Mexican food. I crave it.
But so many of the Mexican restaurants around here just don’t cut it. There’s one in particular, well-known by college students for their Margarita specials, that I dread going to with friends because it means a $12 plate of sub-par enchiladas suizas (my favorite) next to a sad pile of rice and brown blob of refried beans.
Give me better Mexican food! For $7 in California, I can get amazing enchiladas suizas with the best rice and beans you’ve ever had.
Don’t tolerate bad Mexican food!
Make your own.
Okay, I’ll admit, these are some crazier-than-usual ingredients. However, you can find them at Whole Foods and they are NOT expensive! Tomatillos were $1.99 a pound, and poblanos and serranos were $2.99 a pound (and 2 of each weigh very little). Delicious, homemade, FLAVORFUL enchiladas suizas are now within our reach.
A few quick minutes under the broiler, and we have some naked (skinless) peppers, chiles, and tomatillos ready to make our sauce. Combine the finer things in life, like sour cream and cilantro, in a food process or blender and we’ve got a spicy, green heaven at our finger tips. Grab some chicken, fry up your tortillas (this step is crucial for the yum factor!), and smother with sauce and cheese. Really, just smother it. Bake it, and boom! You’re done.
In the time it takes to coordinate dinner plans, drive to a mediocre Mexican restaurant, order, and eat, you could have made yourself (and a crowd!) a tray of outstanding enchiladas, packed with more flavor than the restaurant would be willing to offer you. Plus, the money you could save can be channeled into extra homemade Margaritas. Maybe I’ll do a recipe for those soon.
Until then, enjoy your homemade Enchiladas Suizas.
1.5 lb tomatillos, husks removed
2 serrano chiles
2 poblano peppers
1 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp ground cumin
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup canola oil
8-10 6" corn tortillas
3 cups cooked, shredded chicken
1.5 cups shredded mozzarella
Turn on the oven's broiler and place an oven rack about 4" below the broiler. Place the tomatillos and serranos on a foil-lined baking sheet and broil, turning occasionally, until blackened or blistered all over. (I got impatient with the tomatillos; they weren't blackened all over, so I removed as much skin as possible and tossed the rest in). Let cool for about 10 minutes, and then remove and discard the skins. You also need to roast the poblano peppers, which you can under the broiler, or on the stove over a gas flame. Place the blackened poblanos in a paper bag or wrapped in foil to steam for 10-15 minutes, then remove the skins, stem, and seeds.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a blender or food processor, combine the roasted tomatillos, serrano chiles, and poblano peppers with the cilantro, sour cream, cumin, garlic, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth.
Place the cooked, shredded chicken in a medium bowl and toss with 1 cup of the sauce. Coat the bottom of a 9" x 13" baking pan with an additional 1 cup of sauce.
In a skillet big enough for the tortillas, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Using tongs, add the tortillas one at a time, cooking until pliable, about 5-10 seconds. Remove the tortillas and place on your workstation. Divide the chicken between the tortillas and roll up tightly. Place the tortillas, seam side down, in the baking dish. Pour the rest of the sauce on top and cover with cheese. Lots of cheese.
Bake until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted on top, about 18-20 minutes. You can hit it under the broiler for 1-2 minutes to brown the cheese at the end. Serve with plenty of sauce, extra cilantro and a little sour cream. Enjoy!