Enchiladas

Enchiladas

To enchilar means to put chilli on something, which is
precisely what you do with this dish of tortillas stuffed with
chicken, beef, pork or eggs and slathered in chilli salsa.

Origins
Dipping lightly fried corn tortillas in salsa, or pouring salsa over them, may have been a culinary accident in pre-Hispanic Mexico (that is, before the arrival of Spanish conquistadores), or perhaps a genius move by hungry tribesmen. In any case, the domestic cultivation of maize or corn thousands of years ago allowed the creation of tortillas, and it is likely that somebody has been making some kind of enchilada ever since.

You’ll need
10 tomatillos, husked
3–4 serrano chillies or 2–3
jalapeños
2–3 sprigs of fresh coriander
(cilantro)
1 small onion, peeled and cut
in chunks
1 clove of garlic, peeled
2 tbs canola oil
2 cups (500mL) chicken or
vegetable stock
Salt
2 tbs canola oil
4 corn tortillas
1 large chicken breast, cooked
and shredded
¼ cup (60mL) thick cream or
sour cream
½ cup (125mL) queso añejo or
mild parmesan
1-2 onions, peeled and sliced
into rings

Cooking Method
1 Boil the tomatillos and chillies in salted water for 10 minutes. Drain.
2 Puree the soaked tomatillos and chillies, coriander, onion and garlic to make a salsa. This should make around 2½ cups (625mL) of tomatillo sauce.
3 Heat 1 tbs oil in a frying pan over a mediumhigh heat. Pour in the salsa and stir for 5 minutes; it will get darker and thicker.
4 Add the chicken or vegetable stock and salt to taste, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Keep warm.
5 Heat the remaining oil in a small frying pan and fry the tortillas quickly. You want to soften the tortillas but don’t let them get too crispy. Drain on paper towels.
6 Pour a couple of tablespoons of the salsa on to a plate. Lay a tortilla over it and put some of the shredded chicken in the centre. Roll up. Repeat with 3 more tortillas.
7 Cover the enchiladas with salsa.
8 Sprinkle the enchiladas with cheese,
a dollop of cream and onion and serve.

Tasting notes
Enchiladas verdes (green enchiladas) are perhaps the most widely available enchiladas in Mexico. Often eaten for dinner at unpretentious restaurants, it’s a seemingly simple dish that hides its complex blend of flavours and textures. Like most enchiladas, half the fun comes from the salsa and this one, made of tangy tomatillos, (a light-green berry), serrano or jalapeño chillies and a sprig of coriander (cilantro), has potency and a hint of sweetness. The tortillas are filled with poached shredded chicken and topped with sliced onions and sharp Mexican cheese (such as queso añejo) so that every bite offers six layers of greatness: tangy, spicy, a bit sweet, crunchy (from the onions and the tortillas), sharp (from the cheese) and juicy chicken.

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