Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Enchiladas Callejeras with Chicken and Mexican Chorizo

From the shredded chicken inside to the sauce-soaked pan-fried tortillas and the Mexican chorizo hash on top, these enchiladas callejeras are too many bites of wonderful to count.

One of the things I really, really miss living overseas is Mexican food, or I should properly say Tex-Mex since that’s what I grew up on in Houston, Texas. It’s almost always the first meal out when I go home. And I always order the enchiladas with a crispy taco on the side. That’s why I jumped at the chance to get a copy of Enchiladas - Aztec to Tex-Mex by Cappy Lawton, who currently owns three restaurants in San Antonio, and Chris Waters Dunn, a Nashville songwriter and record producer turned food writer. I could recreate those wonderful meals at home? Yes, please!

Enchiladas - Aztec to Tex-Mex: What started out as a small exploration of enchiladas – things enhanced with chili peppers – became a treatise on ALL the enchiladas, from ALL the regions of Mexico and beyond. I hesitate to use the word "definitive" because it is so overused in book reviews and someone is bound to leave a comment about some enchilada their abuela makes that wasn’t covered, but, dang, there’s a lot of information there! The book is divided into three sections covering ingredients, fundamentals and then recipes. Read through the first two before checking out the recipes. You will be so glad you did!

If you’d like to buy your own copy of Enchiladas - Aztec to Tex-Mex, it’s available at <affiliate link or get a signed copy on their website.

I have permission to share the recipe for Enchiladas Callejeras with you today and I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Yields 12 enchiladas / Serves 4
For the sauce:
4 guajillo chiles or chiles de árbol, destemmed, deveined, deseeded
10 ancho chiles, destemmed, deveined, deseeded
1 medium white or yellow onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons (18 grams) kosher salt
1 cup (237 ml) olive oil
(This makes way more sauce than you need! Save the leftovers for another dish!)

For the filling:
3 cups or 390 grams cooked, shredded chicken

For the chorizo/vegetable topping:
8 ounces (227 grams) chorizo
1 large Yukon Gold potato, peeled, medium dice
1 large carrot, peeled, medium dice
1⁄2 cup (65 grams) frozen green peas, thawed

For the assembly:
12 corn tortillas, preferably a day old

For the garnishes:
Crema Mexicana
Queso fresco
Avocado slices
Jalapeños en escabeche (pickled)

Cook the diced potato and carrot in salted water until they are just done. I cheated by cutting the potato a little bigger than the carrot so I could pop them all in the same pot.

Now the sauce:
Place the prepared chilies a few pieces at a time on a comal (or iron griddle or skillet) over medium heat and dry roast until fragrant, about 30 seconds per side

Place chilies, onion, garlic, salt, and 4 cups (946ml) hot water in a blender. Let sit for 5 minutes to soften chilies.

Blend at medium speed into a smooth purée. Then, with the blender running, add the olive oil in a slow steady stream and process until emulsified.

Strain the sauce into a pan, then warm over medium heat.

Warm through, taste, and adjust seasoning. Cover and set aside. (No need to keep warm.)

To prepare the chorizo/vegetable topping:
Remove the casing (or cling film if you are using homemade) and crumble the chorizo into a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently to break up the chorizo, until it begins to brown, about 5 minutes.

Add the just cooked potatoes and carrots and gently stir to combine. Cook, gently stirring occasionally, until the edges of the potatoes barely begin to brown.

Remove from heat, stir in the peas, cover, and keep warm.

To assemble the enchiladas:

Gently warm the shredded chicken. Have the topping and garnishes ready and at hand.
Warm 4 individual serving plates.
Heat a 9-inch (23 cm) non-stick sauté pan or pancake griddle over medium-high heat. (The pan with
sauce should be nearby.)

Dip each tortilla in the sauce, making sure it’s well coated.

Place in hot sauté pan, and quickly sear for about 3 seconds per side—just long enough for the sauce to begin to caramelize.

Place 2 tablespoons shredded chicken on the tortilla, fold in half, and place on an individual serving plate.

Wipe the sauté pan with a paper towel and reheat. Repeat the process with the remaining tortillas, slightly overlapping the enchiladas on serving plates, 3 per serving. When the enchiladas are plated, top with a drizzle of crema Mexicana.

Add a generous scoop of the chorizo/vegetable mixture and a sprinkle of queso fresco. Place the avocado slices and jalapeños en escabeche to the side of the enchiladas.


Disclaimer: I was sent one copy of Enchiladas - Aztec to Tex-Mex for review purposes.

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