Sunday, February 28, 2010

Enchiladas Verdes

We've tweaked this recipe a few times, and we're still working on it. Its not hard to find good enchiladas in Chicago, considering the number of authentic Mexican restaurants. Still, we want to learn how to make them ourselves when we don't feel like going out. This recipe comes from (guess who?) Rick Bayless.

Enchiladas Verdes

3 garlic cloves, peeled
1-2 fresh hot chiles, stemmed and quartered
1 1/2 pounds (10-12 medium) tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and cut into quarters
3/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups chicken broth
red onion or shallots, thinly sliced
2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast (rotisserie or grilled works nicely)
12 corn tortillas
3 tablespoons Mexican crema, sour cream, heavy cream, or creme fraiche
1 cup crumbled Mexican queso fresco, or shredded melting cheese like chihuahua or Monterey Jack

Blend the garlic an chiles in a food processor. Add the tomatillos and cilantro, and process until smooth.

Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Add the puree and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture has reduced to the consistency of thick tomato sauce, about 7 minutes. The more you cook down the base, the richer and sweeter the tomatillo sauce will be. Add the chicken broth and simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes.

Lay out the tortillas on a baking sheet and spray or brush lightly on both sides with oil, then stack them in twos. Slide the tortillas into the oven and bake just long enough to make them soft and pliable, about 3 minutes. Remove from the oven and stack them in a single pile; cover with a kitchen towel to keep warm.

Stir the crema (or its replacement) into the sauce. Taste and season with salt, usually about 1 teaspoon. Spread about 1/2 a cup of the sauce in large baking dish. Dip each tortilla into the sauce, fill with chicken, roll up and place seam side down into the dish. Repeat, placing the tortillas neatly in the dish. Cover the tortillas with the remaining sauce and sprinkle with melting cheese (if you decide to use it). Bake for 10-15 minutes, until cheese is melted. Top with queso fresco, scallions, and sliced red onions (or shallots).

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