Shrimp and scallops are the perfect way to dress up an enchilada recipe. Everyone should know by now how much I love enchiladas. But, let’s face it, enchiladas don’t usually attend black tie dinners. Not unless they are stuffed with seafood, that is. I needed a fancy recipe for a birthday get together and Enchiladas del Mar (enchiladas of the sea) where just the thing.
My Enchiladas del Mar are inspired by a class I was lucky enough to attend that was taught by one of Phoenix’s top chefs and James Beard Award Nominee 2010, Silvana Salcido Esparza. You may have seen her judge a Huevos Rancheros competition on a recent episode of Bobby Flay’s Throwdown. It’s about time the Food Network recognized her! Chef Esparza’s fantastic food has lured diners from Phoenix and the entire country to her neighborhood restaurant, The Barrio Cafe, for years. The Barrio is a great little restaurant that serves authentic southern Mexican food from Oaxaca, Vera Cruz and the Yucatan. You have got to try her Cochinita Pibil, it is better than the dish by Rick Bayless. I know! I’ve tried them both! I love Rick Bayless. I’m just keepin’ it real.
The Barrio Cafe’s seafood enchiladas are filled with a rich mixture of imported Oaxacan cheese and goat cheese. They are topped with beautiful shrimp, scallops and crab smothered in a white wine and tomatillo cream sauce. Very delicious!
My enchiladas are not quite that fancy, but very easy to make for a special dinner at home. I used ground shrimp left over from testing a burger recipe, not too pretty, so I mixed in some scallops and hid them inside the corn tortillas. There are other differences as well. I left out the imported cheese in favor of a few goat cheese crumbles and used sour cream to thicken the sauce and replace the tanginess of the missing cheese. I did use Chef Esparza’s technique of cooking the shallots and deglazing with white wine and adding tomatillos to the cream sauce.
I hope you like them.
First, get the tomatillos roasting. An open flame is great when you have one… I used a 400 degree oven.
Next, saute the shallot and garlic in a little olive oil.
Add the jalapeno, let cook for minute or two. Add the shrimp and scallops. Saute until not quite done. Remember, they will continue to cook in the pan and in the enchiladas.
Add a little cream to keep them moist. Remove from heat and remove from the hot pan to stop the cooking. Season with salt and pepper.
Saute 2 tablespoons of shallot in olive oil. Add cream, sour cream and tomatillo puree. Bring to a simmer and reduce slightly. Season with salt and white pepper.
Fill corn tortillas with shrimp and scallop mixture. Roll up the tortillas and line them up in a large casserole dish or small individual dishes. Gently pour the tomatillo cream sauce over the enchiladas. Leave a little tortilla uncovered so that the ends get crispy (my favorite part).
Sprinkle with Monterey Jack cheese and goat cheese.
Bake at 400 degrees until the enchiladas begin to brown and the sauce bubbles around the edges. Don’t over cook.
Seafood Enchiladas or Enchiladas del Mar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 pound shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped
8 oz bay scallops
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
2 dozen corn tortillas
Directions for enchilada filling
Saute shallots, garlic and jalapeno in olive oil until soft, but not brown, about 1 minute. Add chopped shrimp and scallops until shrimp are slightly pink. Add white wine and simmer until wine is almost evaporated. Pour in cream to moisten the filling and remove from heat. Transfer the mixture to a bowl to stop the cooking.
Spoon onto corn tortillas and roll into cigar shape. Line them up in a large baking dish or small individual dishes.
Tomatillo Cream Sauce
1 1/2 pounds tomatillos
1 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons shallot, minced
3 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup sour cream
salt and white pepper to taste
8 oz Monterey Jack cheese
2-4 oz goat cheese crumbles
Directions for Tomatillo Cream Sauce
Roast tomatillos in a 400 degree ove until the skins split, but not too brown. Remove from oven and cool. Puree in a food processor or blender.
Saute shallot in olive oil until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add heavy cream and sour cream. Simmer until slightly thickened. Add tomatillo puree. Season with salt and white pepper to taste.
Pour over rolled enchiladas. Sprinkkle with Monterey Jack cheesea and goat cheese.
Bake at 400 degrees until sauce is bubbly around the edges and tortillas are golden brown. About 15 minutes. Do not over cook.
Pico de Gallo
Diced Avocado, optional
Here are some other enchilada recipes that look terrific. I could stare at the photos all day!
And our own-