La enchilada is a street dish typical of the Mexican culinary tradition, widespread in all the countries of Central America, especially in New Mexico. It is a stuffed tortilla rolled on itself, the filling of which can vary and is usually topped with chili salsa.
In some cases it is accompanied by refried beans or “frijoles refritos”; there are too many variations of this dish, in fact in some cases the tortillas are first fried and then covered with sauce, in others, however, they are directly cooked in the oven at a later time.
A popular enchilada is made with chicken, corn tortillas, cheese and spices, creating layers, stacked on top of each other.
This version in particular includes the green chili, described as any combination of meats cooked with green chili pepper, to which spices and other ingredients are added, with the exception of beans and pasta.
What distinguishes the green chili is a mix of sweetness and bitterness thanks to the smoky flavor due to the roasted peppers: the result is a green sauce mixed with melted fat in which to dip the meat.
Origins and curiosities
The word "enchilada" comes from the past participle conjugation of the Spanish verb enchilar, which means 'add chillies to': this suggests how important chiles are in Mexican culture.
The origins of this dish could date back to an era pre colombian as archaeological finds have been found that would prove it.
Since there are several variations of the recipe, below we propose the version with chicken and creamy sauce.
- 1 kg of boneless chicken legs;
- 12 tortillas in mais;
- 1 kg ripe tomatoes or 800 g of whole canned tomatoes, drained;
- 1 chipotle pepper if available;
- 2 jalapeños or 3 Serranos peperoncini;
- Olive oil to baste the tortillas;
- 1 medium white onion;
- 250 ml (1 cup) of chicken broth;
- Salt to taste;
- Sour cream;
- 2/3 cup of shredded cheese;
- Some onions sliced into rings for garnish;
- Coriander leaves to garnish each serving.
1) Roast the tomatoes and chillies in the oven at a high temperature, until brown, for about 6 minutes. Turn both sides and roast the opposite side, then allow to cool.
2) Meanwhile, cook the chicken in a pan with a few drops of olive oil; when cooked, cut and then set aside the chicken pieces.
3) Peel the tomatoes, cut them in half and remove the seeds; blend the chillies and tomatoes with all the chicken broth and the chipotle pepper if you have it.
4) In a pan heat the oil over medium heat, add the onions and cook until they start to brown, then increase the heat to medium high and once heated, add the tomato puree just made. Cook until the sauce reaches a darker shade and has thickened (about 10-15 minutes); cover partially and simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt.
5) The sauce must have the consistency of a soup. Place the chicken in a bowl and mix with three tablespoons of this sauce. Taste and season with salt to taste. Preheat the oven to 175 ° C, pour a cup of sauce into one or two baking sheets (depending on how big they are).
6) Before heating the tortillas, add a little oil; stack them on top of each other and cover with a cloth, then cook in the microwave for two minutes. Fill the center of each tortilla with a little chicken, spread a little sour cream, roll up and arrange everything in the baking sheets.
7) Pour the remaining sauce and cover with the cheese: cook in the oven until the enchiladas are hot and the cheese is melted for about 15 minutes; then garnish with rings or sliced onions and coriander leaves.
If you want to organize a Mexican dinner, this is the right dish for you!
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