Thursday, June 12, 2008

the best enchiladas EVER!

i have a very odd interest in enchiladas. i perk up like someone says, "i really enjoy bob dylan." except that it's a main dish and not one of the best musicians of all time. i like to ask people what they put in their enchiladas and where the recipe came from. my favorite thing about enchiladas is that no recipe is ever the same (that's what's so fascinating!).

one time my friend carol came over and i wanted to make enchiladas but they were awful. and carol, i'm really sorry. you deserve better enchiladas.

i found a recipe that makes the BEST ENCHILADAS EVER. it's rather labor intensive, but totally delicious. make it for someone you love or someone you want to super-impress. the recipe:

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce
Serves: 4

Sauce and Filling:
1 ½ tablespoons vegetable or corn oil
1 medium onion, chopped fine (about 1 cup)
3 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
12 ounces chicken, cut into thin strips
2 cans tomato sauce (8 ounces each)
½ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 can (4 ounces) pickled jalapenos, drained and chopped
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated (about 2 cups)

Tortillas and Toppings:
10 six-inch corn tortillas
Vegetable or corn oil cooking spray
3 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese (3/4 cup)
¾ cup sour cream
1 avocado, diced

  1. Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat until hot and simmering but not smoking, about 2 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, coriander, cumin, salt and sugar; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chicken and cook, stirring constantly, until coated with spices, about 30 seconds. Add tomato sauce and ¾ cup water; stir to separate chicken pieces. Bring to simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low; simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked and flavors have melded, about 8 minutes. Pour mixture through medium-mesh strainer into medium bowl, pressing on chicken and onions to extract as much sauce as possible; set sauce aside. Transfer chicken mixture to large plate; freeze for 10 minutes to cool, then combine with cilantro, jalapenos, and cheese in medium bowl and set aside.
  2. Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 300 degrees.
  3. TO ASSEMBLE: Smear entire bottom of 13 by 9-inch baking dish with ¾ cup chili sauce.
  4. Place tortillas on two baking sheets. Spray both sides lightly with cooking spray. Bake until tortillas are soft and pliable, about 4 minutes.
  5. Place warm tortillas on countertop. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees. Place 1/3 cup filling down center of each tortilla.
  6. Roll each tortilla tightly by hand and place in baking dish, side-by-side, seam-side down.
  7. Pour remaining chili sauce over top of enchiladas. Use back of spoon to spread sauce so it coats top of each tortilla.
  8. Sprinkle ¾ cup of grated cheese down the center of the enchiladas.
  9. Cover baking dish with foil. Bake enchiladas on lower-middle rack until heated through and cheese is melted, 20 to 25 minutes. Uncover and serve immediately, passing sour cream, avocado, lettuce and lime wedges separately.

and carol, one day i will make them for you (i'm thinking it will have to happen after i have the baby since i'm low energy these days).

tell me about your enchiladas (post the recipe if you want). i'm dying to hear about them.


Liz said...

Mmmm...enchiladas. I love enchiladas, although they always turn out too spicy for me. There's something about enchilada sauce that gets to me. I'm always looking for ways to tone it down. My enchilada recipes are always thrown together with whatever I find in our food storage. :)

Crystal said...

This looks yummy. Do you have an ingredient list? Like, with amounts?

Hey, remember that one time you were heating oil to cook something and came down to borrow something from me, and when we went back up Ryan came flying out the door with a flaming pan? :) I still think of that (fondly) whenever I heat oil on the stove. Thanks for not burning down the condo.

carol said...

But, but...those were GOOD enchiladas! I enjoyed them! And that cake you made, too. It was a very good dinner. Thank you.
I used to have a good recipe for cheese enchiladas, but I lost it. Bill makes cheese enchiladas that are really good. I don't think there's a recipe. It's pretty basic: tortillas, cheese, a jar of sauce. Yum.

Sarah said...

OOOoo -- avocado, why didn't I think of that? I have a vegetable enchilada recipe that uses a green sauce but I've always wanted to try a red sauce. Thanks, Miriam! And I'm in town -- would you like to go on another hike or we could just sit around and listen to Bob Dylan?