I love Mexican food and the flavors of the American Southwest. And sometimes I just crave this one particular no name meal I make.
My cousin asked me what I called what I made for dinner, and I couldn’t exactly tell her because I don’t know anybody else that makes it. It’s kind of pork carne asada inspired burritos meets enchiladas. Those are the things that inspire this yummy winter dinner.
So this is my attempt to write it down. I always remember how to make it but so many people keep asking me I figured I would try to get it written down.
I sautéed pork (six small boneless pork chops sliced as if I was making fajitas) with 1 sweet onion, cilantro, 1 red onion, a couple jalapeños (not seeded), bell peppers, Mexican spices (Tajin seasoning and Hatch chili powder, garlic powder, Goya Adobo, oregano, basil) , 2 limes grated for zest, juice of two limes and 1/4 cup water.
Then I make a little Mexican inspired tomato sauce with chili powder, red onion, jalapeños, cilantro, grated lime zest, juice of one lime, small can diced tomatoes, 1 6 oz can tomato paste.
Next I lined a 9” x 12” pan with non stick foil and rolled up in large tortillas one at a time the pork mixture, shredded Mexican cheese and fat free refried beans. Line up side by side – you can fit six. Layer on tomato sauce, top with shredded Mexican cheese blend, a little more sauce. Cover pan with foil and bake in a preheated 350° oven for 30 minutes.
Serve with Mexican inspired rice, sour cream, pickled jalapeños if you choose, more cilantro, etc.
Two full boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into small chunks.
(Two full boneless breasts weigh about a pound – I buy the family packs at the grocery store and plunk them two at a time in quart freezer bags)
Goya Tomato Sofrito
El Pato Mexican hot style tomato sauce (7 3/4 oz can)
La Morena sliced red jalapeños in Morena sauce (7 oz can)
Can of refried beans- either red pinto or black beans
Soft fajita sized white flour tortillas
Crema Mexicano ( Mexican sour cream)
One bunch fresh cilantro
Goya adobo spice mix
New Mexico Style Chili Powder
Smoked Spanish paprika
Salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano
Shredded Quesos La Ricura
La Costena Taquiera Salsa Hot
La Costena Green Mexican Salsa Verde
One Vidalia or sweet onion cut into thin slices, then cut slices in half
Cut the raw chicken into small chunks. Place in a large sauté pan that has had some olive oil in the bottom warming. Just a few tablespoons of olive oil. Dust the chicken with Goya Adobo seasoning to taste, a few dashes of garlic powder, a few dashes of oregano, and about a teaspoon and a half of smoked paprika.
Add in your onion slices and about a third of a cup of Goya Tomato Softito. Add a couple of dashes of New Mexico style chili powder. (you can order that from Whole Spice in California on Amazon).
Cook the onion and chicken down on a medium to low heat until you can basically shred the chicken and the onion is starting to almost dissolve it’s so soft. Turn off the heat and to that at the zest of one lime and the juice of one lime and as much fresh chopped cilantro as you want. Adjust with salt and pepper if needed.
Set aside and let the flavors meld together for about 45 minutes on the stove with no heat under it.
Heat up your can of refried beans over low heat in a small sauce pan with a little of olive oil in the bottom to keep the beans from sticking. To the beans add a little dash of the Goya Adobo Seasoning (I buy the real Mexican refried beans from my local Latino market), and add about 1/3 of a can of the pickled red jalapeños mentioned in the ingredients minced up and the Morena sauce it came in. Stir it up well, add a little fresh cilantro, and once the beans are heated through turn the stove off under this pot as well.
Go do something else for 45 minutes total for both. Set the table, clean up your prep with the chicken, empty the dishwasher, whatever.
After you have let the sauté pan and the sauce pan and the various contents set, come back to your kitchen and preheat your oven to 345°.
Line a baking pan that you would use for a sheet cake or brownies with aluminum foil. The pan I use is actually a vintage aluminum rectangular pan came from the kitchen supply house.
Take out six flour tortillas and one at a time first on the bottom of the tortilla layer refried bean mixture, and then put the chicken and onion mixture on top of that. Add a little shredded queso and roll your tortilla into a tube.
Repeat this six times. I made six enchiladas from this recipe.
When you have the tortillas now enchiladas with all their stuffing rolled up like little tubes and lined up next to each other in the foil lined pan like neat little soldiers you’re almost ready to put in the oven.
Take your can of spicy Mexican tomato sauce and pour evenly over your enchiladas. Generously layer shredded Queso to taste over the sauce and enchiladas. Cover your pan tightly with aluminum foil and put in your preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Everything is already cooked, so it truly just needs to heat through and melt. But you must do this with a pan that is covered with aluminum foil or the enchiladas will dry out.
When you bring them out of the oven let them sit for a couple of minutes before you take the foil top off.
Serve the enchiladas with Mexican sour cream,chopped fresh cilantro, a salsa Verde, and a spicy red salsa. I suggest the brand I list above specifically in the ingredients.
There are no leftovers when I make this. Ever.
And FYI if you are in Chester County and reading this recipe, I use the little Mexican market at the bottom of where Route 352 meets Route 30 in Frazer. They have a small Taquiera attached called El Jalapeño .
This little market has several kinds of Latin American sour cream, Quesos and so on. They basically so all the supplies the grocery store should if you want to do a Latin inspired meal but don’t.
I was told I had to write down this recipe, so I have. It is something that started in my head as I scanned the shelves of this little market. I also do this with leftover pork roast instead of chicken.
It’s cooking week apparently…and doctor? I think I am nesting. My friend Linda even caught me in an apron. (There will be no film at 11 lest I suddenly spot orthopedic oxfords and a hair net too.)
Today homemade Mexican was just calling my name.
One of the other fun things about Chester County is tucked in here and there are little ethnic grocery stores and organic grocery stores, in addition to regular grocery stores and farm markets. I have also discovered the regular grocery stores have a better selection than their counterparts I was used to on the Main Line. And I am not even talking Wegmans, which while lovely I find waaaaayyy too expensive.
So today there I was minding my own business and that chicken I roasted the other night practically screamed “enchiladas!” so I thought, why not?
While I was out dodging the Buicks from the Retirement Vatican also known as Hershey’s Mill, I thought I would like fresh salsa too, so I picked up all the ingredients, snipped herbs from garden and dinner smells marvelous and is only a few minutes away from being served.
I would have to kill you if I told you my secret enchilada recipe, but I will tell you today it also contains fresh Queso which I found in my travels today – in the dairy case, not by the side of the road.
My salsa recipe – which gets tweaked here and there:
4 round, ripe, preferably organic or local tomatoes (not huge, just average)
1 large red onion
1 yellow or orange sweet pepper
1 small bunch of cilantro
fresh basil, oregano minced
1 packet of Goya Sazon
Dash sweet paprika
Dash smoked paprika
salt and pepper
Lime zest of two limes, juice of three limes
1 pleasantly plump Jalapeno pepper, diced and seeded
It’s not rocket science, only salsa, so chop it up, toss it in a blender or food processor and pulse until desired consistency is achieved (we are of a couple different minds in my house – I like it more chunky, the boy and the man prefer it a little more smooth even if to me that is Gazpacho’s kissing cousin.)