Cook With Abandon – Enchiladas Verdes

“Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.” ~Harriet van Horne

Apparently I’m getting wimpy. I thought it would be wise to put in half of the peppers and then taste the salsa to see if it needed more spicy hot. So I made it up with three little green chili peppers and tasted it and it kicked back. So I had my guest try it, warning him it’s spicy hot. He took a taste and stared off into space. Thinking it must have taken his breath away, I go, “So, what do you think? Is it too spicy?” He goes, “I’m still waiting for it to kick in.” I’m like, hum, that’s odd.

Then I serve the meal and warned another friend it was spicy. She goes, “Maybe just a small piece, I don’t like spicy.” Then she LOVED it and ate the the WHOLE thing! Meanwhile, I could barely get mine down it was so hot. Finally, I just picked out all of the little green pepper pieces and left them on my plate. My hubby says I’m a wimp and next time I need to put all five peppers in. I’ll let you judge for yourself…

Enchiladas Verdes

One Fresh Chicken
2 cups frozen chicken broth or 2 vegetable bouillon cubes
1/4 onion
1 clove garlic
2 tsp (càc) salt
1 pound fresh tomatillos – about a dozen
5 fresh green serrano peppers – I use three
1/4 onion
1 clove garlic
1 pinch salt
12 corn tortillas
1/4 cup (6cl) vegetable oil
1 cup (100g) crumbled queso fresco
1/2 onion
1 bunch fresh cilantro

In a large pot, combine chicken breast with chicken broth, one quarter onion, a crushed garlic clove, and salt. Cover the pot over medium-low heat, and boil the stuffing out of that chicken! (about 20 minutes) Pull the chicken out of the liquid, and let it cool in a strainer over the pot in front of a big drafty window.

When it’s cool enough to handle shred the chicken with your hands.

Place the tomatillos in a pot of water, enough to cover them. Bring them to a boil, and continue boiling just until the tomatillos turn a different shade of green (bright green to dull army green). Strain tomatillos and place in a blender with the reserved chicken broth, and another quarter piece of onion, another crushed garlic clove, a pinch of salt, and serrano peppers chopped up with scissors. Blend. Ta-da! Green Salsa!

Fry your corn tortillas in vegetable oil and layer with paper towels between them. Dip the crunchy tortillas in salsa to soften them, stuff them with shredded chicken and a scoop of salsa. Roll the wrap, top with a scoop of salsa, queso fresco, chopped cilantro, and the rest of the onion, chopped.

***VARIATION – Flour tortillas stray a bit from the authentic tradition, but sometimes I need recipes that I can make ahead and pop in the oven at the last moment. So I shredded the chicken and purée the salsa then right before my guests arrive I stuff big floppy burrito tortillas with chicken, salsa and sour cream. Then I wrap them and snuggle them together for a nap in a shallow baking dish. I cover them with green salsa while they bake fifteen minutes. Then I serve them with extra green salsa, onions and sour cream. Yum!

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