Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Exciting Enchiladas

So while I love Mexican food, I am very particular about it as well. I am not a fan of super spicy things. Unfortunately my and my husband`s definition of spicy is completely different.  About 10 years ago, I thought the Taco Bell cheese sauce was on the spicy side.  I`m doing a lot better, but jalapenos still scare me.

 When my friend made this dish for me, she made it sound so incredible...I could not wait to try it.  She had forgotten one thing though. To mention that it involved jalapenos.  Fast forward a bit, and she brings this large casserole over to be cooked. All you can see is the cheese on top, and of course it looks wonderful. It goes in the oven and the smells are divine. Someone else asks what is in it, and she goes through the list. Jalapenos included. My jaw dropped. I was so sad, but she said she`d only put 1 in, and that I wouldn`t taste it.  I put the fate of my mouth and all the milk in the fridge in her and took a bite. It was delicious!
If you aren`t a fan of spice, you can leave it out, or if you are, add even more. Either way, it will turn out great.  Just don`t forget the cilantro, as it makes all the difference!

What you need:
500 g shredded chicken
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp salt and pepper
8-10 flour tortillas
1/2 - 1 cup grated cheese, Manchego or Iberico
3 cups tomatillo sauce (recipe below)

sour cream

For the sauce:
500 g can tomatillos (available for about 8 chf at El Maiz)
1-2 jalapenos (optional)
1/2 cup diced onion
3 cloves garlic
1 cup cilantro, leaves and stems (or one package from Coop/Migros)
1/4 tsp salt

1. Prepare your chicken.  I have made this twice now, once with the sour cream option for the sauce and once without. The first time, I used store bought pre cooked chicken and shredded it. The second, I roasted my own chicken and thought that was the better way to go.  Another option is to poach the chicken by placing it in a pot with water just covering it. Bring to a boil, simmer for 5 minutes, turn off the heat and let sit for another 10 minutes.

2. Prepare your sauce.  If using the canned tomatillos, open and drain. I used my immersion blender attachment to chop everything. Put in a bowl (blender or mixer) and then add the cilantro, garlic, salt and jalapenos.

Thinly slice the onion and cook it until it begins to brown and soften. Add to your mix. Blend until you reach a consistency you like.

3.  Spread some of the sauce in the bottom of your baking dish. You will use it to coat the tortillas.

There are 2 options for the tortillas: sprinkle a little water on them and put them in the microwave for about 15 seconds, or (my preference), quickly fry each side.  If you choose this option, heat up the pan first, then put some oil in it once it is hot.  Fry one side then the other. Make sure to blot the tortillas on a paper towel when done.

Lay in the baking dish and then flip so each side is coated with the sauce.  Add a heaping tablespoon of chicken and some cheese to the tortilla and then roll. Place at one end of the dish. Repeat until you have no more room or no more chicken.  When the dish starts to fill up, you may need to use a brush to spread on the sauce to both sides.

Once your dish is full, add the remaining sauce to the top. If you like, before doing this, add in 1/2 a cup of sour cream. Add the sprinkled cheese and bake at 180 C for about 15 minutes. 

 with sour cream sauce
out of the oven,  no sour cream sauce
Ready to enjoy

The cilantro gives it a very good flavor. Don`t forget to add it like I did the first time! :)
Oh, and it is fantastic as leftovers the next day...cold and reheated.