I've never made enchiladas before and have been meaning to try them out for what seems like a lifetime. I probably have about five difference recipes saved on my computer. But recently I was looking for a new mexican option for dinner and came across this one over on all recipes. I can't help it, I'm a stickler for recipes with awesome reviews. And my husband... well, he has a thing for tomatillos.
I had some trouble finding the ingredients in my regular grocery stores (yes, I went to about three different grocery stores looking for these ingredients). But fortunately, along my travels, I noticed a Mexican grocery store which had everything I needed. And was SO CHEAP! I probably paid less than half on the produce if I would've bought them in the grocery store. As a matter of fact, the second time I made this (yes, I made this TWICE in one week!) I went back just for the tomatillos and serrano peppers and it cost me less than three bucks. The tomatillos alone would've cost me at least $4 in the grocery store. And the few tomatillos I did see in one of the stores I went to were in terrible shape, and I think they had a total of 8 tomatillos. I'm glad I put those shriveled things back because the quality and quantity of the tomatillos available at the Mexican grocery store were far better.
This recipe called for blackening the tomatillos, serrano peppers and garlic. To do this, I simply put my broiler on and set them on a foil lined baking sheet. The next step was to toss it all in a blender. Well, for some reason I thought it would be a good idea to use my food processor instead.
Don't do this. Because once I turned it on, the liquid spurt out of all sides of the food processor lid. USE A BLENDER! Unless you have a better food processor that perhaps contains liquids.
At this point, the tomatillo sauce was looking fascinating.
Once you get it blended, the color changes a little, but I think it's just the aeration that gives it the cloudy appearance.
At this stage you're gonna pour the tomatillo sauce into a small pot and heat it on the stove. You'll add water and some chicken bouillon. It sounds a little strange, but really brings the flavor out in the sauce.
I wanted to show you some of the specialty mexican ingredients that I couldn't find anywhere but at this Mexican grocery store. The recipe insisted on using the Mexican Crema, and to NOT use sour cream. My husband and I loved this stuff. It was rich and creamy. Not as sour as sour cream.
This is the Cotija cheese. I still have a ton of this cheese leftover in the fridge. It looks like parmesan cheese. And as much as I like to stay authentic with the recipes, I don't think I needed a whole pound of a grated cheese. I'd have to make a lot of enchiladas to use up this cheese before it's going to expire. But after eating this recipe twice, the only thing that's really going to keep me from making these things once a week will be the side trip to the specialty store to get the fresh tomatillos.
So I was a little skeptical about the step where it calls for flash-frying the corn tortillas. I didn't understand the importance of it. But after attempting to not fry them the second time I made this - trust me, it's crucial. Otherwise the tortillas won't be pliable and will tear before you get those things even half-rolled.
Here's a look at the enchiladas before I put them in the oven.
And here is a shot of the beauties after having baked them a little to get them warmed through (because I used a rotisserie chicken which had been refrigerated).
And here are a few more beauty shots:
Look at that sauce! Although it does look a little thin, and I did reduce the amount of water in the sauce the second time I made it, it was definitely not lacking in flavor.
Thanks to all recipes for another tried and true recipe!
1. The second time I made this I saved myself some time by cutting the stems off of the serrano peppers and the tomatillos before I popped them under the broiler for blackening.
2. As a time saver, when I was filling the tortillas, I realized I could mix the shredded chicken with a few spoonfuls of the tomatillo sauce and a generous sprinkling of the cotija cheese and mix it all together instead of layering them individually onto the tortillas.
3. The second time I made this I was really curious about adding shredded cheese since every enchilada I've ever had was smothered in melty cheese. So I bought a block of monterey jack cheese, shredded the whole thing, and sprinkled it all over the enchiladas before popping them into the oven for heating. Personally, I thought this really made the recipe. My husband liked them both ways. So if melty cheese is your thing, don't hesitate to go for it!