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Mains, Quick and Easy

Green enchiladas

Green enchiladas
Kirk McKoy/Los Angeles Times

Because I left Mexico when I was 6, my recollections of our holiday traditions are often dreamlike and vague. But my memory of Three Kings Day, or el Dia de los Reyes Magos, remains vivid because it came right after ... Read more

Total time: About 1 hour | Serves 6

Homemade green salsa

  • 24 tomatillos, cleaned and husked
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 8 to 10 serrano chiles, stemmed (and seeded for less heat, or to taste)
  • 1 1/2 cups washed, stemmed leaves of cilantro (from about 1/4 of a large bunch)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste

Step 1Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the tomatillos and boil just until they darken to an olive shade, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and set aside until cool enough to handle.

Step 2In a food processor, combine the boiled tomatillos with the onion, chiles, cilantro and salt. Pulse until the ingredients are blended to form a salsa. This makes a generous 6 cups of salsa, which can be covered and refrigerated until ready to use, up to 1 week.

Enchiladas assembly

  • Green salsa
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 small corn tortillas
  • 2 to 4 cups boiled, shredded chicken
  • 2/3 cup Mexican cream
  • 2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese (or Chihuahua cheese)
  • Salt to taste

Step 1Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Gently heat the salsa in a large saucepan until it is warm. When the salsa is warm, spoon about 1 cup of it to cover the bottom of a 13-by-9-inch baking dish.

Step 2In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat until hot. Gently dip both sides of the tortillas into the oil to soften, then quickly dip each of them into the salsa to coat. (For a lower-fat enchilada, skip the oil. Simply heat the tortillas in a microwave until they are soft and pliable.)

Step 3Place the tortilla on a plate and fill with a scant 3 tablespoons shredded chicken. Roll or fold the tortilla over like a taco and place in the baking dish. Repeat until all of the tortillas are assembled.

Step 4Cover the assembled tortillas with the remaining salsa and dot with teaspoon-sized dollops of the Mexican cream. Sprinkle over the cheese.

Step 5Place the baking dish in the oven and heat until the cheese is melted and the enchiladas are warm, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Note: Enchiladas are always better if made individually and served immediately. However, if you are having a party, you can assemble the dish like a casserole ahead of time. Assemble the enchiladas in the baking dish without adding the remaining salsa, cream or cheese. About 30 minutes before you are ready to sit down to dinner, pour the salsa on top of the dish, layer over the cream and cheese and place it in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve immediately. Chihuahua cheese and Mexican cream can be found in Latin markets.


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