Today I took a detour from the typical “taco Tuesday” routine and experimented with my standard enchilada recipe by incorporationg chipotle peppers. This is one of those fairly common “specialty items” not available at the local grocery store and many recipes I have tried in the past have called for them and I have always had to omit or substitue green chilis. So, I was excited to give these babies a try after buying some during my last trip over the mountain. The results were positive, with distinctly restaurant-tasting enchiladas.
1. Gather spices to make taco seasoning if making your own. You will need 4 tsp. of homemade taco seasoning or packaged.
2. Combine spices and save extra in a sealed container or glass jar.
3. Cook ground elk with yellow and green onions and seasonings.
FYI- Save money and grow your own green onions, never buy them again! I keep two green onions growing in my house year-round. I started them from store-bought ones over six months ago and they are still going strong, even after being transplanted outside for the summer. They do require a lot of sunlight and a lot of water, so plan you window-placement accordingly!
4. Now, the enchilada sauce: combine tomato sauce, 1 T. salsa, and 1 chipotle pepper in food processor and blend until smooth.
5. Add enchilada sauce to ground beef mixture and simmer.
6. Lay our four medium flour tortillas and fill each with ground beef mixture. Top with a sprinkle of shredded cheddar.
7. Roll each tortilla and place into a greased 8×8 inch pan. Top with 1 T. of salsa and coat evenly, then add remaining cheese. Bake for 20 minutes at 350, covered with foil. Broil one more minute.
8. Garnish with green onions and pour yourself a margarita–These were very tasty and filling with a distinctly smoky, savory flavor from the chipotle.
Chipotle Elk Enchiladas
1 lb ground elk (ground beef or chicken will work too)
1 T. medium salsa
1/3 c shredded cheddar
1 oz. pepperjack cheese
1/4 c yellow onion
2 green onions
4 medium flour tortillas
4 tsp. of homemade taco seasoning or packaged
Chipotle in adobo- 1 pepper
8 oz tomato sauce
1 T. salsa
Preheat oven to 350.
1. Combine seasonings to make taco seasoning.
2. Chop onions and sautee with ground elk on medium heat. Season with taco seasoning.
3. Make the enchilada sauce by combining the tomato sauce, 1 T. salsa, and 1 chipolte pepper in adobo in a food processor and blending until smooth. 1 pepper added quite a punch and unless you like it very spicy, I would not recommend adding any more.
4. Add enchilada sauce and pepperjack cheese to ground beef mixture and stir to combine. Simmer 2-3 minutes on low.
5. Prepare enchiladas by scooping roughly one-quarter of the ground beef mixture into each tortilla and top with 1 T. shredded cheddar each. Fold tortillas and place into greased 8×8 inch pan. Top tortillas with 1 T. salsa and spread with the back of a spoon to coat the tortillas completely. Sprinkle remaining cheddar on top.
5. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Remove foil and broil for 1 minute to lightly brown the cheese.
6. Garnish with green onions, if desired.