Sunday, May 5, 2013

Enchiladas and Margaritas!

My wife has taken her amazing talent for cooking to create This Couple's Palate.  But as the name says, it is a couple's palate. One in which we both taste, enjoy, and share with you all.  However, the time has come for me to have a voice.  My name is Greg and I am Rochelle's husband.  I am the other half to this amazing blog, and in the past I have provided recipes and also been a willing guinea pig.

I want to share a cuisine that has a very special place in my heart.  Growing up in California I was fortunate to eat a lot of Mexican food, and if you know me, you know that Mexican food is one of my favorites.  I love the fact that you can take simple ingredients to create both delicious and beautiful food.

Enchiladas were one of my favorite meals growing up.  There is something about the perfect balance of cheese, sauce, and delicious fillings. I remember how my mom would make so much that my whole family would be full after dinner and yet we would still have leftovers.  There was nothing better to me than getting the whole family together to enjoy her enchiladas.  And with Cinco de Mayo today, there is no better time for me to share my interpretation of my moms recipe that I grew up with.  Also, Rochelle created a sweet and spicy cocktail to compliment my enchiladas.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we did! 

Chicken Enchiladas with Cilantro Slaw

2 medium pasilla peppers (or anaheim)
3 chicken breasts 
1 medium onion, diced 
4 whole garlic cloves, skin on
3 cloves garlic, minced
8-10 medium flour tortillas 
1 - 29 ounce can tomato sauce
16 ounces chicken stock
2 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon oregano 
8 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 limes
2 cups cabbage, chopped 
1 cup cilantro, minced 
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
1-16 ounce container sour cream, optional
Salt and pepper to taste

Cilantro Slaw
In a medium mixing bowl place cabbage, 1/2 cup of cilantro, and the juice of one lime. Mix to combine.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. 

Enchilada Sauce
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Place four garlic cloves with skin on a piece of foil. Coat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and wrap in the foil. Roast the garlic for about 15 minutes. The garlic will be slightly charred. Remove from oven. Allow to cool, peel skin from the garlic and discard. Mince and set aside.

In a small bowl combine the chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and oregano. Set aside.

In a large pot heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the flour and stir constantly until the flour starts to turn a slight brown, about 8 minutes. Then add the chicken stock, tomato sauce and combined spices. Bring to boil. Take roasted garlic from earlier and add to sauce. Reduce heat to simmer. Add juice from one lime and 1/4 cup cilantro. Simmer until it thickens about 20 minutes. Once thick, remove from heat and let cool. 

Enchilada Filling
Preheat oven to broil.  

Place the pasilla peppers on a foil lined baking sheet. Coat the peppers with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Broil the peppers for 15 minutes, turning every 5 minutes so that they are charred on all sides. Remove the peppers from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Once cool, peel the off charred outer skin and deseed the peppers. Discard the skin and seeds. Dice the peppers and set aside.

Fill a medium pot with water and bring to boil. Add the chicken breasts and boil for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pot and allow to cool for 10 minutes. 

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and minced garlic and cook for about 5 minutes, until transparent.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside and let cool.

Place the cooled chicken in a large mixing bowl. Using two forks, shred the chicken. Add the peppers, and sauteed garlic and onion to bowl. Add 1/4 cup of cilantro and mix everything thoroughly. Add the juice of 1 lime and add salt and pepper to taste. Combine well.

Assembling the Enchiladas
Turn oven to 350 degrees. 

In an 11 x 15 inch baking dish cover the bottom with a thin layer of enchilada sauce. Dredge both sides of tortillas with enchilada sauce. Place about a 1/4 cup of filling on the tortilla, fold the tortilla in thirds and place tortilla seam side down. Repeat until baking dish is full in one single layer. Top assembled enchiladas with 1-1/2 to 2 cups enchilada sauce. Top with the jack and cheddar cheese. Bake for 30-40 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 5-7 minutes.

Serve enchiladas with 1/4 cup of cilantro slaw, 2 tablespoons sour cream and extra enchilada sauce if desired. 

Note: There will be extra enchilada sauce left over. 

Serves 4-6

Mango Jalapeno Margarita

2-1/2 ounces Mango simple syrup (see instructions below)
1-1/2 ounces tequila (we prefer anjeo tequilla)
1 lime, juiced
2-3 slices of jalapeno
Salt for rim
2 lime wedges

Mango Simple Syrup

1 mango, peeled and diced
1 cup water
1 cup sugar

In a small sauce pan combine the water and sugar over medium heat.  Stir constantly until the sugar has dissolved and the syrup is clear.  Be careful not to boil.  Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.  Once cooled place the simple syrup and diced mango into a blender.  Blend until smooth.  Store in an airtight container for up to 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator.

Using a wedge of lime moisten the rim of a rocks glass.  Coat the rim with salt, either by sprinkling it on or placing about 1 teaspoon of salt on a plate and dipping the moisten rimmed glass into the salt.  Set a side.

In a cocktail shaker, pour in the lime juice and add the slices of jalapeno.  Muddle the jalapeno and lime juice until the jalapeno is bruised.  Add the mango simple syrup, tequila and fill with ice.  Shake to combine and chill.  Pour margarita in the salt prepared glass and garnish with a lime wedge.  Enjoy!