“Lightness is not an attribute usually associated with enchiladas, the most comforting of Mexican tortilla foods. But these enchiladas, filled with a mix of blanched seasoned chard and succulent diced chayote and covered with a classic cooked tomatillo salsa, are both light and incredibly satisfying.
I didn’t skimp on oil to lighten them. When you prepare tortillas in oil that is hot enough, they absorb only a small amount. When I tested the recipe, I used about one-third of a cup of oil to get a half-inch of depth in the pan. After quickly frying 18 tortillas, I found that most of the oil remained in the pan, not weighing down the tortillas.
I take my enchilada-making cues from Pati Jinich, host of ‘Pati’s Mexican Table’ on PBS. Her instructions for frying are infallible. In the past, I’ve had trouble with tortillas cracking as I rolled them up, but because they were quickly fried, they remained light and intact…”
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The New York Times: Enchiladas, Light Yet Satisfying
For the guajillo chile salsa:
15 guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
For the enchiladas:
2 cups (about 8 ounces) crumbled queso fresco, ranchero or cotija, or farmer’s cheese, crumbled
4 tablespoons finely chopped white onion
1 pound red potatoes, peeled and cut into small dice
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into small dice
4 radishes, rinsed thoroughly and cut into small dice
4 romaine lettuce leaves, rinsed and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste, plus more to salt the water
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Pinch of sugar
Pickled blond peppers or pepperoncini, or pickled jalapeños
On an already hot comal or skillet set over medium-low heat, toast the chiles for about 15 seconds per side. The inner skin will turn opaque and the outer skin will crisp. Place them in a medium saucepan, cover with hot water and set over medium-high heat. Let them simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until they rehydrate, soften and plump up.
In the jar of a blender, place chiles along with 1 1/2 cups of their soaking liquid, the garlic, oregano and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Puree until completely smooth. In a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat, pour the oil. Once hot, but not smoking, add the guajillo chile sauce and cover with a lid ajar, as the sauce will be jumping. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, add the chicken broth and cook a couple minutes more. Turn off the heat and keep covered.
In a mixing bowl, combine the queso fresco with the chopped onion. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, bring salted water to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes and cook for 4 to 5 minutes until cooked through but not mushy. Scoop out with a spider or a slotted spoon and place in a bowl. In the same water, add the carrots and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until cooked but still firm. Scoop them out, place in the same bowl and set aside. Once the vegetables have cooled a little bit, add the radishes and lettuce. In a small bowl, mix the vinegar with the oils, 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper to taste, and a pinch of sugar. Whisk well and pour over the vegetables.
When ready to eat, have the guajillo salsa warmed up. Place a comal or skillet over medium-low heat and wait until it is very hot. One by one heat the corn tortillas, about 15 to 20 seconds per side, until they barely begin to toast. With a pair of tongs, dip each tortilla into the guajillo salsa on one side and then the other. The tortilla will barely get “wet” and soften in the sauce. You don’t want to pour this sauce on top, as it is rather bitter, it should just be a light coating.
On a plate, set the “wet” tortilla and place 2 to 3 tablespoons of the queso fresco in the middle. Fold the tortilla making a half moon shape. Prepare one by one, or all one after the other, and place on a platter.
Garnish with the dressed potatoes, carrots, radishes and lettuce. Place pickled peppers on the side.
© 2010-2015 MEXICAN TABLE, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Enchiladas de Huevo con Salsa de Frijol con Chipotle, Chorizo y Queso Fresco
3 cups cooked beans and their cooking broth, or 2 cans black beans, drained, plus 1 cup water
2 tablespoons adobo sauce from chipotles in adobo sauce
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, seeded, optional
2 tablespoons vinegary sauce (or escabeche) from pickled jalapeños
1 pound Mexican chorizo, casings removed, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/3 cup chopped scallions, plus extra for garnish
8 large eggs, beaten with a fork or whisk until foamy
1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste
12 corn tortillas
1 cup crumbled queso fresco, cotija, farmer’s cheese, or goat cheese
4 to 6 pickled jalapeños, seeded and chopped, optional as garnish
Ripe avocado slices, optional
Place the cooked black beans and their cooking broth, or water if using canned beans, in a blender along with the sauce from the chipotles in adobo and the vinegary sauce from the pickled jalapeños, puree until smooth. Place the puree in a medium saucepan and heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until very hot. Reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting and keep warm. The puree should have the consistency of heavy cream.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once it is hot, add the chorizo and cook, crumbling as it cooks with a wooden spoon or spatula, until it has browned and crisped, about 5 to 6 minutes. Scrape into a bowl, cover and set aside.
Pre-heat a comal or cast iron skillet over medium heat.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium, or 10-inch, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the scallions and cook until soft and translucent and the edges begin to brown lightly, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low, pour in the beaten eggs, sprinkle with the salt, and cook, stirring often and gently, until desired doneness. I like to stop cooking the eggs when they are still soft and tender, not dry, which takes about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Heat the corn tortillas, a pair at a time, on the pre-heated comal or skillet about 30 seconds to 1 minute per side. You want them to be completely heated and even slightly toasted. (Alternatively, the tortillas can be quickly “passed through hot oil,” that is quickly fried, 10 seconds per side, in pre-heated oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.) One by one, place the heated tortillas on a plate and spoon about 3 tablespoons of the scrambled eggs onto each tortilla. Roll and place on a platter seam side down. Continue with the remaining tortillas.
When all the tortillas are stuffed, rolled, and set on the platter, pour the bean puree on top. Cover with the cooked chorizo, crumbled queso and extra scallions. Add as much chopped pickled jalapeño as you like, as well as avocado slices.
© 2010-2015 MEXICAN TABLE, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
An intrinsically Mexican dish, enchiladas are not one but a multitude of possibilities that can dress up a corn tortilla. Simply the sound of the word enchilada makes any Mexican’s mouth water in less than a millisecond and is cause for celebration.
One of the dearest antojos or antojitos (translate to whims or little whims), enchiladas are corn tortillas that may be heated up or lightly fried, either folded or rolled, with or without a variety of fillings, always bathed in a salsa or sauce, and garnished with a a few from a long list of possible toppings. From crumbled queso fresco and a drizzle of crema, to raw or pickled onion, chiles or other vegetables, Mexican avocado, chorizo, shredded lettuces and cabbage, just to name some.
Considering the variations of fillings, salsas, and toppings, enchiladas not only embody different regional cuisine’s identities, but also the whims of different cooks…
Here is my latest one; I call it the Big Brunch Enchilada.
Continue reading Big Brunch Enchiladas