Reading Mexican cookbooks makes me realize that while the ingredients are humble, the steps are many. But do not let this deter you; it is so worth it!
I had never cooked with tomatillos but when they came across my path at the farmers’ market recently, it clearly was time to give it a go. Enchiladas seemed like the perfect way to showcase these sour cousins of the tomato and this dish did not disappoint!
Elise of Simply Recipes often speaks of the Mexican dishes she grew up on so I knew this dish would be fairly authentic. While the steps seem many, this taste oh so good that you will want to make sure that you make a large pan of them. They have been my lunch staple all week and everyday lunch is exciting!
Make sure you have plenty of paper towels on hand; they are critical for soaking up the oil off of the fried tortillas. And be careful not to overcook the tortillas; this is more of a softening rather than a frying. If they get to crisp, they won’t roll, which I found out with my first batch!
Green Chile Enchiladas (from Simply Recipes)
12-15 corn tortillas3-4 tablespoons safflower/sunflower/peanut oil
1 lb tomatillos, husks removed and cut in half
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons red onion, minced
4 ancho or poblano peppers or 6 jalapenos
2 cups shredded cheese, plus some to sprinkle on top- any mix of cheddar, monterey or colby jack
1 cup chicken, cooked, cubed (optional)
1 roll of paper towels
Preheat oven on broil and place tomatillos on foil lined baking sheet. Broil for 7-10 minutes until tops are beginning to char. Remove from oven and allow to cool 5 minutes. Puree in blender with garlic and red onion and set aside. If you have a gas stove you can roast the peppers on top of the burners. Turn burner on high and place pepper on top, turning once the down side is blackened. If you have an electric oven, heat oven to 400 degrees and place peppers on foil lined baking sheet and roast for 40 minutes or until skin begins to blacken and pepper sinks into itself. Once peppers are roasted, place in paper bag and close and allow to steam for 5-10 minutes to make peeling the skin easier. Remove from bag and either rub off the skin or peel it. Slice into pepper and remove membrane, seeds and stem. Cut into as many slices as you have tortillas.
To prepare tortillas, heat skillet over medium high heat and add 3 tablespoons peanut/safflower/sunflower oil. Have stack of paper towels near by to place fried tortillas on once removed from pan. Fry each tortilla 5-9 seconds per side, just enough to soften them and allow the heat to puff them up slightly; you do not want them stiff. Drain on paper towels, stacking one on top of the other until all are fried. You may have to add oil as you go, but just enough to cover the bottom of the pan. To assemble the enchiladas, place 1-2 tablespoons cheese on the bottom third of a tortilla and a slice of pepper on top. Tightly roll each tortilla and place seam side down in a 9 x 13 baking pan. Complete with remaining tortillas and cheese and peppers. Pack enchiladas in tightly and pour tomatilla sauce over all and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes until bubbling and browning on top. Allow to rest 5 minutes and serve.
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