Fork Spoon Knife is the personal blog of Asha where she chronicles her journeys in food through stories, recipes and photographs. She can also be found doodling and sharing her experiences as below.

 
                        

Stacked Enchiladas for Daring Cooks May 2010

Mini Enchiladas with red onion garnish

Indians tend to like love Mexican and Thai food. I think it's the spices, a lot of likeness there... I am no exception. I love a good, hearty Mexican meal, be it the quick burrito bowl from the somewhat-higher-end fast food chain, Chipotle, or a proper sit down meal at Rosa Mexicano. Mr. FSK, on the other hand, determinedly becomes Mr. Nose-Uppity, when it comes to Mexican food as available in NYC. You see, the man has spent time in Austin, with its endless supply of fantastic Tex-Mex, and never lets me forget it...

Which, is why I have been rather thrilled with my recent forays into the cuisine. For long, I had been intimidated by the Austin memories until March's challenge finally convinced me to believe in myself and go for it and all that. So, armed with a recipe from the Rick Bayless (who is just adorable, btw), I made Red Mole (hehe.. well, if I am going for it, might as well go with a bang.. either way! :)). It was a raging success!! It's not me saying it, the hub loved it!! The path (like that green line of Fidelity) had been laid for more of the cuisine to feature in my kitchen..Wooohoo!

Enchilada Stack Close up

So, of course, I was very thrilled to see this month's Daring Cooks theme! Our hosts this month, Barbara of Barbara Bakes and Bunnee of Anna+Food have chosen a delicious Stacked Green Chile & Grilled Chicken Enchilada recipe in celebration of Cinco de Mayo! The recipe, featuring a homemade enchilada sauce was found on http://www.finecooking.com/ and written by Robb Walsh.

The mandatory part of the challenge was to make a Mexican sauce from scratch. It didn't have to be the one they suggested. But since, aside from Mole, I had made virtually none other sauce from the cuisine, I decided to go with it.

Enchilada served wm copy

I made the sauce based on the recipe that the lady running the Mexican grocery store, where I get my supplies, uses to make her enchilada sauce at home. She was sweet to share her family recipe. Her version is spicier as she (as did I) uses Serrano chilies rather than Anaheim peppers. The Serranos up the heat quite a bit and our sauce hot, hot, HOT. But we like it hot!

I loved this challenge because it gave me room to play.. On the first day, we had Beef Enchiladas, the regular way. I rolled tortillas around sauteed beef that was marinated with salt, pepper and Serrano chilies, poured the green sauce over them, generously topped with cheese and baked to melt it.

Mini Enchiladas with tomato and chili

With the leftovers, I decided to make some finger food and the stacked version. The lady at the store said that she doesn't use the oven at all. She just fries her tortillas, layers the meat and sauce, tops with cheese and zaps it up in the microwave just long enough to melt the cheese.

And, that is what I did with my mini enchilada stacks. I cut little scalloped circles of tortilla, fried them crisp, arranged smoked turkey and sauce and then melted cheese over them...

Lilacs on the table

As to the presentation, I was inspired by the gorgeous color of the lilacs that I picked up on the way home and decided to use their vibrant color as the theme. I was amused that red onions and lilacs were of similar shades. So, I decided to use the sliced onions as garnish to tie in the theme with the flowers.

Mini Enchiladas with lilacs

Verdict: This is a really easy sauce that packs quite a punch in flavor. It makes for a quick everyday meal as also a leisurely Sunday lunch. We loved it! The little mini stacks are cute and are perfect finger food, yet make an elegant choice as cocktail appetizers.

Note: Many people in the forum mentioned difficulties in finding tomatillos. You can substitute with tamarind. It adds the same sweetish tang to the dish but well, you may end up with a browner sauce. For the measures in the recipe below, I would use 1 tablespoon of bottled tamarind paste or 1/3 cup of fresh tamarind water.



Enchilada Sauce

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1. As I said, this recipe uses serrano which add significant heat even after being deseeded. Please, do add with caution. Start with one and keep adding them to the puree as per your heat tolerance.

2. Grandma's recipe did not include roasting the tomatillos or chilies. She boiled them to cook. I roasted them for added flavor (as for easily deseeding the chilies)

5-6 tomatillos
3-4 Serrano chilies
1 cup chicken stock (if you want to keep it vegetarian, you can use vegetable stock)
2 tsp cumin powder
3 cloves of garlic
1 cup cilantro leaves

Roast the tomatillos and chilies until blackened. When cool enough to handle, peel skin off and deseed the chilies. Puree the tomatillos, garlic and chilies. Transfer to a sauce pan, stir in the stock and cumin. Bring the sauce to a boil and simmer for a few minutes until it thickens to the consistency you want.


Stacked Cocktail Enchiladas

Cut desired shapes out of tortillas. Fry them till lightly golden and crisp. Arrange cooked meat (I used chipotle smoked turkey. It was fabulous!), a teaspoon of sauce. Repeat as many layers as you want, finishing off with the cheese layer.

Beef EnchiladasEnchilada Beef filling wm

Enchilada Sauce (above)
Cooked Beef
Melting cheese

Marinade:

1 lb (1/2 kg) beef, cubed into 1/4 inch pieces
2 serrano chillies, finely chopped
salt as needed

Marinate the meat overnight. Saute in a bit of oil until cooked completely. Warm the tortillas, place some meat in the center, roll and place seam side down in a baking dish. Line up as many as the dish can fit. Pour sauce over and top generously with cheese. Bake at 350 F for 10 minutes or so, until the cheese melts nicely.

22 comments:

  1. I totally forgot this month's DC. Oh dear. Beautiful pic and yes like you, I love Mexican or Thai food. Great job done. :)

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  2. Great job on your challenge and everything looks so delicious. Especially love the individual mini servings.

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  3. An amazing feast. You did a great job with this recipe. The photos are gorgeous...as always!

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  4. I love how you shaped your corn tortillas! Your enchiladas really look delicious, especially with that sliced tomato on top. I just woke up and I already want lunch. Yum!

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  5. Lovely post! I love lilacs, I have a lilac tree in my garden.

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  6. I'm so glad you had fun with this challenge. I love how you dressed up your enchiladas! Well done GF! Thanks for cooking with us!

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  7. I love the little stacks and the connection between the onion and the lilac. Very artistic presentation!

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  8. Love love love the mini enchiladas! Beautiful presentation!!

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  9. Beautiful photos! I love the little mini enchiladas, they are too adorable!

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  10. I love the mini enchiladas. They look so cute! And the lilac you picked is beautiful. I call myself lucky to have two of those in my backyard ;o).

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  11. Ciao !YOur enchiladas are wonderful ! I love the minis !!

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  12. Beautiful job with the challenge. I love the smell of lilacs and enjoy seeing them bloom each spring too!

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  13. wow! that just looks amazing! well done

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  14. I want one of the minis. So cute! I love love love your photos with the lilacs. Gorgeous.

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  15. So beautiful. I love the way that the lilacs make the colors pop, and also give perspective to the size of your mini-stacks. Your enchiladas look great, I wish I could just smell them! You are lucky to have gotten a true family recipe! Great work!

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  16. Beautiful enchiladas. Very nicely done.

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  17. Both versions are so beautiful and I bet they were tasty also well done on this challenge. The finger-food version is extra special. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

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  18. Beautiful presentation! And I love the fact that you marinated the beef. Must add richer flavor..

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  19. Asha - I think my heart just skipped a beat. I am really loving your pictures - they are AMAZING! Keep on inspiring us!

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  20. Wow such beautiful pictures! I'm sure they tasted wonderful as well. Glad you enjoyed the challenge!

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  21. The lilac reminded me of a huge lilac bush we had in our back yard growing up.

    Very elegant presentation of such a tasty and homey dish.

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