Flank Steak & Four Cheese Enchiladas with Sweet Corn, topped with Homemade Smoky Chipotle Enchilada Sauce
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Makes 12 enchiladas
• ½ – ¾ pound flank steak
• Black pepper
• ½ teaspoon ground cumin
• Olive oil
• Smoky Chipotle Enchilada Sauce, warm (recipe below)
• 12 corn tortillas (I use “Mission” brand’s “super soft” variety)
• 3 cups 3-cheese blend (cheddar, jack & mozzarella), divided use
• 1 cup organic corn
• ½ cup very roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves, divided use
• ½ cup Cotija cheese, crumbled
• 1 tablespoon pepitas (pumpkin seeds), for garnish (optional)
-Preheat the oven to 350°, and have a 9” x 13” baking dish on hand.
-Place the steak in a medium sized bowl, and add a couple of pinches of salt and pepper, the ground cumin, and a drizzle of olive oil; rub the seasoning into the steak, and allow it to marinate for a few minutes.
-To grill the steak, place a large non-stick grill pan over medium-high heat, and allow it become hot; once hot, drizzle in a touch of oil, then add the steak in, allowing it to sear on that first side for about 4 minutes; turn the steak and allow it to sear on the other side for about 3-4 more minutes; remove from pan and allow it to rest for about 10-15 minutes (the steak will be medium rare).
-Slice the steak against it’s grain, then cut it into tiny, bite-sized pieces, and set aside for a moment.
-Add about 1 cup worth of the warm, Smoky Chipotle Enchilada Sauce to the bottom of the baking dish, and spread it out evenly.
-Add about 1 ½ cups of the warm, Smoky Chipotle Enchilada Sauce to a shallow dish, as you will use this to coat the tortillas in before filling them.
-Separate out 1 ½ cups worth of the 3-Cheese blend, and set it aside (this will be the melty topping); the remaining 1 ½ cups will be for the filling.
-Just before assembling the enchiladas, you’ll need to soften the corn tortillas in order to make them pliable—otherwise, they will crack when you try to roll them. To soften them, wrap a batch of 6 tortillas in warm, damp paper towels, and microwave for 45 seconds (you will steam the remaining batch once these are filled).
-To assemble, take one warm tortilla from the stack in the microwave (keep the rest in there covered with the damp paper towels), and dip it in the warm sauce in the shallow dish, coating both sides to moisten; then, on a plate or cutting board, fill the tortilla by sprinkling about a heaping tablespoon worth of the cheese, a small sprinkle of the steak, then a small sprinkle of the corn, finishing with a pinch of the cilantro leaves (take care not to overfill the enchiladas, or they may be too difficult to roll, and be too big); gently fold the tortilla over and slowly and carefully roll it closed, then set it seam-side down in the sauce in the baking dish; repeat the process until all enchiladas have been assembled, placing them in a single layer in the baking dish.
-Pour as much of the enchilada sauce as you’d like over all of the assembled enchiladas (you may end up with a little extra sauce), then top with the 1 ½ cups of cheese you set aside; bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the enchiladas are hot and soft.
-Once out of the oven, finish by sprinkling over the crumbled Cotija cheese and the rest of the chopped cilantro leaves, and garnish with a few pumpkin seeds, if using; serve with some rice and beans on the the side, if desired.
Smoky Chipotle Enchilada Sauce Ingredients:
• Olive oil
• 1 onion, chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
• 3 heaping tablespoons tomato paste
• 3 (14.5 ounce) cans organic fire-roasted & diced tomatoes with green chiles
• 2 whole chipotle peppers
• 1 heaping tablespoon adobo sauce (the sauce that the chipotles are packed in)
• 1 tablespoon brown sugar
• 1 ½ teaspoons salt
• ¼ teaspoon black pepper
• ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
• ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
• ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves
-Place a non-stick pot over medium heat, and add in about 2 tablespoons of oil; once hot, add in the chopped onions, and allow them to sweat for about 2-3 minutes.
-Add the garlic in, and once it becomes aromatic, add in the tomato paste, stir, and allow it to cook for about a minute.
-Next, add in the cans of fire-roasted tomatoes, juices and all, plus the chipotle peppers and the adobo sauce, and stir to combine.
-Add in the brown sugar along with the remainder of the ingredients, including the cilantro, and stir to combine well; adjust the heat to medium or medium-high, and allow the sauce to simmer, fairly vigorously, for 15 minutes without a lid.
-Using a hand-held immersion blender (or even a regular blender if you don’t have an immersion), puree the sauce until smooth and silky, then check to see if you need any additional salt or pepper; keep the sauce warm if using immediately, or allow it to cool and store it in a container in the fridge until ready to use, at which point you will reheat it.