Tuesday, March 6, 2012
One of my favorite dishes as a child was my Mama's enchiladas. As soon as I could reach the stove, I was helping boil chicken, shred cheese, and fry and roll tortillas. Here's my version of her recipe, with a few alternatives to mix things up!
Time: About an hour
Cost: $8 for 10 enchiladas
I had 10 corn tortillas on hand, so that's how many enchiladas I made. 2 thigh/legs (and an extra little piece) made a little more than enough chicken for this recipe (it would have been the perfect amount for a dozen). Set your oven to 350 fahrenheit.
First task is to boil the chicken. Set a pot on the stove with enough water to comfortably cover the chicken. Add a sliced lime, chopped jalapeno, half an onion, salt, pepper, and oregano to the water. Add the chicken, and bring everything to a boil. Since my chicken was frozen, it took about 30 minutes to completely cook through. If you have time, turn the heat down to a simmer immediately after reaching the boiling point, and let the meat cook over the course of a few hours, until the meat falls off the bone.
Once your meat is cooked, carefully pull it out of the water, and place it in a bowl to cool. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred it by pulling it off the bone with your fingers and breaking it into bite-sized pieces.
You can also use cooked ground beef, shrimp, or pork.
(Cooked chicken before its shredded)
Cheese. Queso fresco is the best, but cheddar or jack work fine as well. Shred the cheese, and set aside.
Sauce. If you're in the mood to cook, use Kimie's Finger Licking Good Enchilada Sauce (but who eats enchiladas with their hands?!?). If you're lazy like me, get the fanciest can of enchilada sauce you can find at the store (or the most generic), and doctor it up a bit. I added kosher salt, course ground black pepper, oregano, and cumin seed. Simmer the sauce on medium heat for a few minutes, to bring the flavors together.
(Red sauce is also delicious with ground beef. Green sauce is great with pork. And mole chicken is the best!)
Chop up about a half an onion, and set aside in a bowl.
Set a pan on the stove with about a half inch of vegetable oil on medium-low heat.
Here's where the fun really begins. Make sure you have a square pan at least 1" deep, and big enough to fill with delicious enchiladas.
Start by saucing up your pan, making sure to generously coat the bottom.
Fry a tortilla until just soft enough to bend without cracking (about 10 seconds).
Place in pan, add a little more sauce, and fill with all of your ingredients.
Carefully roll your tortilla around your filling. Make sure you roll them tight enough to stay together, but not tight enough to explode.
Continue this until you have enough to fill your pan, adding sauce to the bottom as needed. I like mine saucy, so I tend to add a bit to the bottom after every enchilada.
Once you have a full pan, sprinkle any remaining cheese and onions on top, and pop it all in the oven. Cook until cheese is melty, and enchiladas are hot all the way through. (about 15 minutes).
Goes wonderfully with a side of spanish rice and salad. Enjoy!