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DG’s Enchiladas for Cinco de Mayo

DG’s Enchiladas for Cinco de Mayo

Beyond the Books

“For them as don’t know, an enchilada is an item of traditional Mexican food, composed of a tortilla (mostly corn tortillas) rolled into a cylinder around some type of filling (traditionally cheese, but can be anything from chicken or beef to spinach, mushrooms, and seafood, particularly in nouveau Southwest or turista restaurants), covered with a spicy sauce, and baked. (Some restaurants don’t bother rolling their enchiladas, and just sprinkle cheese and fillings between flat tortillas, but we Do Not Approve.)”

Diana Gabaldon, VoyagesoftheArtemis.blogspot.ca, 2009

SO LET IT BE WRITTEN.  SO LET IT BE DONE.

Cinco de Mayo is celebrated across the United States, but only regionally in Mexico, primarily in the state of Puebla,where the holiday is called El Día de la Batalla de Puebla (The Day of the Battle of Puebla).  The date is observed in the US as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride, while in Puebla, the date is observed to commemorate the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

Which brings us to OK’s second party in one week!  First was JAMMF’s birthday (have you entered the Celtic Knot Napkin Ring Giveaway yet?)… and now, here we are, smoothly(?) segueing into an authentic enchilada recipe from our favourite author.   She may be of Mexican descent (on one side), but she can sure write a good ol’ ripping yarn about a Highland warrior rich with personal power.

enchiladas for cinco de mayo

The following recipes are my interpretations of Diana’s instructions, originally published here.

Don’t be turned off by the length of this post.  The ingredient list is pretty basic, and the sauce recipe makes enough for 2 dozen enchiladas — choose from Diana’s cheese enchiladas or chicken ones.  My Englishman and I enjoyed both.  The last recipe is for pico de gallo, a fresh cut salsa that makes the perfect “salad” accompaniment to a plate of cheesy, saucy enchiladas.

You can have the sauce made and 2 dozen enchiladas assembled in about 75-90 minutes.  At that point, they’re ready to go into the oven or freezer.  Make some for tonight and some for a future date.

Culinary time travel via the freezer is the best way to eat well everyday.

chili-

(Click on the title below for a printable version of the recipe.)

DG’s Enchilada Sauce

A deliciously authentic homemade sauce, passed down to Diana by her father, Tony Gabaldon.

Yield:  sauce for approx 2 dozen enchiladas

  • Vegetable Oil – ¼ Cup
  • Garlic, minced – 6 cloves
  • All-Purpose Flour – ¼ Cup
  • Tomato Sauce – 2 Cups (DG uses El Pato brand tomato sauce, which has red chili already in it)
  • Water – 2 Cups
  • Red Chili (puree, frozen, powdered, or already mixed with the tomato sauce) – to taste
  • Salt – ½ tsp

Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat.  When shimmering, reduce heat to low and add garlic, stirring constantly until golden, 1-2 minutes.  Sprinkle in flour and stir to form a smooth paste.  Cook, stirring constantly for 2 more minutes.

Add tomato sauce and stir quickly to avoid lumps, then add water and stir to combine.  Taste and add

red chili as desired (I used about 3 tablespoons of homemade New Mexico chili puree).  Cook over low heat, until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Season with salt and keep warm on low until ready to roll enchiladas. (Thin with a few drops of water if it becomes too thick during assembly.)

Notes:

  • If using powdered chili, add a couple of pinches, allow the sauce to sit for at least 15 minutes, then taste and add more if desired.
  • If using minced raw red chilies, start with 2 tablespoons and go from there.

enchilada-station

(Click on the title below for a printable version of the recipe.)

DG’s Cheese Enchiladas for Cinco de Mayo

The real deal, from Diana and her late father, Tony Gabaldon.  Get everything prepped and ready before you start to roll your enchiladas, and you’ll avoid getting sauce on every surface of the kitchen.

Yield:  12 Enchiladas

  • Vegetable Oil – for frying
  • DG’s Enchilada Sauce, warm – ½ recipe
  • Corn Tortillas – 1 dozen
  • Cheddar Cheese, grated – 1 pound, plus additional for garnish
  • Onion, chopped – ½ small (optional)

Move the rack to the centre and preheat oven to 375° F.

Heat 1” oil in a small frying pan over med. high heat to 350°F.

Meanwhile, arrange a 13”x9” baking dish and a clean dinner plate on the counter next to the stove, along with the tortillas, cheese and onion.

With a pair of tongs, dip a fresh corn tortilla into the hot oil for 2-3 seconds (just long enough for the oil to sputter). Let excess oil run off into the pan, then dip the flexible tortilla into the sauce, turning it over to coat both sides.

Lay the sauce-coated tortilla on the dinner plate and spread a handful of cheese in a thick line across the centre of the tortilla (you’re aiming for a cylinder about two fingers thick). Sprinkle onions (if using) lightly over the cheese. Roll the tortilla into a cylinder and arrange in the baking dish.  Repeat until all of the tortillas are used.

When the baking dish is full, ladle remaining sauce to cover the enchiladas thoroughly, and s

prinkle additional cheese on top for garnish.  Bake 10 to 15 minutes, until cheese is thoroughly melted (there will be clear liquid from the melted cheese bubbling at the edge of the dish), and the enchiladas look slightly shrunken and sunken.

Serve hot.

Buen Apetito!

Notes:

  • I used grated jalapeno-studded Monteray Jack to garnish the enchiladas before putting them in the oven, but you can use more cheddar or any cheese of your choice.
  • I serve these with lots of pico de gallo — a fresh cut salsa that makes the perfect “salad” accompaniment to a plate of cheesy enchiladas.

cheese-enchiladas copy

(Click on the title below for a printable version of the recipe.)

Chicken Enchiladas for Cinco de Mayo

OK’s interpretations of DG’s instructions for a chicken version of her famous cheese enchiladas.  Get everything prepped and ready before you start to roll your enchiladas, and you’ll avoid getting sauce on every surface of the kitchen.

Yield:  12 Enchiladas

  • Chicken Thighs, boneless & skinless – 6
  • Ground Cumin – 2 tsp
  • Chili Powder – 2 tsp
  • Salt – ½ tsp
  • Cilantro, chopped – ½ bunch
  • Red Onion, chopped – ½ small
  • Vegetable Oil – for frying
  • DG’s Enchilada Sauce, warm – ½ recipe
  • Corn Tortillas – 1 dozen
  • Cheddar Cheese, grated – ⅓ to ½ pound

Move the rack to the centre and preheat oven to 300° F.

Trim the chicken thighs of extra fat.  Mix together the cumin, chili powder and salt and rub into the chicken.  Arrange the seasoned thighs in a small pan, cover with foil and roast in the oven for 75-90 minutes, or until the meat is tender enough to pull apart with 2 forks.

Shred the chicken, toss with cilantro and onion and set aside.

Increase the oven temperature to 375°F.

Heat 1” oil in a small frying pan over med. high heat to 350°F.

Meanwhile, arrange a 13”x9” baking dish and a clean dinner plate on the counter next to the stove, along with the tortillas, chicken mixture and cheese.

With a pair of tongs, dip a fresh corn tortilla into the hot oil for 2-3 seconds (just long enough for the oil to sputter). Let excess oil run off into the pan, then dip the flexible tortilla into the sauce, turning it over to coat both sides.

Lay the sauce-coated tortilla on the dinner plate and spread a handful of chicken in a thick line across the centre of the tortilla along with a very little bit of cheese (you’re aiming for a cylinder about two fingers thick). Roll the tortilla into a cylinder and arrange in the baking dish.  Repeat until all of the tortillas are used.
When the baking dish is full, ladle remaining sauce to cover the enchiladas thoroughly, and sprinkle remaining cheese on top for garnish.  Bake 10 to 15 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly, and the enchiladas look slightly shrunken and sunken.

Serve hot.

Buen Apetito!

Notes:

  • Leftover chicken also works well in this recipe, toss with a little cumin, chili and salt and proceed with the recipe!
  • Enchiladas freeze well before baking.  The tortillas breakdown slightly, resulting in more of a casserole, but given the work and mess involved in assembly, it’s well worth the effort to make a few extras for another day.
  • I serve these with lots of pico de gallo — a fresh cut salsa that makes the perfect “salad” accompaniment to a plate of cheesy enchiladas.

chicken filling enchiladas for cinco de mayo

(Click on the title below for a printable version of the recipe.)

Pico de Gallo for Cinco de Mayo

Roma tomatoes (in season) make the best Pico de Gallo.  As most of us aren’t quite there yet, I used hothouse tomatoes on the vine — not as good as the late summer, ripened on the vine variety — but tasty enough to satisfy.  Exact quantities aren’t important here…add a little more of this and a little less of that to make it your own.

Yield:  about 2 cups

Tomatoes, seeds and core removed, finely diced – 4 medium
Red Onion, finely diced – 1 small
Jalapeno (seeds & all), minced – 1 large
Cilantro, chopped – ½ bunch
Lime Zest & Juice – 1 whole
Salt – to taste

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a bowl.  Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 2 hours to allow the flavours to develop.  Season with salt just before serving.

Best eaten the same day.

Buen Apetito!

Notes:

  • If you’re very sensitive to spice, remove and discard the seeds and pith from the jalapeno before chopping.

chicken filling enchiladas for cinco de mayo

20 Comments

  1. Karen Henry
    May 5, 2012 at 4:18 am

    They look yummy!
    Karen

    • Theresa
      May 7, 2012 at 6:39 am

      Thanks, Karen!

  2. Stephanie Russell (@StephRussell26)
    May 5, 2012 at 5:16 am

    You used the aji colorado! Stoked! I’ve been wanting to add them to an enchilada recipe and you beat me to it. They look ah-mazing!

    • Theresa
      May 7, 2012 at 6:39 am

      They were amazing! And the aji colorado made all the difference. Now that’s some flavour!

  3. OutlanderFan
    May 5, 2012 at 5:54 am

    omigosh Mexican food is my FAVORITE!!! They look SO delicious/what a treat/thank you for sharing this!!!

    • Theresa
      May 7, 2012 at 6:38 am

      It’s one of my faves too, OutlanderFan…my pleasure!

  4. Kate Johnston
    May 5, 2012 at 8:19 am

    Nom nom nom

    • Theresa
      May 7, 2012 at 6:38 am

      add some cumin…and you’ve got a party!

  5. dearli13
    May 5, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    this looks AMAZING!!!! i can’t wait to try this recipe. even though it’s not technically “outlander”, i REALLY hope this makes it into the cookbook!!!

    thanks OK for always posting delicious and easy to follow recipes!

    • Theresa
      May 7, 2012 at 6:37 am

      Thanks, Lior — and they’re gluten free! (almost — the flour in the sauce is easy to replace)

    • dearli13
      May 7, 2012 at 10:38 am

      yay! even better!! 🙂

  6. lionartcreation
    May 7, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    I LOVE Mexican food….mmmmmm

  7. deniz
    May 19, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    Ooh, I love this recipe. Still haven’t gotten around to making it though. But I should at least make the sauce – bet it could be used for all sorts of other dishes.

  8. William Still
    June 11, 2014 at 11:39 am

    Being a 4th generation native of Arizona as well as a professional chef I have eaten more than my share of wonderful enchiladas. I have traveled the world and have never tasted enchiladas made anywhere else that compare to those in the southwest, mainly Arizona and New Mexico. In New Mexico they rely more on the chile for the base of the sauce while in Arizona we add a bit of tomato or stock to soften the sharpness of the chile.
    I made Diana Gabaldon’s sauce and found it to be a flavorful sauce that can be adjusted to the cooks taste for heat by adding more of less of the chile which is the intention of a sauce such as this. I am now looking forward to the premiere of the Outlander series on STARZ so that I can have a party with Dundee cake, Cherry bounce and lots of other good Scottish delights. I might even include some enchiladas made with this sauce recipe as a tribute to my favorite Arizona Author, Diana Gabaldon.

    • Theresa
      June 18, 2014 at 6:54 am

      Great information, William! Thanks for sharing. Watch for my premiere party menu coming up soon!

  9. Pam Rutter
    July 24, 2014 at 6:33 am

    Hi Theresa- Thought you might like to see this link… http://terrydresbach.wordpress.com/2014/03/02/my-mothers-meat-sauce/
    Would be fun for you to have more cast/crew favorites here on your site along with DG’s enchilada’s!

    Love Love Love Outlander Kitchen!!
    Pam

    • Theresa
      July 24, 2014 at 8:56 am

      Yes, I have seen Terry’s recipe…thanks, Pam!

  10. Martha
    December 3, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    Try the recipe for enchiladas Sinaloa style. They are THE most exotic,diferent and traditional enchiladas in México. I’m from Sinaloa and can tell you there’s nothing like them in mexican cuisine;our traditional food is very diferent from the rest of the country and one of the reasons why people visit us.

  11. Kristine
    December 21, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    I made these last weekend and everyone loved them!! I used the recipe from the Outlandish companion as I hadn’t seen the recipe here yet. YUM!

Comments are closed.