We’re not called Enchilada Addicts, but if I had to choose another dish that I am addicted to when I’m home in Austin, it would totally be the enchilada! There’s something about an enchilada plate that is really satisfying. I also felt it was a fitting time to blog the enchilada, as we’re offering enchilada take home meals this week during the Level 3 lockdown. As we’re working, and serving, from our production kitchen, rather than Prince, I jumped on the chance to make enchiladas and share them with Wellingtonians.
I don’t want to call it Mexican lasagna, but the untrained eye could [perhaps] pull a tray of cheese covered enchiladas from the oven, and excitedly shout ‘lasagna for dinner!?’
Take 2 tortillas (traditionally corn), and fill with veggies, shrimp, chicken, beef or pork, and then roll them up, place them in a tray, cover with sauce and perhaps some shredded cheese and (in the USA) bake.
In Mexico, they aren’t usually baked. In Mexico, the corn tortilla is usually dipped in sauce, then briefly pan fried to make it pliable and soft, and then rolled with fillings. Enchiladas aren’t strictly street food, and we don’t have an oven in Prince (our taco caravan) so we don’t serve enchiladas.
In Austin, every local taqueria and Mexican/Tex-Mex eatery offers enchiladas on their menu. They make a great main course - they often come with a side of rice and beans, and sometimes a little salad and guacamole as well. You could definitely call an enchilada plate an example of ‘American size portions’ - if you finish everything on your plate, you’re sure to be VERY full.
I remember when I moved to Columbia, Missouri for university, and my new uni friends and I went out for Mexican food for the first time. My new friend, Jessie, turned to me, and she said “sometimes I make my decision based on whether the plate comes with guacamole or not.”[PS: I was not impressed with the quality of that Mexican meal, and I don’t think I ate at too many Mexican restaurants in Missouri during my university years…]
However, in Austin, enchilada plates don’t often come with guacamole. They do, however, come with a choice of fillings and sauces! One of my favourite places to visit in Austin is Curra's Grill. They are famous for their avocado margarita, but I always go there when I’m home because I love their menu selection - their veggie enchiladas are filled with zucchini, mushrooms, squash, onions & spinach, and they offer five sauces, plus they always have vegetarian beans. Most frijoles are traditionally made with pork lard or chunks of bacon or drippings. As I young ‘un, I was always on the search for beans made without!
I guess my favourite enchiladas would be with salsa verde - a slightly spicy, tangy sauce usually made from tomatillos, chilies and onions. Some places will add sour cream to the sauce to make it creamy, but I love that sourness of the tomatillo. The enchiladas we’re making this week are with a ranchera (red) sauce, but hopefully, sometime in the future, I can make you enchiladas verdes!