View Full Version : Enchiladas

Rob O
03-02-2005, 03:36 PM
Hi. Difficult for me to admit but I have no clue how to make Enchilladas. Would some of you kind souls please educate me????

K Kruger
03-02-2005, 06:49 PM
Typically, the meat ones (chicken, beef) are made with stewed meats and either a chile-based red sauce or a tomatillo-based green sauce. American ones are typically smothered with cheese and often baked.

The basic red sauce is chile-only but often tomatos are added (or salsa).

Do you have anything particular in mind? Authentic, Tex-Mex, whatever?

Rob O
03-02-2005, 06:57 PM
Hi ya Kevin. Thanks for the help.

Thing is I don't know enough about them to say. When I think about the ones I've liked best they were smoked shreded chicken in a mole sauce.

Beyond that.... haven't the vaguest idea how these are done.

Doug D
03-02-2005, 07:19 PM
My impression has always been-- very basically-- soften up the corn tortillas in hot oil, dip them in the chile sauce, roll them up with whatever filling, smother in cheese and more sauce, and bake for a short period.

K Kruger
03-02-2005, 07:23 PM
I make moles frequently. I don't usually use them for enchiladas but I have many times, you can, they're delicious. Moles can be kind of involved. I'd be happy to post a recipe or two for them and suggestions on how to use them for enchiladas or for just a more typical 'chicken mole'. If you prefer, you can buy mole pastes in the Mexican section at the supermarkets--they're flavorful, but I like making them myself. Moles are particularly good with smoked chicken; they have a lot of depth, which is, imo, perfect for smoked fowl of any kind, actually.

I can also post some other non-mole sauces that are good for enchiladas, and quicker to make.

Generally, as far as procedure goes, you ready your meat, simmer your sauce, and toast your tortillas (I use corn only). Then you dip your tortilla in the sauce, fill with meat (and a little cheese if you wish), roll and, if your're baking them, place in a prepared pan and repeat. When your pan is full, you pour on a little more sauce, scatter more cheese and bake.

There are canned or bottled enchilada sauces (that are not moles) which you can use if you don't wish to make everything from scratch. If that's the case, I can give you a more detailed procedure on their assembly.

There are probably others here with favorite approaches as well, but let me know what you're interested in and I'll throw my two cents your way. Going to bed now but I'll check here in the a.m.

Rob O
03-03-2005, 04:21 AM
Thanks Kevin,

It was the enchilada making procedure I was after. Just seemed to me to be a good way to use some of my leftover chicken, chuck roast, whatever.

I've been reasonably successful with my mole sauces in the past but if you post it.... I will cook it. You haven't sent steered me wrong yet.

Again. Appreciate the reply. thanks

Susan Z
03-03-2005, 06:10 AM
Kevin's recipe (http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/3980069052/m/9870004152/r/9870004152#9870004152) makes the most AWESOMELY velvety textured sauce. Sometimes I turn my leftover pulled pork into green chili, and sometimes I then turn the green chili filling into enchiladas. Funny you should bring this up cuz I was toying with the idea of turning my leftover rotiss chickens into enchiladas.

Anyway, this stuff is just fantastic! Highly recommended.

Rob O
03-03-2005, 06:38 AM
http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif D'Oh.... Just figured out why my search for a recipe didn't work.... There's only one L in enchilada.

Smart, smart, smart..... dumb.

K Kruger
03-03-2005, 07:59 AM
The mole sauces I make are fairly thick, a bit thicker than heavy cream (I'll post a couple or three later), so when I'm using a mole for enchiladas I'll remove some to a large saute pan and thin in a bit--to more the consistency of light cream. (Btw, the dark moles work good with brisket point as well as chicken or turkey.)

For cheese I prefer a Mexican melting cheese like Queso Fresco (often found in supermarkets near the chilled tortillas or near the parmesan wedges), and I like Queso Cotija (and/or Queso Anejo) for crumbling on the top.

I warm my meat (chicken or turkey chunks or shreds, or brisket point chunks) in a pot on the stove if I've pulled it out of the fridge. I use a little weak stock or broth plus any juices I've saved (if I have any left) from when I pulled the meat out of the foil after resting. I just use a little of this liquid mixture for moisture and to help transfer heat. I use a low flame and keep the cover on the pot but stir occasionally. I'm looking to get the meat warm-hot, but not cook it.

Meanwhile, I warm the thinned mole in the saute pan on med-low heat (to a bare simmer) and have a 13x9 pan or 8x8 (or whatever) baking pan nearby.

Though tortillas are generally softened in hot oil, I use the flames from an available burner instead, tossing the tortilla directly on the burner and moving it around quickly with tongs, and flipping, to get it pliable and a little toasty. This is pretty quick. I do them all in succession and stack them under a towel to keep them warm.

[Alternatively, rather then semi-frying the tortillas in oil, do this: Lay the tortillas out on a baking sheet or two, and lightly spray or brush both sides of the tortillas with oil. Bake at 350 just to warm and soften them, about 3 minutes. Stack the tortillas and cover with a towel to keep them warm.]

For assembly: You can spread a little sauce in the bottom of your pan, fill the tortillas one at a time with your meat and a little cheese, and lay them in your pan, topping the lot with more sauce and a little more cheese, or, what I do: I take a warm tortilla dip it entirely into your saute pan of sauce, then remove it to the baking pan I'm using. I sprinkle on a little Queso Fresco, lay in a line of drained meat filling and roll it up. Then I repeat till all are rolled. Rolling in the baking pan saves you from messing up your counter or another pan. As the pan fills just lay your tortilla on top of the finished ones and roll it up right there.

Take some of your sauce (not too much) and pour in over the enchiladas. Top with a little more Queso Fresco, and a little crumbled Cotija and/or Anejo. Bake at 350 till heated through and the cheese is starting to brown, about 15-20 min.

Imo, the biggest problem with restaurant Mexican food (and pizza, for that matter) is there's nearly always too much cheese. I love cheese, but you can kill a dish with too much. I recommend not putting too much in with the meat and not smothering the dish with it. You want your wonderful meats and the nuances in the sauce to shine.

One of the sauces I make is similar to Kevin Taylor's, except that I don't use a roux, tomato paste or chili powder. Instead I roast roma tomatoes under the broiler, flipping once till blackened in spots, then peel them over a blender to catch the juices. I re-hydrate chile peppers in boiling water, then puree them with the peeled tomatoes, a splash of orange juice, the chicken stock, and the spices. I then simmer the sauce till a thick as I'd like. If I'm making a suiza-style dish (with crema or sour cream mixed into the sauce) I skip the o.j. (Btw, if you can get creme fraiche (or make your own, it's easy) it works better than sour cream as it won't break when added to the hot sauce.

K Kruger
03-03-2005, 08:23 AM

A scattering of minced Vidalia is a nice addition to the filling. For beef enchiladas I also like a thin-sliced radish garnish. A bite of the enchilada with a slice of radish is a great combo.

Incidentally, a quicker 'brunch' type approach that's tasty: Use a lighter mole roja or verde or a red enchilada sauce (suiza or not) and beef or chicken. Instead of making rolled enchiladas, make them New Mexico-style: Use a sheet pan. Dip the tortilla as above then lay it flat on the pan. Top with a little cheese, some meat, and a scattering of minced onion. Dip another tortilla and lay it on top and repeat with the filling/cheese onion. Go three of 4 layers high, ending with a tortilla; top with sauce and some cheese. Make a stack per person. Bake briefly to warm through. Serve as is (use a wide spatula or two to remove it to a warmed plate), or top with a fried egg. Surround it with shredded Romaine and some diced fresh tomatoes.

Ray Crick
03-04-2005, 04:44 AM

I am fully aware that Kevin is a "pro" and expert "chef". His recipe is much better than the one I am posting below - but mine is easier and when you are in a rush, it is quite good. Any good leftover smoked poultry or beef works fine.

By the way Kevin - the curry leaves I got are fantastic in soups and veggie dishes!


Enchilada recipe is:

Chicken Enchiladas

1-1/2 cups cooked chicken, cut into bite sized pieces (or any smoked or bbq flavored beef or poultry)
2 cups Monterey Jack cheese with Jalapeno shredded
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground red pepper (cayenne)
6-inch flour tortillas (5 or 6)
1 can enchilada sauce (19 oz)
1/2 cup sliced black olives (or sliced kalamata olives)
1/4 cup minced green onion

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Separate 1 cup of the cheese, and combine it with the chicken, sour cream, and seasonings. Mix well.

Spread 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture on each tortilla and rollup tightly.

Pour about 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce in bottom of a casserole dish and place tortillas in dish (seam side down). Top with remaining enchilada sauce and then the reserved cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes. Top with the olives and green onions to serve.

K Kruger
03-04-2005, 07:50 AM
Better is in the eye (or mouth) of the beholder.

Your recipe looks mighty tasty to me. Love the olive topping idea.

Jane Cherry
03-04-2005, 03:00 PM
I have made enchiladas different ways depending on how much fat content you are concerned with. Also took a mole class. They vary greatly upon region, local ingredients, etc. Molli, means sauce. This is a time consuming sauce, which usually is made during holiday time in Mexico, you need to plan ahead for these. You can vary your taste with different nuts, chocolate or not, and there are red, green, blond and black. Rick Bayless has some nice ones in his cookbooks, but be forewarned that they are time consuming.

All meats have to be tender and fully cooked for filling. I make my filling, whatever it is, with some crumbled cheese and green onions.

To soften tortillas, if you are watching fat, skip the hot oil softening. Hot oil tastes the best, but you can microwave them in the plastic wrapper which has been opened, or have some simmering sauce on the stove to lay your tortillas in and coat both sides for softening.

With the filling prepared in a bowl, I just lay some filling in the softened tortilla and roll up and place in my prepared pan. Prepared meaning a layer of your sauce coats the bottom. Put enchiladas seam side down and fill your pan. Top with sauce, a little cheese and bake covered, then removing cover for the last 10 minutes of baking. I hope there was one interesting tip here, but Kevin is the real chef here. That guy is AWESOME!

Ray Crick
03-05-2005, 02:57 AM
Jane and Rob,
I agree - Kevin is the master! And I also agree that sometmes the mole takes too long and when you just want a quick, good meal, you skip a few lengthy processes. Personally, I don't even warm up my tortillas - just use them right out of the package. With the sauce on the bottom of the pan, the good soft filling, and the sauce on top, they turn out fine. Sometimes you just have to "go with the flow" when you are a bit rushed.