I love homemade enchiladas. They are pretty inexpensive to cook, especially if you use leftover cooked chicken or turkey to make them. At this time of year, it’s a great way to make use of leftover Thanksgiving turkey. The key to success here is to be organized – set up a production line for filling and assembling the enchiladas. It’s a bit messy, but the result is very tasty!
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
10-oz shredded cooked chicken or turkey
1 4-oz. can diced green chiles
salt and black pepper, to taste
corn tortillas (This recipe makes 8-10 enchiladas, but have some extra tortillas on hand since some inevitably break and fall apart.)
vegetable or canola oil
1 can enchilada sauce (I usually use store-bought. Here I use red enchilada sauce, but green sauce is also good. Or, you could use mole sauce for a richer, deeper flavor.)
6 to 8-oz. shredded cheese, such as cheddar or a Mexican cheese mix
1 cup queso fresco Mexican cheese, crumbled (optional)
2-3 chopped scallions
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. F.
2. Saute the sliced onion in a teaspoon of oil over medium heat in a non-stick skillet, just enough to soften them. Don’t brown the onions.
3. Add the chicken and chile peppers to the pan and heat through, stirring. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
4. Now, set up an enchilada-making production line in your kitchen. Place a skillet with 1/4 inch of oil on one burner over medium heat. Put some enchilada sauce in a second skillet and warm over medium-low. On the kitchen counter, place a plate or platter for assembling the enchiladas.
5. Working with one tortilla at a time, heat a tortilla in the hot oil for about 10-15 seconds per side. You don’t want to fry the tortilla, just heat it through and make it supple for rolling.
6. Using tongs or a spatula, remove the tortilla from the hot oil and dip it briefly into the enchilada sauce.
7. Put the prepared tortilla on an empty plate. Place some shredded chicken and a tablespoon or so of shredded cheese on one side of the tortilla. Roll the tortilla up and place into an oiled, oven-proof baking dish. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and stuffing.
8. At this point, you can cover and refrigerate the enchiladas to cook later. Before cooking, top enchiladas with the remaining shredded cheese and the optional queso fresco.
9. Cook in the oven, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly. I like to lightly brown the enchiladas by turning on the broiler for that last couple of minutes of cooking.
10.Remove the enchiladas from the oven, top with chopped scallions and serve.
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Originally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.
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