognized its intrinsic value for vegetarians and adjusted it to be completely vegetarian with the ability to be vegan as well. At the restaurant we serve the enchiladas with vegetarian re-fried black beans and Vegetable Succotash. During this adjustment, it was important to source the ingredients from reputable and local farmers. Over the years I have used many local farmers including Windrose Farm.
For the next few weeks, my intention is to guide you through the recipe for this sought after dish. I will take you from farmer to “plate up”. It is a great dish and a pretty interesting low-cal option for those Mexican pot lucks that seem to be so popular. So buckle up and stay tuned for a fun little journey through one of Villa Creeks Signature Dishes.
First item of business: Sourcing the Ingredients.
Lately I have been sourcing the butternut squash from Matt of “Bounty of the Valley” whom I see every Saturday at the Templeton Farmers market. He is a great Farmer with many diverse crops and one heck of a nice guy to boot.
If you are a local and go to the Templeton Market make sure you stop by his booth and check out his product. He also has great onions this time of year as well as Cauliflower. (which is used in the vegetable Succotash that accompanies the enchiladas) I also source the cilantro and corn as well as the Tomatillos from the market. Tomatillos are grown by many local farmers and are always better fresh. They are so versatile and add much to any salsa or sauce. Sourcing fresh product is the keystone to both healthy eating and culinary mastery. If you can get to a farmers market, you will certainly taste the difference from Grocery store fodder. If you can’t get to a farmers market try to befriend your grocer and find out where they are getting their produce.
As a reference here is the recipe. Remember Recipes are merely guidelines, don’t get married to them. Use your imagination and your sense of adventure to help you navigate through any recipe. Please note that this recipe is for a grip of enchiladas. You can reduce the ingredients by half for a more “family friendly” quantity or leave it as is and freeze them.
4 Quarts raw butternut squash (peeled and large diced)
3 ears of corn (corn removed and cob discarded)
1 1/2 diced yellow onions
Salt and pepper
Toss butternut squash with oil salt and pepper, then
Place in 2 two-inch hotel pans, add a half cup water and cover with aluminum foil.
Place in a 350-degree oven until soft. About an hour. Sauté diced onions slowly until soft then add corn, salt and Pepper. Cook until corn is just soft. Add corn mix to
Butternut squash, then mash together with potato masher
or large spoon. Cool, cover and mark.
GREEN ENCHILADA SAUCE
4 1/2 LBS TOMATILLOS
2 BUNCH CILANTRO
2 BUNCH GREEN ONIONS, CHOPPED
2 TBLSP GARLIC
1 TSP BLACK PEPPER
3 T SUGAR
HUSK AND CLEAN TOMATILLOS AND PLACE INTO A PAN AND FILL 1/2 WITH WATER. COOK TOMATILLOS UNTIL JUST COOKED. ADD CILANTRO,SUGAR, GREEN ONIONS, AND JALAPENOS AND BLEND UNTIL SMOOTH WITH BLENDER.
Next week we will go over the procedure and show some pictures as a reference. Until then, I hope I see you at the Market!