February 26, 2008
I’m afraid I’ve been putting the cart before the proverbial horse. I’ve been going on and on about the peripheral elements of our Friday night fiesta: the drinks, the side dish and the dessert. Okay, I’m not sure that the margaritas and key lime bars qualify as peripheral, but still. All this time, the elephant in the room (while we’re using figures of speech) is the enchiladas that anchored our fiesta feast.
You can add these to the growing list of recipes on this site that involve a too-fun-for-words assembly line (see: pot stickers, lasagna, calzones …). The elements of the assembly line in this case of enchiladas are (1) a sauce (here, I used a roasted tomatillo sauce, spiked with peppers, onions, garlic and spices); (2) tortillas (I opted for corn, over flour); (3) a filling (the tomatillo sauce appeared here, too, but a thickened version of it that enveloped shredded chicken and spinach); and (4) cheese (crumbled queso fresco, here, but I’m sure that shredded Monterey Jack or white cheddar would have been delicious as well). Once you’ve got the assembly line, er, assembled, the rest is a breeze.
(Click “more” for the step-by-step pictorial.)
Step One: Slather the bottom of a baking dish with a thin slick of sauce:
Step Two: One by one, stuff the tortillas with the filling:
Step Three: Roll them up and nestle them atop the slick of sauce, seam side down:
Step Four: Spoon the remaining sauce over the rolled tortillas. I like to make a strip of sauce that bisects the tortillas lengthwise, so you can still see the shape of each individually rolled tortilla. Sprinkle the cheese on top of the sauced tortillas:
Step Five: Bake until bubbly, crusty and golden:
For reference, I based my enchiladas (especially the roasted tomatillo sauce) on a Tyler Florence recipe, which you can find here. It was difficult to follow it to the letter, because this is a dish that is open to a million variations. That said, it’s still nice to have a recipe to launch from.