Enchiladas for lunch!
I met Shelley Wiseman when I was 22 years old and didn't yet know how to cook. Shelley was working in the test kitchens of Gourmet Magazine as a Food Editor and she immediately took me under her wing. We worked at Gourmet together for something like 8 years and I've learned more from her than I can even begin to realize.
A couple months ago, Shelley came to visit and cooked an incredible Mexican dinner (one of her many areas of expertise is Mexican cuisine) and she was so taken by the school and the local culture that she quit her job at Fine Cooking Magazine and up and moved here to partner with me at the cooking school. And now... she's arrived. Yesterday was Shelley's first of many, many classes here and it was a huge success. 3 hours of hands-on cooking ended with a fine feast of Enchiladas Suizas, and, for those of you who missed it, here's the recipe.
Chicken enchiladas with cooked tomatillo salsa and cheese
Adapted from Rosa’s Mexican Table by Roberto Santibañez
2 cups Cooked Tomatillo Salsa (recipe follows)
1 cup heavy cream
½ cup chopped cilantro
1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
12 6-7 inch corn tortillas
4 oz Monterey Jack cheese, coarsely grated (1 cup)
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Combine Cooked Tomatillo Salsa, cream, and cilantro in a small heavy saucepan and bring to a simmer. Keep warm.
Add about 1 cup of sauce to chicken in a large bowl, stirring to combine.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a small nonstick skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Cook a tortilla in oil, turning over once with tongs, until softened and just blistering about 10 seconds on each side (do not let it become brown or crisp). Transfer tortilla to paper towels to drain. Fry more tortillas in the same manner, adding more oil to the skillet as needed and stacking tortillas as drained.
Put about 1/3 cup of chicken mixture on a tortilla. Roll tortilla around filling and transfer seam side down, to an oiled shallow 2 ½- to 3-quart baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas and arrange close together in baking dish.
Pour remaining sauce over enchiladas and top with grated cheese.
Bake enchiladas in middle of oven until cheese is golden and sauce is bubbling, about 20 minutes.
COOKED TOMATILLO SALSA
Salsa Verde Cocida
Makes 2 cups
1 lb tomatillos, husked and washed
1 to 2 jalapeños, stems discarded
2 small garlic cloves, peeled
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ cup chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
Put the whole tomatillos and jalapeños in a 3-quart saucepan and add cold water to cover. Cook, turning occasionally to cook evenly, until tomatillos are khaki-green and soft but not falling apart.
Lift the tomatillos and the chiles out with a slotted spoon and transfer to a blender. Add garlic, cumin and cilantro and blend until smooth.
Heat the oil in the cleaned saucepan over medium heat until it shimmers, then carefully pour in the salsa down the side of the pan (to reduce splattering) and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently until lightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a 2-cup measure, season with salt, and add water (if necessary) until sauce measures 2 cups.