Do you get these intense Mexican food cravings sometimes? I do. Restaurants specializing in the cuisine aren’t really so plenty in town so the next predictable thing to do was learn how to recreate the dishes in our kitchen.The common ingredients used in Mexican cooking just happens to be what I love as well….peppers, tortilla, corn, beans and cheese are just some of them.
All caps on CHEESE by the way. My children and I are big lovers of it so that any dish that has cheese will surely be a big hit and gobbled up in no time. Pizza is the first thing that comes to mind, but over the years I’ve tried to discover new dishes to master because I believe in the dictum ‘variety is the spice of life!’
Now, these chicken enchiladas are guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser. I prefer to call them en-cheesy-ladas because cheese is the secret ingredient that makes it tick.
My version also has sour cream, tomato sauce but if you omit the cheese, this will just taste like shawarma. Yes, I would like to think enchiladas are like the Mexican version of shawarma. They are similar in some ways.
In order to have good enchiladas, you have to have great, high quality cheese too. In this regard, I only opt for California cheese.
For several Christmases, I received real nice gift baskets from
the friendly folks of the California Milk Advisory Board and that’s how I developed a loyalty for these California cheeses…hah! I’ve read through their history and love the fact that California cheese is not overly processed. They’re made with love by real farming families from the Sunshine State and come from happy cows. Yay!
Thankfully, California cheese is available in our neighborhood SM Supermarket in Paranaque. How do you know it’s the real deal? Just look for the seal.
There are so many kinds of California cheese available in store, even hard-to- find ones like Colby Jack, Provolone, Orange Cheddar, Monterey Jack and Cheddar. I pick the latter because
that’s what I was going to use in my enchiladas. Price was only P148 which was quite reasonable for an imported, authentic cheese from California.
So let me stress the point: having the right, quality ingredients is crucial. Here’s sharing my recipe for Mexican-style enchiladas using California cheese:
1. Prepare your mise en place –
about 500 grams chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
two cups of grated California cheddar cheese
one piece chopped white onion
one piece large size green bell pepper
one clove garlic minced
one container sour cream
one can or 200 g pouch tomato sauce
a handful of parsley and oregano
Chili powder, quantity depends on level of spiciness you want
half cup water
salt and pepper to taste
Enchilada sauce, using some ingredients above
2. In a skillet or pan, cook chicken breast in your preferred healthy oil until it is no longer pink.
Add half of the sour cream and one cup of the grated California cheese. Stir to combine.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the last two. Mix thoroughly and simmer for a few minutes until cheese melts. Turn off heat.
4. Spoon some of the chicken mixture to cover one part of the tortilla. Roll the wrap and secure ends with a toothpick if necessary
5. Preheat oven to 350F.
6. The enchiladas need to be topped with some sauce. I prepared mine by combining what remained of the sour cream and tomato sauce, added more parsley and seasonings.
7. Arrange tortilla in a baking dish, pour some of the sauce an top with more Cali cheese. Bake uncovered in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
It should all be gooey and tasty. Bon appetit!
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