Enchiladas de Camote (Sweet Potato Enchiladas)
Ceasar Zepeda/La Fonda on Main, San Antonio
A large number of interior Mexican enchilada recipes feature vegetables. In this version, corn tortillas are stuffed with pureed sweet potatoes, fried until crisp, and topped with a smoky hot chipotle sauce.
Makes 12 enchiladas
3 medium sweet potatoes
Kosher salt to taste
Cut the tip off the narrow end of each sweet potato to keep it from bursting. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet in a 400°F oven for about 1 hour, or until fork-tender. Cool for a few minutes.
Once the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel and pass through a food mill or ricer to achieve a smooth consistency. Add salt to taste. (You should have about 2 cups, 460 grams, mashed sweet potatoes).
2 ¼ pounds very ripe tomatoes
1 ounce canola oil
½ medium white onion, coarsely chopped
1 ½ teaspoons garlic, peeled and minced
2 large canned chipotle chiles en adobo, destemmed and minced
Kosher salt to taste (about 1 tablespoon)
Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Place tomatoes in a single layer on a foil lined baking sheet. Roast in oven, turning occasionally, for about 20 minutes, or until skins begin to burst and tomatoes are soft. Place under a broiler for about 5 more minutes to blacken the skins in spots. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
Meanwhile, place the canola oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent but not brown. Add the garlic and chipotle chiles and cook for an additional minute.
Place the onion mixture and the roasted tomatoes in a blender and puree until very smooth. Add salt to taste.
Strain the sauce through a medium mesh strainer. Pour the sauce into a saucepan placed over medium low heat and simmer until slightly reduced. Cover and keep warm.
Vegetable oil as needed for frying
Fried sweet potato strings or chips (recipe follows)
Preheat oven to 140 degrees. In a deep skillet or Dutch oven, pour oil to a depth of 2 1⁄2 inches and place over medium-high heat. Bring oil to medium frying temperature (about 350 degrees).
To soften the tortillas, wrap them in a clean kitchen towel, place in a plastic storage bag (do not seal), and microwave on high for 45–60 seconds. Place 2 tablespoons sweet potato purée on the lower third of a tortilla, roll, and skewer with a toothpick. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
Deep fry the enchiladas a few at a time (do not crowd) until crispy. Drain on paper towels and place on an ovenproof platter in the oven to keep warm. Continue frying the remaining enchiladas (allow the oil to reheat to frying temperature between batches).
When ready to serve, remove the toothpicks, place 2–3 enchiladas per serving on warm individual plates, top with the chipotle sauce, and garnish with crema Mexicana, queso fresco, and fried sweet potato strings or chips.
Fried Sweet Potato Strings or Chips
1 sweet potato
Oil as needed for deep frying
Salt to taste
Using a mandoline slicer, slice a peeled, raw sweet potato into very thin, long chips or shred into strings. Just before serving, place in a deep fryer at 350 degrees, until golden. Drain on paper towels and season with salt to taste.