Monday, April 21, 2008

Chicken Enchiladas with Verde Sauce

I've been making these for years, but they really were more like Mexican lasagna (where the tortillas were the lasagna noodles) which was very tasty and all, but not anything like what you'd get in a restaurant. With the Dragons' dinner coming up in the near future, that just won't do.

But how to bake in the pan and then plate it, looking like the restaurants?

Answer: you don't.

I don't know why, in 15 years, this never, ever occurred to me. I guess because I didn't need to do it, but turns out, you pour some sauce on the serving plate, roll the tortillas (softened in heated oil, which I'd never done), top with sauce and cheese and then you bake them until the cheese melts. Duh. I found this technique laid out for me in a way I could finally understand in the Tex-Mex Cookbook. I got this for Christmas from Karin and hadn't really looked at it soo much until now. My God, this is a fantastic book. It's as much about the history of Tex-Mex cuisine as it is recipes and I've been to a surprising number of the restaurants they discussed. Highly recommended.

Also, since I wasn't making these for myself and since I've learned that there are times when boiling meat is not inappropriate, I used boiled chicken thighs (with a little breast mixed in) for the filling. Much, much, better.

On the down side, I used the canned green sauce, which was a mistake. This definitely needs to be fresh. The flavor was too sharp and, dare I say, tinny. The Eastside Cafe cookbook has a great tomatillo sauce recipe which I'll use next time. They are also the source for the filling recipe, so they're clearly my trusted source for flavors.

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