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January 2016

Enchiladas: Aztec to Tex-Mex by Cappy Lawton & Chris Waters Dunn - book review and recipe for Enchiladas de Camote (Sweet Potato)

Disclosure: I received a copy of Enchiladas: Aztec to Tex-Mex in exchange for this post.  No additional compensation was received.  All opinions are my own.
My family and I recently discovered that we love enchiladas.  After a long day about a year ago, I sort of threw some together following a basic recipe I found online.  I can't even remember where at this point.  But since that day, I've tried several different variations including different meats, cheese, sauces, vegetables, etc.  So far, our favorite has been slow cooked pork and black beans with cheddar in flour tortillas.  But, there may be a new favorite brewing...
I received the book Enchiladas: Aztec to Tex-Mex by Cappy Lawton & Chris Waters Dunn at the perfect time.  I was ready to try my hand at some more enchilada recipes and this cookbook has basically everything I need to know about cooking, preparing, assembling, and garnishing many different types.  It even has instructions on how to make your own tortillas.  One recipe in particular caught my eye - Enchiladas de Camote. Camote is the Spanish word for sweet potato.  I would have never thought to put sweet potatoes and enchiladas together in the same sentence let alone on a dish.  So, I tried it and guess what?  It works! VERY well, too!
Here's the recipe:
Enchiladas de Camote (Sweet Potato)
Yields 12 enchiladas / Serves 4–6
For the filling:
* 2 cups (460 grams, about 3 medium) sweet potatoes, roasted and mashed
* Kosher salt to taste
For the sauce:
* 1 recipe Chipotle Sauce (see page 191)
For the assembly:
* 12 tortillas (the book does not specify what type.  I used corn)
* Vegetable oil as needed for frying
For the garnish:
* Crema Mexicana
* Queso fresco
* 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and shredded for fried sweet potato strings or
very thinly sliced lengthwise into chips (recipe follows)
Start with the filling:
* 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 (200°C) 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.
Prepare the sauce:
* While the potatoes are baking, prepare the chipotle sauce.  
  • 2 1/2 pounds Roma tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 small yellow onions, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 2 large chipotles en adobo sauce, stemmed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • for the filling:+
  • 2 cups (460 grams, about 3 medium) sweet potatoes, roasted and mashed
  • Kosher salt to taste

*Preheat the broiler. Place the tomatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place under broiler until very soft and blackened in spots, turning as a side is done, 15 minutes or so total. Remove from oven. In the meantime, eat the oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and chipotles to skillet and cook for another 1-2 minutes, stirring almost constantly. Remove from heat.

*Transfer the tomatoes and any accumulated juices to the jar of a blender, then scrape in the onion mixture and add the salt. Puree until smooth. Strain through a medium-mesh strainer. 

*If proceeding immediately, pour the sauce into a saucepan over medium-low heat, cover, and keep warm (reheat in the same manner if made in advance). Store cooled sauce in an airtight container with a lid in the fridge for up to 5 days. If the sauce was prepared ahead of time, place it in a saucepan set over medium low heat, cover, and keep warm.

Assemble the enchiladas:
* Preheat the oven to 140°F (60°C).
* In a deep skillet or Dutch oven, pour oil to a depth of 2 1⁄2 inches (6.33 cm) and
place over medium-high heat. Bring to medium frying temperature (about
350°F, 177°C).
* 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 (optional) fried sweet potato strings or slices.
Sweet Potato Chips
How to make sweet potato strings or chips:
* Using a mandolin slicer, slice a peeled, raw sweet potato into very thin, long
slices or shred into strings. Just before serving, place in a deep fryer at 350°F
(177°C) until golden, drain on paper towels, and use as a garnish.

Reprinted from Enchiladas: Aztec to Tex-Mex Copyright © 2015 by Cappy Lawton and Chris Waters Dunn. published by Trinity University Press.

 As per my usual, I didn't have all the ingredients on hand today while making these, so I had to substitute a garlic & herb soft cheese for the crema Mexicana and the queso fresco garnish.  And of course, you all know I despise cilantro, so I just added some parsley to the top for some fun.  Also, I wish I would have made the sweet potato chips!  I think I'll make some tomorrow just to make up for it.
I really enjoyed the crunch and the unexpected sweet potato flavor of these little gems.  When I finished eating, I found myself licking my lips from the lingering smoky spice of the chipotle sauce - wishing I had made more.  I think these would be great as appetizers fried up in small batches.  
This is just one of the many delectable recipes in Enchiladas: Aztec to Tex-Mex.  I'm looking forward to trying as many as I can from Tex-Mex Brisket to Enchiladas de Frijoles y Chorizo.  I hope you'll try this recipe and get yourself a copy of Enchiladas: Aztec to Tex-Mex!
Enchiladas: Aztec to Tex-Mex is available on and other book sellers. You can use my affiliate link here: 

Or check out the book's website at  Right now they are running a special ONLY available on purchases made through!  Buy 3 books, get 1 FREE! Makes a great gift for the foodies in your life.