A couple of weeks ago, it was Rich's birthday and according to family tradition you get to pick your birthday meal, heart attack or not. You are allowed a 24 hour reprieve from the evil regime.
Rich's pick was chicken enchiladas with flour tortillas. Ugh, I know, I know. That's all sorts of wrong but I have made them before and it's actually pretty good. I asked Rich to go to the store to buy tortillas since we were out of them. He brought back butter flavored flour tortillas.Yes, they actually exist. Matter of fact, the first thing when you google butter flavored tortillas is this. I should have read the comments before I started cooking.
Anyways, my thinking was that the flour tortillas will absorb the sauce and you wouldn't taste the butter. Oh was I ever wrong, I should have figured that out when you could smell the strong aroma of butter coming out of the oven.
How bad could it be?
Well, we all gathered around the dinner table and the kids and I all took a bite. Then we looked at each other mid-chew and spit our enchiladas back on our plate and then looked at Rich. Of course he had taken a bite of his rice and beans first (he never eats the entree first, always the side dishes). So we waited quietly and just stared at him.
He asked, 'Why are all of you staring at me?'
"Oh just because honey. We wanted to see if you like the enchiladas.'
He took a bite, thoughtfully chewed it, barely swallowed it and then declared with all the passiveness of a great diplomat that dinner wasn't so bad. He then proceeded to eat a whole enchilada to prove he could. We all dumped our food in the trash without eating another bite. It wasn't until later he declared it was disgusting, like eating popcorn flavored enchiladas.
Popcorn. Flavored. Enchiladas.
And he ate it.
I should have trusted my instincts to run far, far away when I saw butter flavored tortillas.
I owed Rich are redemptive* birthday dinner.
Really, is there not a better definition than redemptive? (Redemptive /riˈdemptiv/ adj.: Acting to save someone from error or evil: "redemptive love".)
But then it gets even better. My sister was at my house when Rich brought home the evil tortillas and she heard my 'how bad could it be?' comment. I texted her to warn her how horrifying it actually could be. The next morning when I log on to Facebook there is a message from my brother in law.
'Authentic as can be, Tortillas of the corn type. Hot oil. Enchilada sauce (red). Geso fresco (of your choice). Cilantro, diced white onion.Dip tortilla in warm sauce. Fry sauce laden Tortilla in oil until soft. Place on plate and sprinkle with queso fresco. Fold in half and repeat until desired quantity is achieved. Sprinkle cilantro and onions on top and enjoy authentic bliss!'
Oh fuck no, he did not just do that. He typed authentic bliss, matter of fact he used authentic twice. He wrote tortilla of the corn type. Like I don't know what kind of tortillas are actually in enchiladas. He just told me how to make enchiladas like a 2 year old who has never stepped foot into a kitchen. Pretentious much? Now I love my brother in law, he is one of the few people in this whole wide world I would lay down in front of a train for (still would) but he did not just tell me how to make enchiladas. I admit I get rather grouchy after cooking a horrible meal especially when I know what mistakes I made. But I especially hate being corrected first thing in the morning when I already know the mistake I made. Make Krysta MAD. Smash computer screen. SMASH! Let's just say I have a lot of pride and leave it at that. My curt reply was, 'I know.... but that's not what Rich wanted for his birthday dinner.' And I seethed for days.
This is how I normally make chicken enchiladas verde. Step by step. I don't have a recipe unless you count my helpful brother in law's.
Place corn tortillas on the counter to warm up to room temperature.
Boil a whole chicken in large pot with a couple cloves of peeled garlic, a jalapeno, and a white onion cut into chunks.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Remove husks and wash a few pounds of tomatillos.
Half or quarter tomatillos, depending on size. Cut two white onions and a few jalapenos into chunks. Place everything into a large roasting pan. Sprinkle lightly with salt and cook until they look like the picture below.
While the tomatillos are cooking. Place a few Anaheim peppers on a gas flame, rotating them until they are black and completely charred. (This picture was taken at the halfway point) When the peppers are completely charred, place them in a ziplock bag and seal the bag.
If you do not a gas stove, lightly cover the peppers in vegetable oil and place them under the broiler until charred.
Grate some Monterey Jack cheese or even better if you can find Queso Blanco, use that.
By this point the chicken should be cooked. Take it out of the pot and place it in a bowl. Once cooled, shred chicken. Making sure to separate the skin and bones from the meat. Place meat into a large bowl and half of the grated cheese. Set aside.
Remove peppers from the the bag. Remove all the blackened skin, cut in half and remove seeds. Then slice peppers into long strips then dice.
At this point, your tomatillo should be roasted.
Decrease the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
Working in batches, scoop some of the tomatillo mixture into a blender and blend until smooth.
Remember to leave some space in your blender and leave the top off with a towel over the top, hot liquid expands and you don't want your blender to blow up.
Place a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl. Pour the tomatillo mixture into the strainer, and using the back of a ladle push the liquid through the strainer. You will be left with some seeds and skin from the tomatillos.
Add water if you feel that the sauce is too thick.
Add a ladle full of sauce to the chicken and cheese mixture. Mix. Set aside.
(You can add more sauce, I prefer my enchiladas not swimming in sauce)
Line a large baking sheet with paper towels.
In a frying pan, heat vegetable oil until almost smoking.
Place a corn tortilla into the hot oil and cook for a few seconds. Until the tortilla is floppy and soft. Make sure they do not get crispy. Drain a lined baking sheet. Repeat.
Here's where my brother in law recommends 'Fry sauce laden Tortilla in oil until soft.' You can do this, if you want. I have done this. Yes, it's authentic but I don't think he has ever had to clean that mess up because I still remember the mess it made and I have fried a lot of shit in my lifetime and have made HUGE messes in the kitchen and frying tortillas dipped in sauce goes down as one of the worst EVER. Sauce was on the ceiling, it was on the furthest wall from the frying pan. I will not do that again in the name of authenticity.
Lightly coat a glass 9x13 glass baking dish with PAM cooking spray. Then ladle some sauce into the glass pan. Coat the tortilla in sauce, fill with chicken mixture (not too much, them roll.)
Dip, fill, roll until the pan is full.
Pour more sauce over the top and sprinkle cheese over the enchiladas. Bake in the oven until golden brown and the cheese is melted.
While the enchiladas are baking, finely dice some white onion. Chop some cilantro and tomatoes. Warm up some extra tomatillo sauce.
Spoon some sauce over the top. Sprinkle cheese, onion and cilantro over the finished dish. Serve warm.
Posted by krysta at 1:36 PM