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David Ross

Enchiladas--Cook-Off 46

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Jaymes: are you able to get good texture for your tortillas as those massive dinner parties? It seems to me that rancho_gordo is right, that if you want to have some bite to the tortillas you have to sauce and serve quickly, with no baking step.

The texture is not as perfect as right out of the pan, but it is still very good.

Honestly, if they didn't turn out well, I wouldn't serve them to dozens of guests, you know? I have a lot of serving platters and glasses and dishes and centerpiece items and other bric-a-brac for Mexican-themed dinner parties, so I do that a lot and I think they're pretty good. I get lots of compliments and there are never any left. I do try to buy best-quality and freshest tortillas. The only time I have trouble is when I get kinda lazy and fry them too long in the oil. They get tough. But I've never had them fall apart in the baking pan. And there's just no other way that I've found to serve enchiladas as the main course at a large dinner party.

However, like I said, I'm really talking about simply reheating them for ease of serving, not doing any lengthy cooking.


Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Yes.  However, it doesn't work when enchiladas are your main course at dinner for ten.  And up.

That'd be 30 enchiladas at minimum.  And as much as I adore Ranchito, and Dios knows I do, I think even at his house, the frijoles would be cold by the time the last guest got his enchiladas.

I routinely had dinner parties for 10, 20, 30, and more.  Way more. I suppose if you want to do enchiladas and didn't want to put them in the oven, you could do them as an appetizer rather than the main.  But that's still a lot of time-consuming enchiladas to be standing there frying while your guests are out on the back patio sucking down the margaritas and having a good time.

I'll be honest, I don't think if I were having a dinner party for 10, enchiladas would probably be the last thing I'd make. I actually don't like cooking for over 8, but that's another story. If I were cooking for a crowd, I'd make a mole or some fabulous guisado thing or even tacos.

But for myself or two to four people? As I think jmeeker suggested, once you get the rhythm down, it's a breeze. You can have the beans in your favorite clay pot, keeping warm for hours and a pre-made salad you dress at the table and then there's just the enchiladas. I tend to go left to right. Left burner oil, right burner sauce, counter with plates and to the right of that fillings on a bread board. .

And again , not too much filling. The star is the chile sauce, followed by the tortillas.

After cooking, I keep the oil in a beer bottle stopped with a cork and refrigerate it until the next session. Bits of sauce go into the chicken broth for a good soup.

Sorry- I feel like I'm talking too much. There's no right or wrong but these are my tricks.


Visit beautiful Rancho Gordo!

Twitter @RanchoGordo

"How do you say 'Yum-o' in Swedish? Or is it Swiss? What do they speak in Switzerland?"- Rachel Ray

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Yes.  However, it doesn't work when enchiladas are your main course at dinner for ten.  And up.

That'd be 30 enchiladas at minimum.  And as much as I adore Ranchito, and Dios knows I do, I think even at his house, the frijoles would be cold by the time the last guest got his enchiladas.

I routinely had dinner parties for 10, 20, 30, and more.  Way more. I suppose if you want to do enchiladas and didn't want to put them in the oven, you could do them as an appetizer rather than the main.  But that's still a lot of time-consuming enchiladas to be standing there frying while your guests are out on the back patio sucking down the margaritas and having a good time.

I'll be honest, I don't think if I were having a dinner party for 10, enchiladas would probably be the last thing I'd make. I actually don't like cooking for over 8, but that's another story. If I were cooking for a crowd, I'd make a mole or some fabulous guisado thing or even tacos.

But for myself or two to four people? As I think jmeeker suggested, once you get the rhythm down, it's a breeze. You can have the beans in your favorite clay pot, keeping warm for hours and a pre-made salad you dress at the table and then there's just the enchiladas. I tend to go left to right. Left burner oil, right burner sauce, counter with plates and to the right of that fillings on a bread board. .

And again , not too much filling. The star is the chile sauce, followed by the tortillas.

After cooking, I keep the oil in a beer bottle stopped with a cork and refrigerate it until the next session. Bits of sauce go into the chicken broth for a good soup.

Sorry- I feel like I'm talking too much. There's no right or wrong but these are my tricks.

Talking too much? Are you kidding? Never. You are kind and generous to share your techniques, your "tricks." Eating your enchiladas with your wonderful and fresh tortillas and sauces in your kitchen simply cannot be beaten.

The main difference between the way you do it and the way I do it is volume. Yours is much better, my friend. Having dinner parties, primarily work-related, of anywhere from 12-100 people several times a month was no picnic.

(Except that sometimes it was. One of my 'entertaining-a-large-crowd-in-an-average-sized home' tricks was, during the summer months, pack picnic baskets for groups of 6-8 complete with glasses and a bottle of wine, divide up the guests, give each group a basket and a blanket and send them out into to the back yard.)

Not only is your food and the atmosphere in which you serve it absolutely sublime, it is a lot more relevant to the way most folks live, eat and entertain.

So talk away! Please!


Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I made "no bake" chicken enchiladas for the first time, and I'm a fan. I never realized how much the texture of the tortillas was diminished by baking in sauce.

I used a recipe for sauce from Rick Bayless, but his method for the enchiladas seemed very strange to me. He called for dipping the tortillas in the sauce first, then frying them in oil. That seemed messy and a little dangerous, so I went with the usual oil then sauce ritual. One thing I did find useful from his instructions, though, was to use a small slotted spatula to transfer the tortillas from oil to sauce to plate, rather than tongs. It seemed like however careful I was with tongs, I always seemed to tear about one out of three tortillas. This is much easier and effective.

Once I assembled the enchiladas, I did put them into a warm oven for a few minutes while I finished a few details for the rest of the dinner. Didn't seem to harm the enchiladas, but then I'm no expert.

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And I decided to make up a batch of rolled frontera border-style enchiladas just to test the 'freshness' thing. Went to my local tortillaria and got a couple dozen tortillas right off of the assembly line. They were still warm when I got home, so I can't imagine how I'd get any fresher. Did make up some chicken enchiladas in red sauce following a recipe I got years ago from a norteña friend, born and raised on a ranch in northern Mexico.

I had no trouble at all handling the fresh tortillas. Although I usually just fold, for purposes of this experiment, I did roll them, and they rolled beautifully. The final dish was absolutely wonderful.

So I am officially debunking the 'you've got to use old tortillas' thing. Fresh tortillas roll fine.


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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JAZ wrote:

I used a recipe for sauce from Rick Bayless, but his method for the enchiladas seemed very strange to me. He called for dipping the tortillas in the sauce first, then frying them in oil. That seemed messy and a little dangerous, so I went with the usual oil then sauce ritual. One thing I did find useful from his instructions, though, was to use a small slotted spatula to transfer the tortillas from oil to sauce to plate, rather than tongs. It seemed like however careful I was with tongs, I always seemed to tear about one out of three tortillas. This is much easier and effective.

I normally use those scissor-style tongs and don't have much trouble, unless the tortillas are funky.

I think you did the right thing with the oil first. I'm not an enchilada expert but I don't know where that comes from.

Jaymes wrote:

So I am officially debunking the 'you've got to use old tortillas' thing. Fresh tortillas roll fine.

But I wonder if they soaked up a lot more oil. That's been the reason for older ones, I think. And the 'tooth' would have to be different. Not better or worse, but different.


Visit beautiful Rancho Gordo!

Twitter @RanchoGordo

"How do you say 'Yum-o' in Swedish? Or is it Swiss? What do they speak in Switzerland?"- Rachel Ray

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Try the dipping in sauce then oil thing sometime: it's messy, yes, but the product is quite different from going the other way, and I like them a lot. Not necessarily more than oil then sauce, but as much, I think. I don't usually try to fill that kind, though, I just fold them and put some toppings on top (I like thinly sliced white onions and a cotija (spelling?) cheese).


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Jaymes wrote:
So I am officially debunking the 'you've got to use old tortillas' thing. Fresh tortillas roll fine.

But I wonder if they soaked up a lot more oil. That's been the reason for older ones, I think. And the 'tooth' would have to be different. Not better or worse, but different.

I don't know if they soaked up more oil. Probably. And you're right that the 'tooth' was different. Much more tender.

They were really good.

The main thing, though, was that they were very easy to work with. Upthread somebody mentioned that they had a hard time rolling or folding fresh tortillas without them breaking. That didn't happen at all.


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Jaymes wrote:
So I am officially debunking the 'you've got to use old tortillas' thing. Fresh tortillas roll fine.

But I wonder if they soaked up a lot more oil. That's been the reason for older ones, I think. And the 'tooth' would have to be different. Not better or worse, but different.

I don't know if they soaked up more oil. Probably. And you're right that the 'tooth' was different. Much more tender.

They were really good.

The main thing, though, was that they were very easy to work with. Upthread somebody mentioned that they had a hard time rolling or folding fresh tortillas without them breaking. That didn't happen at all.

In my original cook-off posts I did mention that I had difficulty rolling fresh tortillas-due in part to my ignorance of how to actually prepare tortillas. It wasn't until I prepared for this enchiladas cook-off that I realized my mistake. In the past I rolled the tortillas "dry" and then sauced them. I had no clue the tortillas should be softened first.

So while it's messy and takes some last minute theatrics in the kitchen, now I dip in warm oil, dip in sauce, fill, roll and sauce again-all in just a few minutes. I've used both fresh tortillas and tortillas that I had in the freezer for months. The freshness of the tortillas didn't seem to matter as much as the dipping method I used.

And while I'm now a fan of the above method, I still get that craving for a more "Americanized" version of an enchiladas-after the dip and roll, I'll sprinkle on some shredded cheese out of a plastic bag and run the enchiladas under the broiler. I guess old tastes die hard.

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And while I'm now a fan of the above method, I still get that craving for a more "Americanized" version of an enchiladas-after the dip and roll, I'll sprinkle on some shredded cheese out of a plastic bag and run the enchiladas under the broiler.  I guess old tastes die hard.

Hey...not to worry. In Texas, we call that "comfort food."


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Try the dipping in sauce then oil thing sometime: it's messy, yes, but the product is quite different from going the other way, and I like them a lot. Not necessarily more than oil then sauce, but as much, I think. I don't usually try to fill that kind, though, I just fold them and put some toppings on top (I like thinly sliced white onions and a cotija (spelling?) cheese).

Chris, this is how the enchiladas are served in the recipe -- just folded with some toppings on top. I think Bayless called for lettuce tossed with vinegar in addition to the onion and cheese.

I'll give it a try when I get some more chiles for sauce.

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Just now, I tried my hand at enchiladas again. This time, I didn't bake them in the oven like I always had done in the past. I prepped the tortillas like I usually do (spray with oil on a sheet pan, pop into 300 ish oven until soft. took a few minutes). When the tortillas were soft, I stacked them up on one side of the sheet pan. I took one, put it on the other side of the pan. Spooned on some of the sauce and spread it around. Flipped it over. Spooned some on the other side and spreadit around. I spooned in some of the filling. (a beef mixture), then did a fold/roll, picked it up, and put it on the plate. I simply repeated this process with all of the tortillas. I spooned and spread some more sauce onto of the enchiladas. Sprinkled some cheese on top. From there, under the broiler just until the cheese melted and got bubbly. Garnished with green onions.

Here is the finished plate.

gallery_31660_4726_39062.jpg


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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I've got a bunch of fresh masa in the fridge right now, so last night I made enchiladas with homemade tortillas. I love the texture these give, being a bit thicker and more toothsome than machine-made tortillas. The filling is a basic carnitas, and the sauce is a few varieties of dried chiles, a half a white onion, and a bit of garlic, thinned with chicken stock.

3701615422_eb10f0341d_o.jpg


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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The filling is a basic carnitas,

Are you talking fried carnitas, or the carnitas of the pulled pork variety?


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Both? :unsure:

I cut the pork into approx. 1" cubes, cooked in pork stock/spice/etc. until the stock was evaporated and the pork was frying in its own fat. I let it brown up nicely like that, then cooled and shredded. Reheated, filled, ate, and it was most excellent.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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This thread has been so very helpful. I had made pulled pork from a picnic shoulder. (I've posted about it on the Dinner thread.) Last night, I used some of the pork to make Pork Enchiladas. I forgot to take photos of the dish, but I had all the ingredients to make more so I made these this morning. This is the first time I have made enchiladas using the fold and no-bake method. I really like them this way.

PorkEnchiladas-02.jpg

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Made enchiladas for the first time ever - Green chile soaked tortillas rolled around caramelized onion, poached chicken thighs, and spinach. Quite tasty!

But I couldn't get the tortilla from the oil dip to the chile bath without creating small tears which were just exacerbated once the tortillas were rolled. Also, how does one get a tight roll with such a hot, saucy, tortilla?

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I find the tortillas can rip here and there if they're too fresh.

I also have a method of removing the tortilla from the chile bath with the back of a wooden spoon and the tongs. It's just a quick visit, not a real soak.

With the rolling, I think you have to develop fingertips of asbestoes and not get too worried if sense the tortilla cooling down. You'll be pouring hot chile sauce over the top before serving.


Visit beautiful Rancho Gordo!

Twitter @RanchoGordo

"How do you say 'Yum-o' in Swedish? Or is it Swiss? What do they speak in Switzerland?"- Rachel Ray

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Another trick that may help prevent the tortilla's tearing is to warm them slightly between to damp kitchen towels. That small bit of water will soften them just before you start the dipping process.

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Posted Image

Pull pork smoked rib plate shredded. And shredded Chxn. Ready for the roll

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Its good to have Morels

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Posted Image

Chicken. Shredded, bacon, white Maytag cheddar, Taco Bell Seasoning--yes these are for my kids and they love Taco Bell-- usually @1 am

Smoked Pork, Tillamook yellow cheddar, Penzy , the pork had a dry rub seasoning

I did the hatch mild chile sauce.. Working the left overs

The tortillas are from our local Mexican resturant.

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Its good to have Morels

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Thanks everyone for referring back to this Cook-Off and pushing out some new idea. I especially like the idea of the "folded" enchilada robirdstix and Paul, your enchilada "duo" looks delicious.

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My finished un-plated --The Whole Enchilada :)

The problem-- these were for the kid, and he does his own stuff

Learning ( I know we can do better with the sauce, as most have said, canned is weak )-- The inside, I have to keep to what the family likes

12124391476_fa6869d60e_k.jpg


Its good to have Morels

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