Food and Food: Home Cookin'10 Feb 2009 09:51 am

I’m officially obsessed with Mexican cuisine, in case you couldn’t tell. After having promising Mike’s parents a homecooked Mexican meal earlier in the week, we decided to follow through.

Features included:

  • fresh salsa verde and guacamole to start
  • tortilla soup with all the fixin’s
  • red-chile dipped enchiladas

Tortilla soup, with fresh corn tortilla strips, flash fried ancho peppers, farmer’s cheese and chicken chunks. This recipe was amazing.

The main: red-chile dipped enchiladas on a bed of cabbage ‘relish’, covered with red-chile coated potatoes and carrots. It came together well, but was hard to handle.

Since I sustained an oil burn (it’s a long story and mostly involves my own kitchen stupidity) and my hand still kind of hurts when I type, I will save sharing long recipes. (You can find my guacamole recipe here)

The recipes all came from Rick Bayless (of course! I can’t say enough about his book: Authentic Mexican), and I would make them all again, except for the main: the red-chile sauce dipped enchiladas. They are a bit different than the Americanized version of enchiladas we all know and love, and are essentially deep fried flavoured corn tortillas, with no fillings really. I’m not sure if we did something wrong, because although they tasted great, they were hell to get good presentation out of and kept falling apart.

Salsa Verde

  • 10 to 12 tomatillos (1 pound)
  • 1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 2 jalapeno chiles (or to your tastes)
  • handful of cilantro
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cups broth (beef or chicken, I suppose you could try vegetable as well)
  • salt to taste, about 1/2 teaspoon

Boil the tomatillos until soft in salted water, about 10-15 minutes. Drain well.

Blend tomatillos, garlic, chiles, cilantro and onion together. Just until it is almost smooth; there should still be some texture.

Heat a frying pan with vegetable oil on medium high. When hot enough that a drop of the tomatillo puree sizzles when you drop it in, add all the puree, stirring constantly for 5 minutes, or until the mix is thicker.

Add the broth, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to simmer for 10 minutes, or until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Season.

This recipe is a bit different than ones I have done in the past, and I far preferred it. It’s not as sharp as roasted tomatillo salsa verde can be; it’s sweeter and smoother. I think I’ll crank up the heat factor next time and add more chiles.

Tomatillo mix before the blending…

Almost done!

Frying up the chile for the tortilla soup. Hand-meets-oil accident happened soon after this photo was taken. No cameras were harmed in the making of these chiles.

Dried ancho and guajillo peppers.

Toasting the peppers.

The soaking peppers (closest) and the cabbage/vinegar/red onion mix, farthest.

Grinding peppercorns and cumin seed for the red-chile sauce.

Straining the pepper pods and seeds out of the sauce.

These were the main steps on the road to our Mexican meal. It kind of looks time consuming as I review the photos, but it really wasn’t. Highly delicious and rewarding. I think Mike’s parents liked it, too.

Julio’s Barrio: take note! If I can make fresh delicious authentic Mexican food, so can you. But I would even settle for cooked chicken in my nachos. Thanks.

2 Responses to ““True” enchiladas, burning oil and other Mexi-tales”

  1. on 10 Feb 2009 at 3:54 pm raidar

    Looks great. I love Ricky Bayless; what a great dedication he has to a cuisine. Between him and Diana Kennedy, there is no other place to look 99.9% of the time.

  2. on 14 Feb 2009 at 3:27 pm H.Peter

    I am very much impressed. Your mexican dinner looks authentic.

    Just got back from Vegas and had some fantastic mexican food at a retail store in NLV on Cheynne.