How do you know when recipe is a success? How about when your 17 year old son asks if you can make it for his birthday dinner…next January. I tried Santa Fe Enchiladas after my friend Emily emailed me the recipe. I loved the spicy, tangy combo in these enchiladas. Now, I’m not a big fan of spicy, but this was just right with a dollop of sour cream on top. They are a little time consuming, so I made the sauce and completely assembled the dish, the day before. Oh, second sign of successful new dish…all of the leftovers disappeared.
Santa Fe Enchiladas
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, boiled and shredded
- 1 lime juiced
- 1/2 onion chopped
- 1 crushed garlic clove
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- 6-8 corn tortillas I used white corn
- 1 lb jalapeno jack cheese shredded
- sour cream
- 5 dried Pasilla chiles I used 3 fresh, roasted
- 3 dried California chiles I used 1 Anaheim, roasted
- 1 fresh green chili seeded and chopped
- 1 jalapeno seeded and chopped*
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 to mato chopped
- 1/2 cup cream or half and half optional
- salt to taste ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Make enchilada sauce in advance, up to a day if desired. Over a medium high heat, roast the chiles until fragrant, about 60 seconds. You may do this over a flame if you have a gas cook top on your stove, or put the chiles in the oven (click here for instructions)
After roasting, seed and remove stems from all chiles, using food handler gloves*. You may roast all of the chiles. I roasted the first two types, then just sauteed the green chili, and added the jalapeno fresh. If using dried chiles, heat the chicken broth, and pour over the dried chiles. Let sit covered for about 20 minutes, until chiles are hydrated. In a blender, in batches, place the chiles and stock, and other remaining chiles. Blend until sauce is completely smooth. Add the 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, garlic, oregano, cumin, vinegar, tomato, salt and pepper. Add cream if using. Continue blending until all sauce ingredients are smooth.
Over a medium heat, in a heavy skillet, heat the oil. Pour the sauce into the oil and cook for about 10 minutes.
Grease a 9x13 pan, spread about 1 cup of the enchilada sauce in the pan to coat the bottom.
In a large saute pan, saute the onion and garlic in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Throw in shredded cooked chicken and toss with a little bit of the enchilada sauce, enough to coat. Squeeze in the juice from one lime. Heat until warmed through. Add 1/2 cup fresh cilantro to the chicken mixture and set aside. Warm the tortillas (to prevent tearing) and fill each tortilla with chicken mixture and shredded cheese. Roll and place seam side down in 9x13 pan. You may also make this casserole style, layering tortillas, filling and cheese twice, ending with cheese on top. When all tortillas are rolled, top with remaining sauce, and grated cheese. Bake in 350 degree oven for about 30-45 minutes or until bubbly and heated through.
Makes 6-8 enchiladas.
-**Using food handlers gloves is a REALLY GOOD IDEA while seeding and chopping jalapenos. The seeds are HOT, so make sure to remove them from the jalapenos, unless you like your food extra spicy. The oils from the chili will remain on your hands long after you wash. Oh, and don't ever try to put on contact lenses after seeding a chili. Bad idea, trust me.
-I don't think it's important to use exactly the same chiles mentioned in the recipe, or the type I used. Depending on the grocery store visited, or the area of town, I saw a variety of different dried and fresh chiles. Summer months would be a great time to make this dish, when fresh chiles are plentiful. All total, I think you need about 3 cups of chiles.
-I added the 1/2 cup of cream/half and half to the sauce, because the sauce was a little to spicy for me, and we were serving the dish to kids. Adding the cream also cut a bit of the tang.
-If you assemble the dish the day before, or earlier in the day, cover with foil, (spray the foil with PAM to prevent the cheese from sticking to the foil) let it sit at room temperature for about 1/2 to 1 hour before cooking. Cook covered for about 20 minutes, then remove foil for the last part of baking.