Shrimp Enchiladas and Cranberry Salsa

Disclaimer: These are not light and healthy enchiladas. They have cream, butter and almost 3 cups of cheese. But for the love of God don’t try to make them “light,” embrace the delightful creamy scrumptiousness. Make them for a special occasion, go for a longer run, or do a two-a-day, but just revel in how the yummy flavors come together and the tart cranberry salsa cuts through the creamy shrimp deliciousness.  Most importantly just enjoy!

These enchiladas are my family’s Christmas Eve meal, usually along with homemade tamales. (For a white girl from Minnesota, my mom makes pretty awesome Mexican food!) My mom’s birthday is Christmas Eve and she made these and tamales for almost ever Christmas I can remember. Why she spent all day cooking on her birthday, I don’t know, I think we’re both just crazy like that. I didn’t understand how wonderful they were until I got older, and for some reason usually ate a hot dog or macaroni and cheese while the adults had the yummy stuff for Christmas Eve dinner. But now my mom has passed the recipe to me, and I LOVE them and so does pretty much everyone else. The special occasion I made them for this time was BF’s family birthday dinner. Monday was his birthday but we had his parents over Sunday night to celebrate. Happy Birthday Boyfriend, I love you!

As I said in the disclaimer don’t try to make these healthy, just eat and enjoy them. Use the best ingredients you can find and forget about calories for one meal. Both recipes, I couldn’t even tell you where they came from originally, if you know feel free to tell me, all I know is we’ve eaten them every holiday season for at least 15 years. Definitely make both recipes, they pair together impeccably well, and if you have left over cranberry salsa it’s great with cream cheese on crackers. You can even make the enchiladas ahead of time (or freeze them) and simply heat them up when you’re ready to eat.

Enjoy my favorite holiday recipe ever!

Cranberry Salsa

1 bag fresh Cranberries (I use frozen!)
2 Green Onions, minced
1 Jalapeno, minced
1/3 Cup Sugar
3 Tablespoons fresh Mint, minced (or 1 Tablespoon crushed dried mint)
3 Tablespoon Lime Juice
¼ Teaspoon ground Ginger

Rough chop the onions and jalapeño before quick pulsing together the jalapeño, onions, sugar, and lime juice and ginger in a food processor.

IMG_3826IMG_3819The more of the “ribs” and seeds you remove the less spicy your jalapeño will be, the capsaicin, which is what makes peppers spicy, is located there. Be sure to wash your hands and under your fingernails REALLY well after working with any type of spicy peppers, the stuff BURNS when it gets in you eyes… not that I would know or anything!

IMG_3828(I like to cheat and use bottled lime juice)

IMG_3833quick pulses!

IMG_3837IMG_3838Add the cranberries, pulse until you get the texture you like.

The salsa’s spiciness depends on the intensity of the jalapeño; this time around my jalapeño was not very spicy so my salsa turned out pretty mild, like my mom says it’s always a crap shoot!

(I use the Cuisinart to make this salsa, if you don’t have a food processor you can chop the cranberries and mix all the ingredients together. If you don’t have one, you should get one, Christmas is coming. You can even get an old one off of Ebay like the one I have!)

Shrimp Enchiladas

Sauce:
½ Cup (1 stick) butter, (divided)
½ Cup chopped red bell pepper
½ Cup onion, minced
1 medium jalapeño pepper, minced
1 poblano pepper, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp oregano
½ tsp salt
Pinch of white pepper
Pinch of Cayenne pepper
1 Cup whipping cream
3 Cup grated Pepper Jack cheese (divided)
½ Cup Sour Cream
10 flour tortillas
1 pound uncooked medium Shrimp, peeled and deveined (I cut mine in half)
1 Cup chopped green onions
2 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded chopped or 1 14.5 oz can of Petite Diced tomatoes, lightly drained
10 flour tortillas

IMG_3852Minced, diced, chopped and ready to go.

IMG_3872First melt ¼ C butter in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat.

IMG_3854Add bell pepper, onion, chilies, garlic, and oregano.
Cook until vegetables tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
Add salt and season with white pepper and cayenne.
IMG_3859 IMG_3860Add Cream, bring to boil, scraping up any browned bits.
Reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes.

IMG_3869Slowly mix in 1-cup cheese and stir until melted.
Remove from heat.
Stir in the Sour Cream.

If you are going to eat the enchiladas right away pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. If not skip this step.
Line a 9×13 inch baking pan and spray with cooking spray.

Next step is cooking the shrimp to mix with the sauce to make the filling. IMG_3842I have an ever helpful sous chef who would like to help with the shrimp portion of the recipe.

IMG_3870Chop, mince, and dice some more, I also cut the shrimp into more bite sized pieces.

IMG_3872Melt remaining butter in a heavy skillet

IMG_3874Add Shrimp and ¼ C Green onions.
Cook about 2 minutes, until shrimp are pink.
Stir in ½ of the tomatoes and ½ of the cream sauce.
IMG_3878
(foil is my best no-stick friend)

Spoon about ½ C of filling into each tortilla
(I somehow managed to not capture this step, probably because it’s my least favorite part of making enchiladas)
IMG_3880Roll up tightly and arrange seam side down in the baking dish.
Spoon remaining sauce over tortillas, cover with remaining cheese.
Spoon remaining tomatoes and green onions over the top. Cover with foil.
At this point you can either pop these in the fridge until you are ready to bake them, or freeze them even!
Otherwise stick ‘em in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.

The enchiladas were a big hit with the BF’s parents, which I count as a big win!
IMG_3885Serve with cranberry salsa, warm black beans, and maybe a margarita or two!

IMG_3888Happy Birthday BF!!
(He insisted on the Funfetti from a box cake, easy peasy so who am I to complain!)

Happy Holidays everyone, I hope you get a chance to make these totally delicious enchiladas!

Peace.Love.&Running

MK

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