Ok, so maybe not the best enchiladas in the history of EVER, but the best in my homemade history.
Jason and I have been on a little food adventure. An organic, whole foods, make-it-myself adventure. It doesn't always mean eating the healthiest (see tortilla recipe made with lard below), but it means eating foods we know came from sustainable sources, from local farms if possible, and from non-GMO companies. It isn't cheap and it isn't always easy, but it is the way we feel compelled to feed our family.
My obsession with tortillas is Ted's fault. Ted's Escondido, that is. It is this lovely restaurant in Oklahoma from my college days and in my mind good tortillas and that place is synonymous. If ever your travels take you to Oklahoma, it is a must in my mind!!
Doesn't that Ted's tortilla look amazing? It is...
So, here it is. My obsession with good tortillas and my love of making stuff up, all combined. I'm not gonna pretend this recipe is anything close to authentic Mexican food. I'm sure no grandma making tortillas in Mexico City ever envisioned putting feta cheese inside an enchilada. Well, that's the glory of trying to cook when you haven't gone to the grocery store. I used whatever I had and they turned out amazing. If you don't have these ingredients, use what you have and I bet you'll love them too!!
So, without further ado, here is a little peek into my kitchen last night.
Yup, it was a mess...making your own tortillas, enchilada sauce, and filling means lots of dishes and counter space. Get ready! The good news? While the enchiladas are in the oven cooking you've got time to clean it all up!
The final product...looks pretty good if I do say so myself!
Ok, time for the tortillas. I found here via Pinterest. I'll go ahead and write my version of the recipe below, because I did change it just a bit.
Authentic Mexican Tortillas
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup lard (you could use shortening, but lard is more authentic)
3/4 cup hot water
1. Combine first three ingredients in a large bowl. Add lard and mix by hand until the mixture resembles course crumbs.
2. Add 3/4 cup hot water and mix until dough is completely blended. Cover and let sit for at least 20 minutes. The gluten in the dough needs time to rest or you will have a hard time rolling them out.
3. Cut dough into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a little ball. This helps them have a round shape (which you can see I still need to work on!! This is the hardest part of making a good tortilla...getting it round!). Using a rolling pin, roll tortillas on a floured surface. I like mine to be really thin, like 1/8 an inch.
4. Cook tortillas in a cast iron pan (or a griddle if you prefer) on a medium-high heat. I let each side cook for about 20-30 seconds. Just long enough that it gets that nice brown colouring in some spots. Don't over do it, you don't want to start with burnt or hard tortillas. Store them in a plastic bag or a tortilla warmer (this is what I do...put a damp paper towel at the bottom to keep them nice and moist).
Okay, ready for the filling??
This is where the "mixologist" in me comes out. I haven't been to the grocery store, except for bananas and milk in about 12 days. That means it is slim pickins around here. I just looked for things I thought would go well together and went with it...
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and sliced into 2 inch x 1/2 inch pieces
2 small onions, sliced the same as the bell pepper
1 cup shredded zucchini (mine came from the freezer)
4 ounces crumbled feta cheese (the cow sort, I can't do goat's cheese)
1/2 cup organic sour cream (if you've never had it, do so! it is a whole other food)
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp adobo
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup liquid from boiling chicken
1 chicken carcass...sounds gross, eh? Well, it was a whole chicken that we had already eaten most of the meat off...
1. I boiled the chicken in some broth I had in the freezer (from the last chicken I boiled) and added about 1 cup of salsa, 1 tsp adobo seasoning, and 1 tsp garlic salt to the pot. It boiled for about 2 hours, then I picked all the yummy chicken off after it had cooled a bit*.
2. Saute the onion, pepper, and zucchini until soft. You may wish to add some seasoning at this point. I just waited until I mixed everything together.
3. Mix all above ingredients together in a bowl.
*After my chicken stock/salsa liquid had cooled, I stuck it back in the freezer to use as broth for tortilla soup this winter! You may want to do the same, unless your my mother and never refreeze anything. (Love you mom!)
Now you're ready for the sauce
This enchilada sauce recipe I got from my good friend Tami about 7 years ago. It is my go to recipe for sure! (thanks girl!)
3 tbsp. oil
1 tbsp. flour
1/4 cup chili powder
2 cups veggie stock
10 oz tomato paste
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1. In medium saucepan, heat oil and flour, smoothing and stirring with wooden spoon. Cook 1 minute. Add chili powder and cook for 30 seconds. Add stock, tomato paste, oregano, and cumin. Stir to combine. Bring to boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
I should note, I halved this recipe because it makes enough for two 9x13 pans. But, if you have all the ingredients (I didn't have enough tomato paste) go ahead and put half of it in the freezer for next time!
So, now you can combine. Simply put about 1/3 cup of the enchilada sauce in a 9x13 pan. Put about 3 tbsp. of filling in the center of the tortilla, spread it out the direction you want to roll, then roll up the tortilla. I fit about 9 of them in the pan. Cover the rolled tortillas with the remaining sauce. Then add shredded cheese. Never-mind that mine was a mix of marble cheddar and Havarti (remember, 12 days no grocery store?!?). If I had more cheese I would have put more, but I used what I had!
I should just note, that I actually cooked the individual parts in the exact opposite order that I posted them. Sorry, it just worked out like that...I think it makes the most sense to make the sauce first, then the filling, and the tortillas last--that way they won't get cold or dry out.
Put pan into preheated 350 F oven and bake until cheese is melted. I'm impatient so at that point I switch it to broil to make the cheese nice and bubbly and brown!
Finally, two happy campers! I hope your hungry tummies are as happy with these enchiladas as we were!