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potato kale enchiladas

Living in Los Angeles, our choices for Mexican food are limitless, from traditional family-run restaurants serving familiar favorites to unique food trucks experimenting with innovative new ideas. This wonderful recipe is the best of both worlds: classic, hearty enchiladas with a roasted chile pepper sauce and an irresistible filling of tender baked potatoes and sautéed kale dressed with lime.

The original recipe which has been adapted from the Veganomicon suggests to boil the potatoes, but we have found that roasting them with the peppers brings out more flavor and adds a pleasing crispy texture. Yes, by doing this you will also save time and dishes, but we promise we didn’t change the recipe just for that!

Although this dish has a few extra steps, it is a great example of how flavorful and satisfying vegan cooking can be. When it emerges hot and bubbly from the oven with the aroma of fresh peppers and toasty potatoes, you will know it was time well spent.

In our neighborhood, there are a number of Mexican restaurants within walking distance. We realize that not everyone has such a variety of choices, so we thought this delicious meal would be a great way to share a little piece of Los Angeles with you. Now you will be able to enjoy fresh, delicious, and healthy enchiladas anytime, no matter where you live. ¡Buen provecho!

Potato Kale Enchiladas
adapted from Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero
serves 4 to 6

To roast the vegetables:
3 Anaheim chile peppers (or other large mild green chiles)
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes (or other waxy potato), cut into 1/2-inch dice
olive oil
freshly ground black pepper

For the enchilada sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 teaspoons chile powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon marjoram
28 ounces canned fire-roasted tomatoes
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt

For the filling:
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces kale, stem removed, trimmed, and chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons lime juice

To assemble the dish:
12 to 14 corn tortillas

First, to roast the vegetables, preheat the oven to 425°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the stem and seeds from the chile peppers, cut them in half lengthwise, and place them cut side down on the prepared baking sheet. Place the diced potatoes on the same sheet, and arrange them in a single layer around the peppers. Lightly spray or drizzle olive oil over the vegetables, and sprinkle them with freshly ground black pepper. Roast in the oven for 25 to 35 minutes, tossing the potatoes occasionally, until the peppers are soft and have turned dark brown in spots, and the potatoes are tender with slightly crispy edges. Let the peppers cool slightly, then peel them and chop them into 1-inch dice. The potatoes can be set aside for the filling. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F.

To make the sauce, place the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add the diced onion, and sauté until softened, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the peeled and diced peppers, chile powder, cumin, marjoram, canned tomatoes, sugar, and salt. Stir to combine, bring to a simmer, then remove from heat. Allow the sauce to cool slightly, then either use an immersion blender, or transfer mixture to a regular blender and purée until smooth.

To make the filling, place the olive oil and garlic in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic just starts to sizzle. Add the kale and 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and toss to combine. Cover the pan and let the kale steam, stirring occasionally, until it is softened, about 5 minutes. Then uncover the pan and add the roasted potatoes, cumin, water, and 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt. Cook for another 3 to 4 minutes until the water is absorbed, stirring occasionally and using the back of a spoon to mash some of the potatoes. Then remove from heat and add the lime juice, stirring well to combine.

To assemble the enchiladas, place about a cup of the sauce in a 9×13-inch baking dish, and spread it around to cover the bottom of the pan. In a small dry skillet over medium heat, warm a corn tortilla until soft, then place the warmed tortilla on top of the sauce in the dish. Put 1/4 cup of potato-kale filling down the middle of the tortilla and roll it up, placing it seam-side down. Repeat with the remaining tortillas, arranging them to fit comfortably in the dish. Pour the rest of the sauce over the enchiladas, covering them evenly. Cover the pan tightly with foil, and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, until the edges of the tortillas are lightly browned.