Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Enchiladas Verdes

Back in the land of grey buildings and personal injury lawsuits, I am missing Mexican food. I am relearning to discard toilet paper in the toilet bowl, and enjoying the calmness of traffic and taxicabs, and going unnoticed on the street as a guera/whitey. I learned this recipe from various Mexican mothers and grandmothers but like any good oral tradition, this likely inadvertently includes my own toque especial. My favourite thing about enchiladas is that they can be enjoyed at any time of day: breakfast, lunch, dinner or as drunkfood.

Serves 4.

You will need:
- corn tortillas (12?)
- oil for frying
- 1 whole chicken
- 1 onion
- 1 carrot (or was it garlic? luckily this is not very important)

For the salsa verde:
If you are a lazy person you can buy this pre-made. I think Herdez and La Costeña make good ones. But it's not as good as homemade! It may however, be cheaper.
- 10? tomatillos (these are the green tomatoes that come with a papery covering, generally found at Mexican specialty stores like at Bloor and Dufferin. If you don't have one near you, you can buy a tin of them), papery covering removed
- 1 bunch of cilantro
- 6? serrano or jalapeño chillies (green and hot are the two key characteristics)
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- salt?

Toppings:
- iceberg lettuce, chopped
- crema (Mexican specialty store again, or just use sour cream)
- a mild shredded or crumbled white cheese

Prepare the chicken:
Put it in a pot with the onion and carrot and/or garlic and cover with water. Boil until cooked (no red juices emerge, and it's not creepily tender), about 30 minutes depending on the size of the chicken. Remove the chicken from the water and pull off the meat into small pieces with your hands. [Unrelated to this recipe but a happy byproduct: Throw the chicken carcass and skin and ligaments (mm!) back into the water, add some veggies and herbs, simmer uncovered for 3 hours and you have delicious chicken stock!]

Prepare the salsa (unless you are lazier than a Mexican and bought it in a store):
Blanch the tomatillos in as little water as possible. In the same water, boil the chillies until tender (about 10 minutes). Do not discard the water. In a food processor or blender, blend the tomatillos, onion, garlic, and chillies to taste. Add cilantro to taste and blend. It should be very very liquid so add the chilly water as necessary. Transfer to a deep frying pan or pot and simmer for 10 minutes.

Prepare the tortillas:
Heat some oil in a frying pan. Fry each tortilla in the oil for about 30 seconds. You don't want them to brown, you just want them to take up some of the oil so they don't get soggy in the salsa, and be hot so they are easier to fold. Keep warm in paper towl, plastic, or between two plates.

MAKE THE ENCHILADAS!
Place chicken meat onto one half of each tortilla and fold over. One at a time, place the stuffed tortilla in the frying pan with the salsa verde and submerge it for a few seconds. Remove to each individual's plate. Top with extra salsa verde. Give to your guest to add toppings.

Put on some cumbia and sit down to eat.

1 comment:

Francesca said...

I suddenly realized that comment about being "lazier than a Mexican" could be interpreted the wrong way... I meant that literally, if you don't make the salsa yourself you are lazier than many Mexicans, who do make it themselves.