I love Mexican food….. particularly New Mexico Chicken Enchiladas Verde…..as well as just about anything Mexican!!!
For those of you following my Blog, you will know that I lived in New Mexico for quite a few years and learned to cook Mexican Food by the best teachers! I learned cooking from ingredients and methods that have been handed down, generation to generation.
It will soon be Cinco de Mayo (or the 5th of May) and I will be providing several recipes should you decide you want to make Mexican Food.
If you visit my recipe section, you will find there are several Mexican recipes already posted, from Beverages, to Dips, to Soups and Sauces, Desserts and Side and Main dishes.
I have been telling you that I will soon have a more user friendly recipe index and catalog, and I am very excited about that. It is being written just for this Blog and I know it will make finding the exact recipe you need or would like a whole lot easier! 😉 (But it takes time to write code) 🙁
Time is valuable and the quicker one can utilize the recipe system….the better.
This recipe calls for tomatillos. Many people think a tomatillio is a green tomato and it is not, however, it can be utilized like a green tomato.
If you are not familiar with cooking with tomatillos, I will try to enlighten you.
The tomatillo is a plant related to the nightshade family, which is also related to the cape gooseberry. The fruit of the tomatillo is spherical and green.
Tomatillos originated in Mexico and are often chopped or diced and cooked into sauces and salsas.
Although one can slice and fry them as one would a green tomato, the flavor will be completely different as the tomatillos has a great lemon-y flavor.
Tomatillos are grown as annuals throughout the Western Hemisphere. The papery husks on tomatillos are pretty, but they need to be removed before cooking. Sometimes after removing the little husks (which are Not edible) the skin of the tomatillo may well feel a bit sticky, but that is okay, that is the nature of the tomatillo.
I am also giving you two processes for preparing the tomatillos, onion, garlic, Serrano peppers. One method is roasting the veggies in a cast iron skillet…. or you can boil them in a pot on the stove.
I like to be as helpful as possible….:)
Choices are always good.
I also am using Mexican Crema as a garnish for these enchilidas.
Crema is the Mexican version of French crème fraîche. Both are slightly soured and thickened cream, milder and less thick than American sour cream, with crema being the thinnest.
You can buy crema in Mexican markets or most supermarkets, but if you can not find it, it is easy to make it yourself. I have also added the recipe for homemade crema, which consists of two ingredients,…heavy cream and buttermilk. (See printable recipe below)
The third ingredient that perhaps you are not familiar with is a Mexican crumbling cheese called Fresco. It looks like a soft mozzerella but crumbles like a bleu cheese. It will soften and become creamy when heated, but it will not melt.
If you cannot find Queso Fresco (fresh cheese) …you can substitute Cotija Cheese.
Cotija is a strong-flavored cheese, a bit dry and salty, sort of granular in texture, but works well crumbled.
These cheeses really make a Mexican dish taste authentic… and you will find Mexican restaurants and Mexican cookbooks using the many different types of Mexican cheeses.
Of course, you can still use that Mexican blend of grated cheese that you find in your supermarket…but for real authentic tastes, try Crema, Queso Fresco or Cotija.
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 serrano peppers
- 1 pound small green tomatillos (husks removed and rinsed...about 7-8)
- 1/2 medium onion rough chuncks
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil for frying tortillas (to soften)
- 8 corn tortillas (I don't like flour tortillas for this recipe, they become gooey and gummy) 🙂
- 3 cups water
- 4 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules (I use "Better than Bouillon", chicken)
- 1 1/2-2 cups shredded baked chicken. (I use a deli rotisserie chicken with skin removed...it is quicker and more flavorful too).
- 1/4 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
- 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 (8 ounce) container Mexican Crema
- 1 cup grated cotija cheese or queso fresco or shredded Mexican blend
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
- Put the tomatillos, onion, serrano peppers, and 3/4 cup water in a medium, heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Cover and boil until the tomatillos turn olive-green color, about 10 minutes.
- Transfer the tomatillos, onion and chiles to a blender.
- Add the garlic and cilantro and blend until smooth.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Put the garlic, serrano peppers, and tomatillos on a hot griddle or cast iron skillet... until blackened, turning occasionally, about 5 minutes for the garlic, 10 minutes for the peppers, and 15 minutes for the tomatillos. Remove to a bowl and allow to cool.
- Add garlic, serrano peppers, tomatillos, and the water into a blender and blend until smooth; pour into a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil.
- Dissolve the chicken bouillon into the mixture, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook at a simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. The sauce shouldn't be too thick.
- Soak three tortillas in the sauce, one at a time, for a few seconds, fill them with shredded chicken, sprinkle the meat with some of the sauce, roll them and place them seam side down on a plate Spoon a generous amount of sauce over them and top them with lettuce, cilantro, crema, and cotija or crumbled fresco or Mexican blend of grated cheese.
- Pour a little more sauce over the whole thing if desired. Repeat the procedure twice more. Serve immediately
- Lay the tortillas on a work surface and add the shredded chicken evenly among the tortillas and roll up each like a cigar.
- Spread 1/3 cup sauce in a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish. Arrange the enchiladas, seam-side down, in one layer snugly inside the dish.
- Pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas.
- Drizzle with the Mexican crema and crumble the cheese all over.
- Bake until the cheese melts and starts to brown in spots, about 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
- Serve immediately.
- As you will note...you have choices not only on how you prepare the sauce (roasting or boiling) you also have a choice on how to serve. You can bake these enchilidas or roll them up and serve 2-3 to a plate. Either way is good.
- For a Garnish on top of the Crema and Fresco...Chop scallions, slice black olives or slice avocados.
- Make it your own! Enjoy!
- 1 cup heavy cream (pasteurized or ultrapasteurized)
- 1 Tbs. buttermilk (with active cultures)
- In a small saucepan, warm the cream over medium-low heat to about 95ºF, just enough to take off the chill. If it goes over 100ºF, let it cool before continuing.
- Stir in the buttermilk and transfer to a clean glass jar.
- Set the lid loosely on top of the jar—don’t tighten—and let sit in a warm spot, such as near the stove or on top of the fridge, until the cream starts to thicken, 18 to 24 hours.
- Stir, tighten the lid, and refrigerate until the cream is thicker and thoroughly chilled, 12 to 24 hours more.
- Stir well before using. The crema should have a thick but pourable consistency.
- Crema will keep for about 2 weeks in the refrigerator, continuing to thicken as it ages.