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GREEN ENCHILADAS

This image courtesy of Jeanine Thurston

If I had to pick ONE recipe to remember Mom by this would be it. This is Mom’s signature dish; delicious, spicy, stacked green enchiladas. We pile them flat and high, sometimes three and four tortillas high. After leaving home I craved her enchiladas verdes constantly and tried for years to duplicate them. Two ingredients make them uniquely her recipe, slow-roasted long green chiles and suero de sal (whey). The only place I know to get suero de sal is from Licon Dairy in El Paso, Texas. Buttermilk is a close second if I can’t get my hands on suero. The combination of the suero with green chiles gives this recipe its one-of-a-kind sabor. Feel free to enjoy these stacked or rolled (as pictured).

NotesROASTING CHILE PEPPERS

Preheat broiler

Select firm, meaty peppers without wrinkles. Rinse thoroughly to remove dust particles.

Place peppers evenly in a single layer on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Pierce each chile with a knife.

Place under broiler. Watch them closely as the skin will blister and turn black within minutes. Turn the peppers after 3 to 5 minutes to blister all sides evenly. When done, the pepper skins should be evenly blistered and mostly black.

Place roasted peppers in a plastic bag, cover with a wet kitchen towel and when cool, peel off blackened skin. Tear open and pull out the seed pod and stem unless you are making chile rellenos. In which case you will simply remove the stem carefully along with the seeds, leaving the chile intact for stuffing.

4 TO 6 SERVINGS

Cooking Methodbaking, frying, sauteeing

CostModerate

Easy

Total Timeunder 2 hours

Kid FriendlyYes

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free

Mealdinner

Taste and Texturecheesy, savory

Type of Dishcasserole

Ingredients

  • 12 Anaheim chiles, roasted and peeled (see Notes)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 quart Suero de Sal (whey) or buttermilk, divided
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ cup crema Mexicana or sour cream
  • ½ cup canola oil for frying
  • 12 to 18 corn tortillas, preferably white com
  • 1 pound shredded store-bought rotisserie chicken (optional)
  • 1½ cups white shredded cheese (Monterrey Jack, asadero, or Muenster)
  • 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped (optional)
  • 2 avocados, pitted, peeled, and sliced (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a blender combine the roasted and peeled chiles, flour, and half the suero or buttermilk and blend until creamy.

  2. Pour mixture into large skillet and set over medium-low heat to warm. Add remaining suero or buttermilk and stir. Taste and season with salt, usually about 2 teaspoons.

  3. If the sauce is too spicy, add ¼ cup of crema Mexicana or sour cream and stir. If the sauce is too thick, add water until desired consistency is reached.

  4. ASSEMBLE STACKED ENCHILADAS:

  5. In a non-stick frying pan heat canola oil. Drop 1 tortilla at a time into the hot oil and fry until softened, turn once during frying. Drain on paper towels. Soften tortillas by soaking in chile sauce in skillet one at a time.

  6. Place a chile-coated tortilla on a serving plate. Layer with some shredded chicken (optional), shredded cheese, and chopped onion. Top with another coated tortilla. Repeat layers for a total of 3 tortilla layers per serving. Serve stacks with a dollop of crema Mexicana or sour cream, some chopped green onion, and slices of avocado.

  7. VARIATION: OVEN-STYLE ENCHILADAS

  8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a non-stick frying pan heat canola oil. Drop one tortilla at a time into the hot oil and fry until softened, turning once during frying. Drain on paper towels.

  9. Spread 1 cup of the sauce in an ungreased 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

  10. Fill each tortilla with some shredded chicken, shredded cheese, and chopped onion. Roll tortillas with filling and place seam side down in the baking dish in one layer. Pour 2 cups of the sauce over enchiladas. Sprinkle with more cheese and bake until warm, about 15 minutes.

  11. Serve with a dollop of crema Mexicana or sour cream, chopped green onions, and slices of avocado.

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