Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I need enchiladas. Now.

When you grow up in Southern California, you get spoiled by the amazing, delicious Mexican food that is available to you everywhere. Even though there are regional differences in Mexican food, just as there is in America, or any other country for that matter, my tastes go to the flavors I had when I was younger.

As a treat, when I was a kid, we'd go to a local restaurant that had the traditional favorites such as tacos, burritos and enchiladas. This was a "treat" because going out to dinner was not something we did very often, and as I've said in earlier posts my mom is an admitted bad cook so the thought of her attempting to cook traditional Mexican food was out of the question. Although, I will have to say on her behalf, that she made her own version of tacos and also enchiladas that were very good and are still in my memory banks as two of her best meals.

We would always begin the meal with warm flour tortillas and we'd smother them in butter. Then we would order our favorites (mom, dad, my brother and I). Cheese Enchiladas with rice and beans were mine. It's Mexican comfort food....a warm, cheesy, spicy concoction of happiness.

I found the following recipe in a magazine and have no idea (as usual) where to give proper credit. However, it is delicious and I want to share it with you anyway! This is a cheese enchilada recipe, but you could easily substitute grilled chicken in place of the cheese in the filling.

Cheese Enchiladas wtih Roasted Tomatillo Sauce

Cabbage Salad:
2 C finely shredded green cabbage
4 large radishes, thinly sliced
1 TBL each chopped cilantro and fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp kosher salt
freshly ground pepper to taste

Tomatillo sauce;
1 lb tomatillos, husks and stems removed, washed
1 jalapeno chile, seeded, chopped
2 TBL fresh chopped cilantro
2 tsp each minced garlic and lime juice
1/2 tsp each dried oregano and kosher salt

1 1/2 C shredded cheddar cheese
1 C chopped red onion
8 corn tortillas

1.  Heat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray. Place tomatillos on sheet and roast for 20 minutes or until soft. (I don't like raw jalapeno so I threw it on the pan as well). After roasting, cover tomatillos with the foil and let steam for about 5 minutes.  Transfer to a blender with remaining sauce ingredients; blend until smooth. Reduce oven to 400.

2. Toss all salad ingredients in a medium bowl and refrigerate. (I also added about 1 TBL of canola oil to the cabbage mixture).

3. In a bowl, combine 1 1/4 C cheese and the onions. Lay tortillas on a flat surface. Place a heaping 1/4 C of the cheese mixture onto each tortilla and roll up, burrito style. Lay enchiladas in a row in an 8 inch square baking dish. Pour tomatillo sauce over enchiladas; top with remaining cheese. Bake 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Serve with cabbage salad (I also chopped up a bit of avocado and drizzled some plain greek yogurt on top but you could also use sour cream).


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