Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Saag Paneer Enchiladas

I forgot to tell you that I am a bad singer.  I don't necessarily sing all that often.  Especially not seriously.  But I have noticed that if I am singing along to a song in the car, I feel like I am pretty good.  Then I turn off the music and continue singing and it is no different than the rest of the America who tries out for American Idol.

I guess the good news is that I have really good hearing.  This allows me to be very aware of how incapable I am of maintaining the intended note.  I have reason to believe that if I learned how to sing, I might have a more promising future.  Promising in the sense that I could sing "Happy Birthday to you" with my chin up.

Oh yeah.  And I am also lyrically challenged.

Also, am I the only one who hates edible arrangements?  Come on.  Like, that idea makes no sense, right?

This is a fun twist on the Saag Paneer, a common dish served at Indian restaurants.  Saag is for a yummy spinach sauce and Paneer is for a fresh cheese.  These enchiladas are stuffed with something similar to Saag Paneer and then topped with a punchy sauce full of cilantro and mint.  I was terrified of this mint sauce, but I did it.  And it was delicious.  If you want to try something fun and different, this is wonderful.

PS:  Scot made this paneer from scratch!  He used this recipe.  We couldn't find it at Whole Foods OR at our Indian grocer (which is weird, I am not convinced it is not there).  It is pretty easy.

Saag Paneer Enchiladas
adapted from Jalapeños and Smita Chandra’s From Bengal to Punjab via homesick texan

for the filling:
1 medium yellow onion

2 cloves garlic

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 10-ounce packages of frozen spinach, thawed

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 cup plain yogurt or sour cream

1/4 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup half and half

1/2 pound paneer cheese, cut into 1/4-inch cubes

for the sauce:

2 cups cilantro, leaves and stems

1/4 cup mint leaves

1 jalapeño, seeds and stems removed, chopped

1 clove garlic

1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 cup buttermilk

1 1/2 cups plain yogurt or sour cream

Salt to taste

for the enchiladas:

8-10 flour tortillas or roti

Chopped cilantro for garnish

In a blender or food processor, grind the onion, garlic and ginger. In a skillet, heat up the vegetable oil on medium-low heat and add the onion mixture and cook while stirring for 5 minutes. Add to the skillet the spinach, cumin, cinnamon, clove, cayenne, yogurt and buttermilk. Turn the heat down to low and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the half and half and paneer cheese and simmer for 5 more minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings and add salt.

Meanwhile, to make the sauce, in a blender, puree the cilantro, mint, jalapeño, garlic, ginger, cumin, lemon juice and buttermilk until smooth (you will probably have to press down the sides of the blender with a spoon a couple of times to make sure all the herbs are pureed.). Stir the cilantro puree into the yogurt. Add salt to taste.

Preheat the oven to 350. Wrap the tortillas in foil and place in the oven for 10 minutes while the oven is preheating.

Grease a baking dish. Remove the tortillas from the oven and open the foil (be careful as there may be hot steam). Take a tortilla and spoon 1/4 cup of the filling down the center. Roll the tortilla and place seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Cover the tortillas with cilantro-mint sauce and bake uncovered for 5 minutes.

Serve topped with cilantro.

(Servings:  4-6, Prep time: 1 hr, Cook time: 10 min., Difficulty:  Easy)

Printable Version

foodforscot Ratings:

Shanon (taste):  7/10
Scot (taste):  7/10
Effort:  3/5
Dishwashing Effort:  4/5

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