Monday, March 9, 2009
FOR THE LOVE OF ENCHILADAS
Being from Texas, you would think that I would be married to only the Tex-Mex style of enchiladas...
I know that my Dad is...If it's not cheese and onion enchiladas covered with chili con carne, he's "just not into you"..(sorry couldn't help myself)
He even goes further, in that he only likes it ONE PLACE...Any other place just does not do it for him...Now to be fair, he also likes this ONE RESTAURANT, because of its amazing Margaritas, the thinnest, crispiest, and tastiest tortilla chips, and the perfectly blended salsa...
Even though he will eat other enchiladas ( I have made chicken sour cream ones before, and he HAS eaten them without a look of disgust on his face... of course he DOES LOVE HIS DAUGHTER)...such a great Daddy...
I, on the other hand, rarely find an enchilada that I DON'T like..
My favorite is absolutely SOUR CREAM CHICKEN ENCHILADAS, but like my Father, there is only ONE RESTAURANT that I think makes them with absolute perfection, and because it's a bit far from where I live, it is rare that I have them there..
In the meantime, I am constantly trying to find a suitable recipe for them, and have yet to find it...It is all about the sour cream sauce. Trying to recreate the taste and texture of that sauce for YEARS, has resulted in my having thrown in the towel, and facing the fact that one must simply go out to eat to get the real deal...(something that is rare for me to say, having been able to pretty much conquer most of the other restaurant "wonders")
Oh believe me, there are MANY recipes for decent sour cream chicken enchiladas, but they do not come CLOSE to the real deal...When it comes to that particular dish, I am a purist and desire the BEST (um...how unusual for me...)
I don't remember the last time that I attempted to make them for that reason..Just gotta go out to get them, and then you need to know WHERE there are versions that will somewhat satisfy your craving, and even in Texas, that's VERY FEW PLACES as far as I am concerned...
Truth be told, the only way that you could really satisfy yourself when it comes to that recipe, would be to actually GET the recipe from restaurants that do the dish well, and believe me, that is an IMPOSSIBLE FEAT, having tried to "charm" my way into it for YEARS!
Most of the time the waiters or chefs just laugh...amused by the fact that I would even TRY to weasel it out of them...
In the end, my recipe collection holds endless versions, that are simply substitutes for the real deal...
LUCKY FOR ME....
I LOVE A LOT OF OTHER VERSIONS OF ENCHILADAS!!!!
I love many different recipes for the delicious enchilada, whether it be cheese, poblano, chicken, brisket, seafood, etc...
I love them here in Texas, but also have enjoyed them in Mexico, New Mexico, AND I EVEN LIKE (sorry Daddy..),the "CALIFORNIA Versions" sometimes..(they use a lot of sour cream and black olives, both of which I love...DO miss the Jalapenos though)
My Father refuses to acknowledge that the California version of the enchilada is "Mexican Food", and refuses to eat it when we have been in California..
It is best not to even mention it when around my Father...kind of like talking about how you have spent money in the past, i.e. what you have paid for hotel rooms, restaurants, a piece of jewelery, etc...Just don't go there...My Dad grew up during the Great Depression...nuff said..
As a matter of fact, I am pretty much a sucker for anything delicious that you can roll in a corn tortilla! (that's the Texan in me...we much prefer corn to flour tortillas)...
Today I will post a recipe from one of my favorite "Southwestern Chefs"...
He hails from my favorite city, New York...How he ever became so adept at his creations of delicious Southwestern Cuisine is still amazing to me...
I have mentioned this before, I'm sure somewhere, but if you are ever in New York or Las Vegas, you must dine at "Mesa Grill" a most delicious restaurant...
Bobby Flay has never been there when I have been at Mesa, but as you can probably guess by now, I ALWAYS ask if he is...(refer to post re: child abuse inflicted upon my son at zero temperatures while waiting at stage doors..A little habit of mine..)
My son is ALWAYS embarrassed by my questions at restaurants...I'm sure that I am not the only one that would thrill at the thought of meeting him...Many women are attracted to Mr. Flay, and I'm sure that he likes to keep it that way...Ditto for Tyler Florence as well..
(You know, I am actually GLAD that there are still tiny glimpses of the silly teenage girl in me... probably one of my most charming traits..NOTE TO SELF..don't lose that.)
One thing that I love about Bobby's recipes, is that he, like me, LOVES Goat Cheese, and uses it abundantly in his recipes. Actually one of my favorite dishes at his restaurant is the starter,"Goat Cheese Fundito" (think that is what he calls it)
A delicious kind of Goat Cheese Fondue, very similar to the "Blue Cheese Fondue" that I posted at Foodbuzz, except made with Goat Cheese...Delicious...
All of the previous information ultimately leads up to a posting of an amazing enchilada recipe that Mr. Flay created..(I WILL get to it in a minute...)
NOTE: This recipe is not "quick" preparation. If short on time,you could prepare the sauce the night before or morning of..After that it would be a quick assembly...
"SAN ANTONIO STYLE GOAT CHEESE ENCHILADAS"
ALL INGREDIENTS FOR THE DISH:
Red Chile-Tomato Sauce, recipe follows
12 blue corn tortillas ( you could use yellow, but try to get blue)
Goat Cheese Filling, recipe follows
8 ounces Monterey Jack Cheese, grated
3 Tablespoons chopped cilantro, for garnish
Sour cream, garnish
Chopped green onions, garnish
Red Chile-Tomato Sauce Recipe
2 ancho chilies
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large red onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon dried Mexican Oregano
1 cup dry white wine
1 (16 ounce) can plum tomatoes, pureed
2 cups homemade chicken or vegetable stock
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add chilies, remove from heat and let sit for 30 minutes. Remove stems and seeds, place in food processor with 1/4 cup of the soaking liquid and puree until smooth.
Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until soft. Add garlic and cook for one minute. Add cumin and oregano and cook for one minute. Add ancho puree and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add wine, tomatoes and stock and cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Goat Cheese Filling Recipe:
1 1/4 pound of goat cheese
3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup freshly grated pecorino Romano
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Place goat cheese, garlic, pecorino Romano, and lime juice in a food processor and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, and fold in the cilantro.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Spread 1/2 cup of the Red Chile-Tomato Sauce into a medium, deep casserole.
Dip tortillas in remaining tomato-chile sauce, to lightly coat both sides. Spoon about 2 Tablespoons of the Goat Cheese Filling on each tortilla, and roll up.
Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
NOTE...Tortillas will soften for filling better when dipped in warm sauce..
Arrange rolled tortillas in casserole so they fit snugly. Pour 1 1/2 cups of the remaining tomato-chile sauce over the enchiladas, and top with the grated cheese. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the enchiladas are heated through. Remove and sprinkle with chopped cilantro, dollop with sour cream and garnish with chopped green onions.