Cinco de Mayo is more of an American holiday than a Mexican one (at least according to my minimal Wikipedia research). Mexicans celebrate their Independence Day on September 16th, leaving May 5th to those who no reside north of the border. It’s a great day to celebrate all of Mexico’s gifts to the rest of the world: taco trucks, tequila, pinatas, chihuahuas, xolitzcuintlis, and Cesar Milan to name a few. Any why not celebrate with a recipe from everybody’s favourite non-Mexican Mexican chef, Rick Bayless?
Unlike the holiday we’re using them to celebrate, these enchiladas are way more Mexican than American. They are unbaked, use only small amounts of meat and cheese and double up on the vegetables. And they’re super duper deliciouso. ¡estupendo!
Adapted from Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1-2 fresh jalapeno, stemmed and quartered
- 10-12 medium tomatillos, husked, rinsed and cut into quarters or 1 737 ml (26 oz) can, drained
- 3/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil, plus some for the tortillas
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 225 g (8 oz) mushrooms (button, oyster or shitake), stemmed and sliced
- 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
- 10 cups spinach, stems removed
- 1 cup shredded cooked chicken (optional)
- 12 corn tortillas
- 3 tablespoons Mexican crema or sour cream
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup crumbled Mexican queso fresco or other fresh cheese like feta or goat cheese
- Heat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
- With a food processor or blender running, drop in the garlic and chiles one at a time, allowing each piece to get finely chopped before adding the next. Add the tomatillos and cilantro and process until smooth.
- Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Add the puree and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture has reduced to the consistency of thick tomato sauce, about 7-10 minutes (the longer you cook down the base, the richer and sweeter the sauce will be.) Add the chicken broth and simmer over medium for about 10 minutes to make sure the flavours are blended.
- While the sauce is simmering heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium high. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring constantly, until they begin to brown. Add about 3/4 of the onion (reserve the rest for garnish) and continue cooking, stirring frequently, for another minute or so, until the onion is translucent. Add the spinach and optional chicken and cook, stirring constantly, for a minute or so, until the spinach is wilted. Season with salt and cover to keep warm.
- Lay out the tortillas on a baking sheet and brush both sides lightly with oil, then stack them in twos. Bake the tortillas in the oven, just long enough to make them soft, about 3 minutes. Remove from the oven, stack in a single pile and cover with a clean towel to keep the warm.
- Stir the crema or sour cream into the sauce. Season to taste, add the sugar if the sauce seems sour. Holding a tortilla by one edge, dip most of it into the sauce, then lay on a plate. Spoon a heaping two tablespoons of filling down the centre, roll up and lay seam side down on a dinner plate. Repeat with one or two more (depending on serving size), laying them side by side. Douse with about 1/4 cup warm sauce, sprinkle with cheese and garnish with onion and cilantro.
- Eat them while they’re still hot!