Sunday, June 3, 2012

Celebrate Your Heritage #SundaySupper...Featuring Chicken Enchiladas Suizas

I'm so happy to be a member of #SundaySupper, a fabulous group of food bloggers who share Isabel from Family Foodie's mission to Bring Back Sunday Supper Around the Family Table. This week's theme is Celebrate Your Heritage. My half of Casa Garcia is sort of a mixed bag -- a little Scots-Irish, a little English...and even some Native American on my Daddy’s side. We didn’t celebrate any one heritage growing up...unless you count Texan! But, Michael’s half of Casa Garcia is Spanish and Mexican. So, it was a no-brainer that I’d ride his coattails for this week’s theme. 

I adore Mexican you can probably guess from searching my recipe archives. If it's spicy and cheesy, I'm likely going to love it!! I wanted to try something new to me, so I decided to share Chicken Enchiladas Suizas this week...including homemade sauce. I toyed with the idea of making homemade corn tortillas, but I quickly changed my mind. I live in San Antonio, so I can buy fresh corn tortillas just up the street from my home.

I immediately knew who to turn to find the perfect enchilada recipe! One of my favorite chefs is Rick Bayless...I really appreciate his dedication to traditional Mexican ingredients and cooking techniques. We’ve been fortunate enough to dine at his Frontera Grill in Chicago several times the past few years, and it’s one of our favorite restaurants. I own every Rick Bayless cookbook, so I just knew that he’d be able to walk me through making these enchiladas. 

I made two very slight tweaks to his recipe: I used one jalapeno and one serrano pepper in my sauce to make sure the heat level wasn’t too over-the-top. I also mixed some of the cheese into the chicken filling in addition to melting it on my book, a double shot of cheese is never a bad thing! Other than that, I followed his recipe to the letter. Chicken, spicy-tangy enchilada sauce, melty cheese, and earthy corn tortillas. What else do you need, really?!?!? Come see just how easy it is to make fantastic chicken enchiladas suiza from scratch!

Chicken Enchiladas Suizas 
gently adapted from Rick Bayless via Food and Wine

Step 1: Heat a small non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add one jalapeno and one serrano pepper and roast until softened and discolored. Let cool, then remove seeds and membranes. Place two 14-ounce cans of well-drained diced tomatoes in a food processor...I used one can fire-roasted and one can petite diced. Add the peppers and process until it's a smooth puree. Set aside while you get the enchilada sauce going.

Step 2:  Add 1.5 tbs. vegetable oil to a large skillet with high sides. Heat over medium heat and add 2/3 cup finely diced white onion. Cook for about 7 minutes, then add the reserved tomato puree. Turn heat to medium-high and cook until the sauce has thickened to the consistency of tomato paste -- stirring every couple of minutes. This will take 15-20 minutes.

Step 3:  Reduce heat to med-low and add 1.5 cups chicken stock. Stir well to combine and simmer for 15 minutes. Then, add 1/2 cup whipping cream and stir well to combine. Remove from heat. This is your suiza enchilada sauce.

Step 4:  Add 2 cups shredded chicken breast to a bowl. I roasted two bone-in chicken breasts, but you can buy a roasted chicken at the deli as well. Add 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce and 1/2 cup Mexican blend cheddar cheese and stir well to combine. 

Heat oven to 350. Add 1/4 cup of the sauce to the bottom of four flat-bottom gratin dishes. Wrap 8 corn tortillas in a clean kitchen towel. Dampen the towel with water, and steam the tortillas in the microwave for 1 minute. Keeping the rest of the tortillas inside the damp towel, remove one at a time. Add 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture to each tortilla and roll up. Place two enchiladas seam side down in each dish, then top with a generous amount of the suiza sauce to cover. Top with 1/3 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend. Bake until the cheese melts and begins to brown -- about 15 minutes.

When I make Mexican food, I want it to be as authentic as possible...Michael’s grandmothers were the real deal: they made tamales, tortillas, hojarasca cookes, and other specialties. My stuff has to be pretty legit to meet his approval. His verdict on these enchiladas was two enthusiastic thumbs up...after asking for seconds! I like to think that his Grandma Valverde and Grandma Garcia are smiling down at his gringa wife’s attempts to keep their culinary traditions going! I served these enchiladas with Mexican rice and borracho beans...simple sides that let the enchiladas be the star of the show. 

I hope you'll check out what my fellow #SundaySupper participants are sharing from their cultures today:

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