Friday, May 2, 2014

Nacho Mama's Enchiladas!

I have been struggling to post this recipe. Not because it isn't delicious, but because it goes against everything I know about authentic Mexican and authentic Tex-Mex cuisine. I was running late, needed dinner fast, and just happened to have everything in house. As I scoffed at it's ingredients as an abomination to everything I know, I threw it in the oven and waited. What caused me so much contention was that it was for enchiladas filled with a mixture of chicken, green chiles, sour cream, and cheese, all rolled up in...FLOUR tortillas! Never before in my life have I ever made or consumed enchiladas made with flour tortillas! "It's so wrong," I kept thinking. And that isn't even the half of it! Instead of the classic chili-gravy doused on any self-respecting Tex-Mex enchilada, or an authentic chili-laden sauce of Mexican cuisine, it called to be blanketed in...salsa! Wtf? 

Time was up and as I carried my pathetic entree to the table, I felt embarrassed and apologetic to my family. That is until we ate it! It had all the heart-stopping goodness of oozy cheese, spicy salsa, and tender chicken. In fact, my husband and I thought it tasted quite reminiscent of a good nacho plate, but without the crunch of course! It's just what you crave along side a pitcher of margaritas, that no doubt will be abundant this upcoming Cinco de Mayo! I knew I needed to post the recipe, but what would I call it? Enchiladas are made with corn tortillas, ends open, and baked with a sauce. Burritos are made with flour tortillas, folded in at the ends, (which is why they are named "little donkey," resembling the packs that a donkey carries) and are never baked with a sauce. Burritos can be fried, but then they are chimichangas. Hmm? So, after some consideration, I present you the world's first and easiest recipe for (drumroll) "Nacholadas!" Classic Tex-Mex accompaniments would be rice, beans, and garnished with a "salad" of shredded lettuce, diced tomato and white onion, dressed with a little cider vinegar, salt, and dried oregano. Chips and guacamole would be the perfect starter! Happy Cinco!

Nacholadas (Sour Cream Chicken "Enchiladas" with Salsa and Oozy Cheese)

Serves 8


For the Filling
3 cups cooked, shredded chicken (Chicken thighs make the most flavorful and tender filling.)
1, 7-ounce can diced green chiles
4 large green onions, chopped
1 cup diced and seeded plum tomatoes
1, 16-ounce container sour cream
8 ounce block of sharp cheddar cheese, shredded and divided into two portions
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

For the Nacholadas
8, 8" flour tortillas (slightly warmed in microwave, if necessary to make pliable)
2 cups of your favorite tomato-based salsa (store-bought or homemade)
1-2 jalapenos, sliced
Chopped cilantro, for garnish

For the Filling
Mix all the filling ingredients in a large bowl, reserving 1/2 of the cheddar cheese for the top. Season with pepper to taste.

For the Nacholadas
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13x2" baking dish. Spoon generous 1/2 cup of filling down the center of each tortilla. Roll up and place seam side down in the baking dish. (Can be made a few hours ahead and refrigerated.)

Pour salsa over the enchiladas, cover with foil, and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover the pan and sprinkle on the remaining cheddar cheese and top with jalapeno slices. Bake an additional 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

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