Cheesy, saucy, meaty… Enchiladas are something I’ve only ever ordered in a restaurant because (1) making them from scratch would take me forever and a day, (2) I haven’t been exposed to very much authentic Mexican food so I don’t know exactly how it should taste, and (3) I was just plain scared of ruining them. By the time I tasted my finished dish, I had definitely made a mess of the kitchen, but I knew hadn’t messed up the enchiladas!
Following the recipe, I made my own sauce from tomato paste, water, and lots of chili pepper. I actually cooked the chicken breasts in the sauce as it simmered and thickened, which kept the chicken moist and imparted a slight chili flavor. I enjoyed tearing apart the chicken (once it was cool enough to touch, I quickly learned to shred the thicker parts last!). There’s something immensely satisfying about defying every mother’s favorite warning, “Don’t play with your food!”, especially when the recipe encouraged me to tear away to my little heart’s content since large pieces of chicken would poke through the tortillas, and nobody wants hole-y enchiladas.
I combined some diced jalapenos, part of the sauce, and lots of cheese with the shredded chicken. I put a heap of this mixture down the center of each of the corn tortillas, rolled them up tightly, and placed them in a baking dish. Once I had 12 enchiladas, they got doused in more sauce and covered with cheese before baking in the oven. After waiting (impatiently, of course) for 25 minutes, I finally got a taste. One word: YUM! I absolutely loved the hint of cumin in the sauce, and I was grateful that no one was around to see me lick my plate clean. I won’t be complaining about having these leftovers around…
Note: Although the directions called for corn tortillas, I found these were too brittle, even after microwaving them for a minute to make them more pliable. The next time I make enchiladas (and yes, I am brave enough to do this again!), I’ll try using flour tortillas, even though they probably aren’t as authentic, to see if they’re any easier to roll.
Also, I apologize for not including the recipe, but it’s copyrighted in a cookbook written by the editors of Cook’s Illustrated.