Sunday, January 4, 2009

Enchilidas Estilo Michoacan (Mexican Enchilidas)

There are 2 versions of Enchilidas I am familiar with 1 in USA the "AMERICANIZED" one's that are baked in the oven in a tomato sauce, topped with lots of shredded "American" type cheeses (Monterrey Jack, Colby Jack, Velveeta, and American style Cheddar cheese) not used in Mexico and filled with Chicken or beef.

THEN there is the AUTHENTIC one's, corn tortillas are dipped in a sauce, quickly fried, filling is placed, rolled and topped with crisp lettuce, diced tomato, onion, fresh Mexican cheese, and unsalted Mexican cream.

My mother makes both versions I like the "American" one a lot, but it is a more "unhealthy", greasier version (typical that's what American cooking tends to do when they "Americanize things but sometimes it's goodto indulge :)

So here is a story, my mother tells me this is how they make them in "Zacapu, Michoacan" where she grew up most her time in Mexico, she tells me her mom used to have a "Sanaduria" which is like an outdoor "restaurant" people do from their homes or whatever, her mother would sell "Enchilidas" and they would quickly run out, as her mom quickly fried the tortillas she would be rolling them up and assembling a bunch for the customers.

She told me that in Mexico it can vary how Enchiladas are prepared, some parts make them with a "green" type of sauce, and some do have baked one's to. So it may be a regional thing but this is typical way of preparing in Michoacan.

Main Ingredients:
-Corn Tortillas (depends how much enchiladas your planning to make.)

Ingredients for sauce:

-6 dried "Chile Guajillos" (if you want it spicy) or 6 dried "Chile California" (if you want it really mild,not spicy at all)
-4 roma tomatoes
-2 cloves garlic peeled
-About 1 teaspoon salt and probably more to taste later
-1 teaspoon ground cumin
-½ teaspoon ground cloves or you can grind them in a spice grinder
-1 teaspoon black pepper ground

Ingredients for filling 1:

-1 pound fresh Mexican cheese crumbled
-1/2 onion finely minced
-1 teaspoon ground oregano

Ingredients for filling 2:
-Cooked shredded chicken (any, it could be leftover's whatever, seasoned however you want, my mom got boiled shredded chicken and sauteed it with tomatillos, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper then folded in minced cilantro towards the end)

Ingredients for filling 3:
-Refried Pinto Beans (reduced a lot)

Ingredients for toppings:
-minced tomato
-minced onion
-shredded ice berg lettuce
-crumbled fresh Mexican Fresh Cheese
-sour cream (preferably Mexican Unsalted Cream) or "Crema Mexicana"
-hot sauce (whichever you want optional)

Directions for making sauce:

(1)Cut the tops of the dried chilies, open in half and remove seeds and veins.

(2)Put dried chilies in a small pot along with tomatoes and salt. Cover with enough water to submerge a little not a lot. Bring to a boil for 10 minutes then let it rest 20 minutes in water.

(3)Put the boiled stuff along with the liquid in a blender along with 2 cloves garlic and blend until liquefied.

(4)Strain it through a strainer and press and move the strained content to try to get as much sauce out of it as possible you can even add a little water to the strained stuff to get the most you can through.

(5)Add the cumin, cloves, and pepper then set aside.

Directions for fillings 1, 2, 3:
(1)Mix all ingredients for filling number 1 and set aside, set aside the other fillings seperately.

Directions for toppings:
(1)Seperate each topping ingredients in a seperate bowl and set aside.

Directions for finishing the dish:
(1)Heat a pan lightly oil it, on medium high heat, dip the tortilla in the sauce you made and set aside, then lightly fry for about 3 seconds on each side, set on a plate, add filling of YOUR CHOICE, roll it up by hand. And repeat putting each one next to the other.

(2)When ready to serve carefully slide a spatula below it and slide on to a plate, top with first shredded lettuce, minced onion, tomato, crumbled fresh cheese, sour cream, and then hot sauce.

(3)Enjoy fresh you can be serving as your making them.

*You DO NOT HAVE TO to make all fillings, you can pick to make just 1 filling you like and make all of them with the same filling.

*The sauce to make for the dipping is called "Salsa de Chile Colorado" it can be made a day in advance, EVERYTHING for this recipe can be made in advance. The "Salsa de Chile Colorado" is used in many many Mexican dishes. I have other recipes where it is featured.

*If using sour cream which is thick, to make it like "Crema Mexicana" stir with a fork while adding whole milk to make it more loose like a thick cream that is thin enough so you can drizzle all over, and add some salt.


I know I've been posting less than usual, but I've been going through stuff and have less time, and or feel down and not motivated, but when I do I post.

I have been cooking just not posting (sometimes when I have guests over I am embarassed to take photos because they look at me like I'm crazy.... like this weekend I made Cuban Lechon Asado (Cuban Roast Pork), and the next day (today) I made a shredded pork and plantain stew with leftover Lechon, but I promise to post something at least once a month :)


Mamey said...

Hope things look up in 2009! Don't know if you read my post, but in Cuba we called smelt 'majuas.'
Take care.

Nathan said...

Haven't read your comment but I'll go read it right now :), Yeah I'm striving to make 2009 a better year for myself :)

Karen Brown Letarte said...

I really enjoyed reading this recipe. We always have enchiladas suizas for Xmas Eve, but I always make the with red sauce rather than green sauce, which is the normal way, as i understand it. I do bake them with sauce and cheese on top-- Americanized, I guess! The method you use, where you dip the tortilla in the sauce and then fry it, is just like i remember my mom making enchiladas when we were kids. (We are not even remotely Mexican-- She learned how to do it from a Mexican friend.)
I have one question-- do you make your own crema, or is the ready-made kind in the store ok to use? I make my own, but when i was looking for the queso quesdilla I saw a jar of crema along side it. I was a little scared to buy it.

Nathan said...

Karen Brown Letarte,
I make my own "Mexican Crema" not from scratch though, I just get unsalted Mexican cream or sour cream and whisk it with a fork while slowly adding milk to give it the constency of "Crema Mexicana" which is looser than sour cream and easy to drizzle.

There's nothing wrong with buying the loose Crema Mexicana the reason my mother taught me to mix it with milk is because she doesn't like it to be salty she likes it more plain and the store bought ones tend to be salty.

Here in Southern California (LA county) we have a lot of really good Mexican creameries within the Hispanic/ Latino stores so fresh cheeses and creams can be available fresher with less preservatives and not as pre-packaged.

Jennifer S. Kim said...

your blog is impressive, my family lives in LA and in NYC you just can't get good mexican. I'd love to try making this....thanks for sharing!

Nathan said...

Jeniffer S. Kim,
I know sometimes it's hard to get good authentic Mexican food, but trust me in LA with so many Mexicans we have some awesome food.

This may sound crazy but places like the chain of "Vallarta Supermarket" and large Mexican super stores their food is pretty authentic and caters to the Mexican community. As well as another good place down here is "El Gallo Jiro" (a Mexican bakery/ deli/ fast food place) and a lot of street vendor tacos or stands are good to. Mostly places that aren't sit down in LA are good Mexican places.

I hope you enjoy my recipes though and am glad to hear from readers I always look forward to those comments haha.

Anonymous said...

Hi Nathan. I made your enchiladas last night and they were PERFECT! The sauce is to die for. Never using that canned stuff again! Can't wait to try more recipes.

Nathan said...

Glad it worked out :)

Anonymous said...

Hi I just wanted to let you know that I loved how you explained everything and the way you took pictures. I have a friend from Michoacan, I tried learning from just watching., but the outcome was a disaster and funny. Anyways thanks alot.

Anonymous said...

Omg this helped alot for my college how to process paper!(: you explained everything really well (: