Enchiladas are very simple dishes to prepare and experiment over its traditional and non-traditional fillings. There is even a phrase "these are not enchiladas", referring to something that is not simple, and, at the same time, stressing the notion of enchiladas' simplicity.
The Enchilada sauce has two main varieties: a red enchilada sauce, which is dried red Chile peppers, soaked and ground into a sauce with other seasonings, or a tomato-based Chile sauce and a green enchilada sauce, made of tomatoes and green chili peppers. However, the fillings and garnishes can be whatever you want to put into your enchiladas, beginning with cheese and ending with seafood. Popular garnishes are cream (enchiladas suizas), sour cream, olives, lettuce, chili peppers, chopped onions and fresh cilantro.
Enchiladas' recipes are numerous; nevertheless, it is worth of first experiencing what true enchiladas are. Here is a recipe of authentic Mexican enchiladas.
Original recipe yield: 6 servings.
INGREDIENTS: 6 dried chile de arbol peppers, 1 clove garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, 3/4 cup water, 1 cup vegetable oil for frying, 18 (6 inch) corn tortillas, 3 cups crumbled queso fresco, 1 cup sour cream, 1 cup shredded lettuce, 2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced, 1/2 cup chopped green onions.
INSTRUCTIONS: Snap the tops off of the dried chilies and place in a saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and simmer for fifteen minutes. Drain the water and place chilies into a food processor or blender with the garlic and salt. Puree until smooth. Press the sauce through a strainer and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Soak each tortilla in the sauce, then place in the hot oil. Turn over almost immediately, and fry for about five seconds on the other side. Remove to a plate that is lined with paper towels. The easiest way to do this is to fry the tortillas and stack them directly on top of each other until you have fried them all. This will keep the tortillas pliable until you are ready to fill them.
Take one fried tortilla at a time and fill with about 2 tablespoons of the queso fresco. Roll up and place seam side down on a plate. Place three of these on each plate. Top in the following order: Start with a layer of sour cream, then a small handful of lettuce, three tomato slices, 2 more tablespoons of queso fresco, and finally, 1 tablespoon of green onions.
The following recipe of Easy Creamy Enchiladas will be a good addition to any celebration table.
INGRIDIENTS: 1 cup (225g) non-fat yogurt, 2 cups (450g) non-fat cottage cheese, 1/2 block tofu, 6 green onions, chopped, 1 can (16 oz, 480mL) medium-hot enchilada sauce, 1 can (8 oz, 240mL) tomato sauce, 12 corn tortillas, 6 oz (170g) part-skim mozzarella cheese, grated.
INSTRUCTIONS: Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C). Mix the enchilada sauce with the tomato sauce and place about 1/2 cup (120mL) on the bottom of a 9x13-inch (23x35cm) baking dish. In a medium bowl mix yogurt, cottage cheese, tofu and green onions. Set aside. To assemble the enchiladas: heat a small frying pan and place 1 tortilla in the pan to heat. When it has softened, immediately place 1 Tbsp (15mL) of the sauce on the tortilla and spread it around. Place about 1/3 cup (80mL) of the cottage cheese mix on the tortilla and roll it up. Place edge side down in the pan and continue to roll enchiladas until they are all used up. Pour the remaining sauce over the rolled enchiladas. Sprinkle the grated cheese over the top and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for thirty to forty minutes, until the sauce is bubbling. Let it sit for five minutes before serving. If beans are used, simply substitute canned refried beans for the cheese and roll up as directed. The recipe yield is four servings.
As there are many enchilada varieties, you may experiment over your cooking, as a result, you will have a new dish every time you prepare "the same" enchiladas. Diversity has never been a disadvantage of any culinary chef.