Friday, April 27, 2012

Make Ahead Enchilades

This is another staple recipe that I like to make in big batches, then freeze in smaller (individual or small group) containers to finish baking when needed.  Basically, I designed it so that while it might take an hour or two to put it all together on a Sunday, next Wednesday it should take all of 20 minutes to heat.  As always with basic recipes, variations are encouraged. For instance, sometimes I throw in a tablespoon of chopped cilantro to the chicken mixture.


3 ancho chiles shredded

1 medium onion, peeled & quartered
3 tbs minced garlic
2 tbs cumin
1 1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp oregano
2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/2 cups canned tomato sauce (20 ounces)
3 tbp tomato paste
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced (3 cups)
4 cups shredded cooked chicken (I recommend the cheap supermarket varietyJ)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
3/4 pound cheddar cheese, shredded (3 cups)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
 Vegetable oil for frying
16 tortillas
(Chopped onion, hot sauce and/orsour cream optional for serving.)


Add Chile, quartered onion, garlic, 1 tbs of the cumin, coriander, oregano, tomato sauce and paste, and 2 tsp of the olive oil to a blender; season with salt and fresh pepper.  Puree until smooth.  Spoon about 3/4 cup of the sauce into the bottom of each of two shallow baking dishes.


Preheat the oven to 350°. In a skillet, heat the remaining 1 tbs of olive oil. Add the diced onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until lightly browned, 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool. Stir in the chicken, remaining cumin, cilantro and half of the shredded cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat 1/4 inch of vegetable oil in a large skillet. Add the tortillas 1 at a time and fry over low heat just until pliable. Transfer to a paper towel–lined platet and pat dry. Spoon 1/4 cup of the chicken filling into each tortilla then roll up. Place the doobies in the baking dishes, seam side down. Spoon the remaining chili sauce on top, spreading it to cover the enchiladas. Dust with remaining cheese.
Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes, until bubbling.  I typically remove the foil halfway through cooking to brown the cheese a bit. Let the enchiladas cool about 10 minutes. Can be served with chopped onion, hot sauce and/or sour cream, if you want to look all fancy.

This can be frozen prior to baking and thawed out as need.  Or popped into individual portions & put in the fridge for quick lunches. Just tack on a extra 10 minutes to the bake time if freezing.

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