It's weird, I've pretty much posted my complete pre-blog repertoire of recipes. In fact, I ran out of old recipes some time ago, like maybe a year or so. So everything I've posted since then has been brand new to me in one way or another, either I had never made it or never had it. Which is cool since one of my main reasons for starting a blog was that I wanted to force myself to try new recipes, methods and ingredients. Plus it means I have to write my recipes down, which I'm wicked bad at. But it was also my first time making enchiladas and I didn't feel like using a recipe. So, I just kind of made it up as I went along based on my memories of the enchiladas my mom makes.
See my mom grew up in southern California and has a deep love of Mexican food. She makes all kinds of awesomeness, including enchiladas. But she isn't really a recipe person. Well, that's not quite right, she loves recipes and has a substantial collection of cookbooks, not to mention the books of clippings of recipes from newspapers and magazines. But she doesn't usually follow them. She uses them as a guideline and just kind of works from there. So each time my mom would make enchiladas they were never exactly the same.
And since she's the one who taught me how to cook when I want to try something new my first reaction isn't to find a recipe that sounds good and follow it. It's to find half a dozen recipes, pull out what I think sounds good from all of them and see what happens.
Anyway, she has several themes for enchiladas and when I was a kid she would make two or three different kinds at a time. One of the ones she would make was a chicken one with green chilies and a white sauce and it was definitely my favorite. I remember when I asked her for the recipe, I got a fairly typical response to such a request. It pretty much went like this:
Me: Mom, what's the recipe for those green chili enchiladas?
Mom: Oh you know, I cook the chicken with some spices...
Me: What spices?
Mom: Mexican ones. Cumin, oregano, garlic, probably cilantro... stuff like that.
Me: Er, proportions?
Mom: You know, some. More if you want. Then I roll them up, make the sauce, pour it over...
Me: Wait, roll what up? And what's in the sauce?
Mom: Roll up the chicken that you just cooked! Oh and shredded. And some cheese. It's white sauce. With a can of green chilies.Me: But what's in it?
Mom: White sauce stuff! Milk, flour, butter, whisking.
Mom: Then you put cheese on it and cook it.Me: At what temp?
Mom: Hot. But not too hot!Me: ... thanks.
And that's why we don't have that many family recipes. I'm pretty sure my siblings are like that too, although some of us are worse than others. I know I'm wicked bad. One of my sisters called me once to ask at what temperature I cooked a chicken dish (that I make all the time). My response was "... 350?".
So in short my excuse for not having a recipe for these awesome enchiladas is genetics. But next time I make them I'll write stuff down, I promise!
Here's pretty much what I did though. The filling is shredded chicken and beans. I braised the chicken until it was tender with some Mexican spices (cumin, oregano, probably cilantro... stuff like that), onions and garlic. Then I took out the chicken, added a can of rinsed pinto beans and let them simmer, covered, in the braising liquid for a couple hours. Then I added the shredded chicken back in, rolled it up, poured on some white sauce with maybe a quarter cup of some roasted green chilies my brother gave me and cooked it in an oven that was hot, but not too hot. Oh, with some cheese. They were wicked good.
I would also like to point out my awesome new La Creuset 9x13" pan, which I won from Danielle at Cooking for my Peace of Mind, that I made these in. Thanks Danielle!