Daring Cooks May Challenge: Enchiladas

Our hosts this month, Barbara of Barbara Bakes and Bunnee of Anna+Food have chosen a delicious Stacked Green Chile & Grilled Chicken Enchilada recipe in celebration of Cinco de Mayo! The recipe, featuring a homemade enchilada sauce was found on www.finecooking.com and written by Robb Walsh.

Uff, Mexican food. I have bad memories about it - being in Norway and everyone eating that store-bougt Fajitas tasting like coming straight from the labaratory. But well, the Daring challenge recipes alway turn out to taste great so I gave it a try. The challenge was to make a home made enchilada sauce and (optional) tortillas. The recipe given was with green chiles and tomatillos and looked tempting, but I found only canned tomatillos offered in online stores with delivery times of 2 weeks and shipping charges twice the price of the tomatillos. So I decided for one of the recipes given as links - chocolate mole - from one of my favourite foodblogs. A long time ago I watched this movie about the Mexican painter, Frida Kahlo, in which the mole played a substantial role (concerning the food consumed) and ever since I wondered what this mole may be. Now the mystery of the famous Mexican mole was to be discovered by me!

Flour tortillas
  • 3 cups (375g) unbleached flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4-6 Tbsp. (60 g) vegetable shortening or lard
  • about 1 1/4 cups (200 ml) warm water
Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add vegetable shortening or lard. Use a fork or a pastry cutter to cut in the shortening or just do it the old fashioned way and use your hands. Add warm water a little at a time until your dough is soft and not sticky. Knead the dough for a few minutes. Now you will pull off pieces of dough to form about 12 small dough balls.Let them rest for at least 10 minutes. Heat up the pan (I used my crepe pan) to medium to high heat.Now you can roll out the dough with your rolling pin, dust each ball with a little flour just before you roll them out. Roll them out fairly thin. Lay your tortilla on the hot pan. It takes just a few seconds to cook. Flip to the other side. When they are done it should have lots of nice brown speckles.

Chocolate Mole Sauce
adapted from David Lebovitz
  • 2 roasted chiles, skinned, seeds removed
  • 1/3 cup (25g) sliced almonds
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1-2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cup (45g) diced prunes
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon each: cinnamon, ground cloves, dried oregano, powdered cumin, ground coriander, ground anise seeds
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 3 cups of water (or more, as needed)
  • 1 oz (28g) unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • one can (400 g) cooked and peeled tomatoes
In a small skillet, sauté onion in vegetable oil until soft and translucent. Add garlic and sauté another minute. Add spices and herbs and cook, stirring constantly, for about 30 seconds, being careful not to let them burn.In a blender, grind together the almonds, cooked onions, chiles, tomatoes, spices, prunes, sesame seeds, salt, pepper, and water. Puree until smooth. Melt the chocolate in the pan, add mole basis and the canned tomatoes and stir until completely combined, season again.

Note: The original recipe uses 5 dried chiles. I liked the idea of the roasted chiles of the recipe given with the challenge and used 4 roasted Habanero chiles which was way to much. The sauce turned out to be delicious but to spicy to eat for us. We had to drink a lot of milk to be able to eat it ... The hint of chocolate was titillating my palate, next time I may add more.

  • two boneless chicken breasts
  • oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 170 g cheddar, grated
Heat a gas grill to medium high or build a medium-hot charcoal Coat the chicken with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Grill the chicken until just cooked through, 4-5 minutes a side for boneless chicken breasts (I used my grill pan which took longer, about 10 minutes a side). Cool and then slice into thin strips or shred. In a small skillet, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat until very hot. Dip the edge of a tortilla into the oil to check - it should sizzle immediately. Using tongs, put a tortilla into the pan and cook until soft and lightly brown on each side, about 15-20 seconds per side (at the most). Drain on paper towels. Add oil as needed and continue until all 12 tortillas are done. In a baking dish large enough to hold four separate stacks of tortillas, ladle a thin layer of sauce. Lay four tortillas in the dish and ladle another ½ cup (4 ounces/112 grams) of sauce over the tortillas. Divide half the chicken among the first layer of tortillas, top with another ½ cup of sauce and 1/3 of the grated cheese. Stack another four tortillas, top with the rest of the chicken, more sauce and another third of the cheese. Finish with the third tortilla, topped with the remaining sauce and cheese. Bake until the sauce has thickened and the cheese melted, about 20 minutes. Let rest for 5-10 minutes.

The stacks may also be cooked in individual gratin dishes - that is what I did.

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