Have you ever stopped and thought about all the different foods we call, “Mexican Food?” It seems everything is kinda the same just wrapped in a corn or flour tortilla in some way or another. Quesadilla, taco, burrito, enchilada, taqito, etc. No matter the preparation, you can transform it into any yummy dish using the right seasonings and cooking methods. It is one of my favorite cuisines. Maybe because I love guacamole, sour cream, queso, chips, and margaritas.
I used to hate enchiladas. I never understood why anyone just didn’t get a burrito and call it a day. It turns out corn tortillas have been the culprit all the time. I just couldn’t get past the consistency of a corn tortilla. I like crunchy. I like soft. I just do not like that in-between consistency.
I have found a few ways to get past this. 1. Fry the corn tortillas in oil for 5-10 seconds on each side. A bit messy and not very healthy. 2. Place the tortillas in a paper towel and put them in the microwave for 15 seconds. This is healthy and practical. It gets the tortillas pliable to load up with your ingredients and not break. Plus, it makes them a bit softer in the oven. 3. You could also just use flour tortillas. Not authentic, but doable if you already have these in your fridge.
For the filling…chicken, beef, shrimp, veggies, bean; there are many choices. Tonight I made chicken and beef. I always like to make a double batch of enchiladas, because they freeze beautifully. Nothing better than coming home on a week night, too tired to cook, and then remember you have these sweet gems in the freezer!
Chicken Filling- There are many different ways to make your chicken, but this is how I decided to do it tonight. I boiled the chicken in chicken stock (I had homemade stock in the freezer.) You could use box or can in you have it; you could use water; or you could use a combo of both. Season your chicken well, even at this point. I used salt, pepper, a bit of poultry seasoning, ground cumin, and some adobo all spice (in the ethnic section of your grocery store). Boil on med. heat until tender and cooked through. I used 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut in half and cooked it for about 18 minutes. Cool. Shred. Then I added a bit of enchilada sauce, and a sprinkle of all the above seasonings, along with garlic and onion powder. Add half a can of green chilies. Mix together.
Beef Filling- Again, many different variations, but this is how I made mine. Cut and chop 1 onion and 2 garlic cloves. Start to brown in a med. pan for a bit. Then add your ground beef. Add a couple of tablespoons of Worcestershire. I am in love with the combo of beef and Worcestershire. However you pronounce it, it brings out an extra layer of flavor to the beef. I also added 2 sprinkles of crushed red peppers for a bit of a kick. LOVE! Lastly, add most of the same seasonings as the chicken; Adobo seasoning, ground cumin, salt, pepper.
I sprayed my 2 pans with Pam and put some enchilada sauce on the bottom of each. Once all the meat is cooled, add to the tortillas with some mixed Mexican cheese. Fold and place seam side down in your pan. Cover with enchilada sauce, more Mexican cheese, and some crumbled queso fresco (crumbly Mexican cheese) on top. I used 2 different enchilada sauces. One was from Old El Paso (on chicken) and one was a roasted tomato from Rick Bayless (on beef) I wanted to try out. Don’t be afraid to experiment!
I cooked it about 25 minutes (cooked through and cheese melted on top) on 350.