Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

After eating a few bites of these enchiladas, I said to Jim, “If I ate this in a restaurant, I would be sooo happy.” And he replied, “Man, this stuff is gooood.”

I was going to make “this stuff” for Cinco de Mayo. I’ll use any holiday, and I mean any holiday, as an excuse to narrow my menu selections down from the thousands of options out there. But Jim was treating his teachers to pizza that night and brought home the leftovers. I am a pizza freak. At times in my life I have literally eaten pizza every night of the week. I was young and worked in an Italian restaurant that had phenomenal pizza, so why not. I will never ever turn down a slice of pizza.

Now that I’ve confessed my pizza obsession, let’s get back to these enchiladas. I used 16/20 shrimp (extra large) and chopped them in three pieces to get nice chunks. Don’t omit the step of nuking tortillas in very damp paper towels. If the towels aren’t damp enough, your tortillas will break apart. We can’t have that.

Chipotle adds some heat, but it’s optional, not a part of the original recipe on the One Perfect Bite blog. Instead of chipotle, you could always keep a bottle of hot sauce at the ready if you need more heat. The vinegar in hot sauce cuts the richness of the cheese, a nice contrast. Guacamole or avocado on the side would be a smart addition. I didn’t think of it until it was too late.

This is a quick dinner. You’ll spend 5-10 minutes, maybe a bit more, peeling shrimp and chopping ingredients, followed by a quick sauté, filling and rolling tortillas and 15-20 minutes in the oven.

The original recipe says four servings. Well, your mileage may vary. It’s hard to have only one portion, kind of like pizza.

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Not much to look at, but oh so good.

Shrimp Enchiladas Verde

You’ll need a large skillet and 8″ x 11″ baking dish.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 medium-size red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 medium-size green bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 pound shrimp, shelled, deveined and cut in half into 1” pieces – buy American only, don’t support Asian slave labor!
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1-2 chipotle en adobo peppers, minced (optional)
  • 8-9 corn tortillas
  • 1 bottle (16 ounces) tomatillo salsa
  • 3 tablespoons half-and-half or light cream
  • 1 cup (or more if you’re a cheese freak like me) shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack or pepper Jack cheese

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and pepper, cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, cook 1 minute. Add shrimp, cook an additional 3 minutes, until shrimp is opaque. Stir in corn, 1/4 cup water, chili powder, cumin and chipotle. Heat through.

Preheat oven to 375. Coat a 11 x 8 x 2-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Wrap four tortillas in damp paper towels. Microwave 30 seconds. Brush one side of each tortilla with salsa. Spoon 1/2 cup shrimp mixture on each. Roll up and place seam-side down in prepared dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling. Top with any extra filling.

Mix remaining salsa with half-and-half. Spoon over enchiladas. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until bubbly.

Original recipe: Shrimp Enchiladas Verde, One Perfect Bite

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