An authentic Mexican dish, Enchiladas can keep any gathering fueled through the movie night or game night parties. It is a one-dish casserole that is made of layers of tortillas sandwiched between chunks of bacon, chicken or beans. The casserole is then coated with dollops of enchiladas sauce and finally wrapped in generous amounts of herb flavored cheese and baked to perfection.
Simple yet delicious, enchiladas are the perfect recipe for large gathering. Serve this mouth-watering dish with rice and enjoy the compliments that come after. Get ready to prepare the delightful recipe using the simple instructions given below.
Preparation Time: 30 Minutes
Cooking Time: 1 Hour and 10 Minutes
Baking Time: 45 Minutes
No. of Serving: 16
4 cups enchiladas sauce
1 cup black olives
2 chicken breasts
1½ cup cheddar cheese
2 tsp oregano
½ cup jalapenos pepper
3 tsp olive oil
For the Red Enchiladas Sauce
4 dried ancho chilies
5 guajillo chilies
1 seranno pepper
2 garlic cloves
¼ cup cilantro leaves
1½ cup chicken/ beef broth
2 white onions
½ tsp cumin powder
1 tsp oregano
3 tbsp olive oil
For the Tortillas
2 cups masa flour
½ tsp salt
To Make the Enchiladas Sauce
Peel the skin and cut the onions into thin slices. Mince the garlic cloves and cut the chilies into halves. Cut the seranno pepper into thin slices and finely chop the cilantro leaves. Place a skillet over a medium flame and add one tablespoon oil to it.
When the oil is hot, roast the chilies, onions and garlic until garlic and chilies leave out aroma and onions turn light brown in colour. Add the sliced serrano pepper to the skillet and roast for a few minutes. Be careful not to let the chilies burn.
Reduce the flame to low and add the chicken broth to the skillet. If you are a vegetarian, then you can use vegetable stock or water instead of chicken stock. Add cumin powder, cilantro leaves, oregano and salt to the skillet. Mix the contents of the skillet thoroughly using a wooden ladle. Increase heat to medium and cook the sauce for 20 minutes until it thickens. Remove the skillet from the stove and allow the mixture to cool down.
Transfer the mixture to a food processor and blend them in batches. Pulse the mixture until you obtain a smooth and silky sauce. Pour the sauce into a large bowl and follow the same instructions to blend the remaining batches of mixture. Strain the sauce and transfer it into a clean container. Pour olive oil over the top of the sauce and close the container. The enchiladas sauce can be stored up to a week in the refrigerated and frozen for three months. This recipe makes 4 cups of red enchiladas sauce.
To Make the Flour Tortillas
In a large bowl, combine salt and masa flour together. Masa flour is a type of corn flour used especially to make tortillas. Make a well in the center of the bowl and add water. Combine and knead to obtain firm dough. Divide the dough into 12 equal sized balls. Place a ball in between two plastic wraps or parchment sheets and roll them out into a 6-inch circle using a rolling pin.
Alternatively, use a wooden tortilla press to roll out the tortillas. Heat a skillet over a medium flame. Remove a tortilla from the plastic wrap and place it on the heated skillet and cook until small air pockets begin to appear on the surface. This may take about for 45 seconds to one minute.
With a help of a spatula, turn the tortilla to the other side and cook for another minute. When the tortilla puffs up, remove it from the skillet and place it in a covered container or tortilla warmer. Prepare the other tortillas using the same instructions.
You can wrap the tortillas in a kitchen towel to keep them warm. To reduce your cooking time, prepare the tortillas a day before and refrigerate them in zip lock covers. When you are making the enchiladas, remove the tortillas from the refrigerator and allow them to return to room temperature before using them in the recipe.
Assembling the Enchiladas Casserole
Cut the chicken breast into cubes. Place a skillet over a medium flame and add two teaspoons of olive oil to it. When the oil is hot, add the chicken cubes to the skillet. Season the chicken with salt and add additional olive oil when necessary. Cook the chicken breast until they turn golden brown on all sides.
Add the cooked chicken cubes to the enchiladas sauce and combine well. Cooked beef or pork can also be used instead of chicken. For a vegetarian version, you can use boiled sweet corn or beans. Pasta and vegetables can be added to the casserole to improve the nutritional value of the dish.
Preheat an oven to 175 degrees C. Cut the jalapenos pepper into thin slices and chop the black olives. Grease a baking dish with olive oil. Place three tortillas over lapping each other in the dish. It is essential to cover the bottom of the baking dish completely with tortillas.
Spoon out the enchiladas sauce over the top. Sprinkle the chopped olives and cheddar cheese on the sauce. Repeat the layers until you use all the tortillas. Spread the remaining sauce over the top layer. If you prefer spicy enchiladas, add chili flakes in between the tortilla layers.
The casserole can also be made with a variety of other sauces like white sauce and green sauce. Sprinkle cheese, olives and oregano on the top and cover the baking dish with a foil. Place the baking dish in a preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove the foil from the baking dish and bake for additional 15 minutes until the cheese melts completely and the sauce is bubbly.
If you find the enchiladas to be heavy and greasy, then substitute half of the cheddar cheese with sour cream. Remove the baking dish from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. Cut the casserole into slices and place them in individual serving plates. Serve the enchiladas with a green salad and Mexican rice.