There are some dishes that you save for company. These dishes either are so amazingly good that you don’t want to waste them on a regular night. Or they are so amazingly complex that a regular night just doesn’t have the time in it for preparation.
One of my dishes like this is enchiladas. At first glance, this dish doesn’t seem complex enough to warrant its being classified as company food. I even used canned sauce (gasp!!!) rather than make my own homemade. Yet somehow I manage to make the seemingly simple steps turn into a situation whose complexity rivals that of the synaptic network of the human brain.
Luckily for me, I have a friend who a) I love very much and is way worth any complex company food I could ever make and b) is from New York so doesn’t realize that canned enchilada sauce isn’t the best ever and therefore c) requests enchiladas every time she comes to visit.
So while our boys played together, offering us a reprieve from the seemingly constant barrage of “Play with me, Mommy,” she and I chatted while I used up every dish in the kitchen making enchiladas (which, by the way, uses exactly 0 vegetables from my CSA).
- whole chicken, boiled then meat picked off of the bones (if you are feeling particularly productive, you can boil the chicken with leeks, carrot, celery, parsley, thyme, etc . . . and make a stock which you can freeze for other dishes)
- onion, finely chopped
- black olives, chopped
- jack cheese, grated
- sharp cheddar, grated
- green chiles, chopped
- corn tortillas
- canned green sauce (I like to mix La Palma (childhood brand my mom uses) with Hatch)
- more cheddar and jack cheese, grated
Mix this stuff all up in a big bowl to taste. I like more onion and chile to my cheese and chicken.
Now this is where it gets way messy: heat the oil in a small pan that is large enough to lay a corn tortilla flat in it. When the oil is hot, add a corn tortilla until it starts to soften. Transfer tortilla to a plate. Spoon a little sauce on it. The spoon a little filling on it. Roll it up and transfer to a baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Repeat this process until you have filled the baking dish. Pour the rest of the green sauce over the rolled enchiladas. Top with cheese. Bake covered in a 350F oven for 30 minutes. Then covered for another 15. Let it sit for about 15 minutes before serving.
Serve this will rice and beans and guacamole. Your New York friends will love it.