This weekend, I’m really starting to explore the art of Mexican cooking. And what better way than with enchiladas! The recipe I’m making is adapted from the lamb adobo enchiladas with cooked green salsa in Truly Mexican by Roberto Santibañez with JJ Goode and Shelley Wiseman.
What I really like about this cookbook is that it starts with the basic ingredients and techniques that are a part of Mexican cooking, and then continues with the other building blocks: salsas, guacamoles, adobos, moles and pipianes, and then putting it all together.
You can eat these enchiladas by themselves, or serve with a side of rice or any other side dish. I chose to serve them with homemade tortilla chips.
Salsa verde cocida
8 tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1 jalapeño, stemmed
2 – 3 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (plus more for garnish)
1 tbsp mild olive oil or vegetable oil
Place tomatillos and jalepeño in a medium pot and cover with water. Bring water to a simmer and then lower the heat to continue simmering gently, turning tomatillos and jalepeño occasionally, until tomatillos turn a khaki-green color and are tender, but still intact. This should take about 15 minutes.
Gently drain in a colander, making sure to keep tomatillos intact. Put the tomatillos, jalepeño, garlic, salt, cumin, and cilantro in a blender or food processor and stir or pulse until the sauce is smooth and flecked with cilantro (the tomatillo seeds should still be visible).
Heat oil in the pot over medium heat until it shimmers. Carefully add salsa and bring to a simmer. Swish some water in the blender and add to the pot. Simmer gently until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt.
1lb ground lamb
3 green onions, sliced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2-3 cloves minced garlic
ground white pepper
Heat a small bit of olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onions, then the meat, chopping up with a flipping spatula. Once almost browned, drain the liquid. Then add the garlic, cumin, cilantro, white pepper, salt, and red pepper. Continue seasoning until it reaches your desired flavor.
Leave in the pan until you’re ready to fill the tortillas.
6 corn tortillas
2 tbsp light olive oil or vegetable oil
You can either us store-bought or homemade tortillas. Heat oil in a small skillet (big enough to fit one tortilla at a time) on medium heat until it shimmers. Place tortilla on top of oil and heat for 8-12 seconds. Turn over and cook for another 8-12 seconds. The tortilla will bubble, but should still be soft. Drain on two layers of paper towels and place on a plate until needed.
Putting it all together
Preheat oven to 300°F
1/4 cup Mexican crema, creme fraîche, or sour cream thinned with a little water
1/4 cup crumbled queso fresco
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Put 1/4 cup of the lamb filling on one half of a tortilla. Roll it up and transfer, seam-side down, to a baking pan. Line filled and rolled tortillas side by side in the dish. Bake for 10 minutes.
Place three enchiladas on each plate and cover generously with the salsa verde. Drizzle with crema, and top with queso fresco and cilantro.