The nature of these enchiladas changes greatly depending on which filling is served. With pork they are quite hearty, and much more delicate with chicken, a filling called pollo guisando. Either way they are a great hit, and a good dish for a casual supper. The tortillas can be filled a day in advance and kept, covered with plastic wrap, in the refrigerator. Reheat them in a 250 F oven until hot, then top with cheese and raise the oven heat to melt the cheese.
- Pork Filling
- Carnitas - 1 chunk, diced (recipe below)
- Cream Cheese - 3 ounces, optional
- Chicken Filling
- Chicken - one, 2-1/2 pound, baked or poached
- Basic Filling
- Butter - 1/2 cup (1 stick)
- Jalapeno Chili - 1, chopped
- Onion - 1/2 cup, chopped
- Tomatoes - 2 large, peeled, seeded, and diced
- Tomato Sauce - 1 cup
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Vegetable Oil - 1/2 cup
- Tortillas - 12 corn
- Monterey Jack cheese - 2 cups, grated
- Salsa Verde - (recipe below)
- Sour Cream - 1 cup
- Paprika for dusting
- Optional accompaniments
- Avocado - 1, peeled, pitted, sliced thin, and dipped in lemon juice to prevent discoloration
- Onion - 1 medium, cut into thin rings
- Tomato - 1 large, sliced into thin wedges
- Carnitas (Serves 6)
- Pork Shoulder - 5 pounds, cut into six 12-ounce chunks
- Lard - 1-3/4 pounds
- Salt - 1 tablespoon
- Freshly ground black pepper - 3/4 teaspoon
- Garlic powder - 3/4 teaspoon
- Milk - 1/4 cup
- Avocados - 2, peeled, cored, and sliced into wedges; dipped in
- Lemon Juice - to prevent discoloration
- Onion - 1/2, peeled and sliced into rings
- Limes - 2, quartered
- Sour Cream - 1 cup
- Salsa Verde (below)
- Flour Tortillas - 12 to 18 flour, wrapped in aluminum foil and heated in a 300 F oven for 15 minutes
- Salsa Verde (Makes 1 cup)
- Green Tomatoes - 1/2 pound, cored and diced
- Tomatillo - 1 medium, cored and diced
- Jalapeno Chili - 1, seeded and minced
- Vegetable Oil - 1 tablespoon
- Salt - 1/4 teaspoon
- Garlic Cloves - 2, peeled and minced
- Chicken Stock - 2 tablespoons
If using the pork filling, mix the carnitas with the cream cheese, if using. If the pork is cold, reheat it before filling the enchiladas.
If using the chicken filling, remove the meat from the chicken. Shred the meat and set aside.
To prepare the basic filling: heat the butter in a saute pan or skillet and, when hot, saute the jalapeno and onion over medium heat until the onion is translucent. Add the tomatoes and saute an additional minute. Add the tomato sauce and cooked meat, season with salt and pepper, and allow to simmer for 2 minutes to blend the flavors. Set aside.
To make the enchiladas: Preheat the oven to 400 F. Set out a large baking dish or four small ones. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Using tongs, hold a tortilla in the hot oil just long enough to make it pliable, about 10 seconds. Drain on paper towels and place some of the filling in the center of the tortilla. Roll it and place it in a baking dish, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining tortillas, either filling a large baking dish or four individual ones.
Sprinkle cheese over the enchiladas and place in the oven until the cheese melts.
To serve: Place some salsa verde and sour cream on the tortillas, and dust with paprika for color.
Like a confit of duck, these chunks of pork are braised in fat and are so tender they fall apart. The pork can be cooked up to 6 hours in advance and kept at room temperature. If it is not being used within that time, cover and refrigerate. To use, bring to room temperature, drop it in hot fat to crisp, then drain. Lard is the traditional fat used.
Cut the pork into 12- to 16-ounce chunks, cutting away as much fat and gristle as possible. Heat the lard to 200 F in a deep, covered skillet.
Mix the salt, pepper, and garlic powder and rub the mixture on all sides of the pork chunks, shaking them to remove any excess.
Add the pork to the heated lard and sear to brown on all sides. Reduce the heat to the barest possible simmer, and cook the pork for 1-1/2 hours, turning it every 20 minutes. After 1 hour of cooking time, add the milk to the skillet.
Drain the pork on paper towels. If using for Enchiladas Verdes, reserve a chunk for the enchiladas at this stage.
To serve: Place the pork chunks on a platter and garnish with wedges of avocado, onion rings, lime wedges, sour cream, and Salsa Verde. Serve with warm flour tortillas.
This is the basic green chili sauce used for many traditional dishes, including enchiladas verdes. The combination of green tomatoes and tomatillos gives it a fresh taste. The sauce can be made up to two days in advance and reheated when needed. Do not allow it to come to a boil.
Boil the green tomatoes and tomatillo in a small amount of water until soft, about 5 minutes. Drain and place in a blender or a food processor with the cilantro. Pulse once.
Saute the jalapeno in the oil over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes, and add to the blender or processor with the remaining ingredients. Pulse to chop the ingredients, but do not process until smooth. Store in a glass container.