I’ve lived in London for just over 12 years now. And for 12 years, I have had to manage to satisfy my cravings for Mexican food through my business trips to Houston. Sure, in the past few years a few Mexican places have opened up in London that kind of approach the most basic standards of the food you can find in the US. Tex Mex basics, that is. But what I was really missing was Mexican like you can find in California, or New Mexico. And Rick Bayless in Chicago. I wish.
The only solution was to get a set of recipes of some of my favourites, to make at home. I have never found someone willing to share a great set of recipes with me – until now! Thanks to the power of Twitter, Ali (@alitherunner) has shared with me three of her recipes to keep me going on those days when I just NEED Mexican food and no business trip to Houston is planned.
I have not made these at home – yet – but when I do I will photograph and update this entry! I cannot wait to get cooking!
Thanks Ali for helping a girl in need – and I hope this tickles the tastebuds of anyone looking for great home cooked New Mexican food everywhere!
Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas
3 cups chicken broth
18 corn tortillas*
1 can of cream of chicken soup*
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups grated sharp cheddar
2 cups cooked chicken
2 cup chopped green chile
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 1/4 cups sour cream
1. Combine 1 cup of broth with the flour in a medium-sized saucepan. Add the remaining broth and cook on medium heat until thickened. Add the cream of chicken soup* when thickened to desired consistency.
*Donna’s note: It may be easier to melt some butter (1-2 tablespoons) over heat, then add the flour to make a paste, and then slowly add the chicken broth to get a good “gravy” type consistency, whisking constantly, and then add cream of chicken* to that – I will try it out and report back
2. Stir the chicken, chile, and garlic salt into broth and set aside – this is the base sauce for the enchilada.
3. Heat 1/2 inch of oil in a heavy pan at medium-high heat.
4. Quickly dip each tortilla into the hot oil to soften. Drain on absorbent towels.
5. Combine 1 cup cheese, onion, and sour cream in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
6. Assemble the enchiladas by layering the sauce with tortillas in a baking dish. Top with remaining sauce and cheese.
7. Place in a 350°F oven for 15 minutes, or until cheese melts.
*Donna’s notes: What to do if you aren’t able to find store bought tortillas or cream of chicken soup or if you want to make your own?
*For cream of chicken soup: Use pouring cream / single cream / whipped cream to add the richness. I can’t buy cream of chicken soup so I am going to experiment on this and report back. I may wind up adding some finely chopped onions and celery sauteed in butter for added flavour.
*For tortillas: The same recipe as sopapillas can be used, but heated in a hot cast iron pan rather than deep fried.
If you have never had sopas before, they are AWESOME. When I have gone to New Mexico, they make me feel like I have gone to heaven. Served with honey to dip them in, they are a very more-ish dessert. They can also be filled with beans, cheese, chili, meats, etc for a shell-like Mexican feast. Super yummy.
3 1/2 cups flour*
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup margarine*
1. Combine flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar in a large mixing bowl and cut in margarine*.
2. Add eggs and water to flour mixture and work mixture into a dough.
3. Knead dough until it is smooth and elastic. Form dough into balls the size of an egg. Cover dough and set aside for 15 minutes.
4. Roll each ball of dough into a circle that is 4 inches in diameter. Cut a small hole in center of each circle. Place circles of dough between single layers of waxed paper until all are rolled and ready for deep frying.
5. Heat 2 inches of oil in a heavy pan at medium-high heat.
6. Fry sopapillas in hot oil until they are puffed and golden brown on both sides, turning once.
7. Drain on absorbent towels.
*Donna’s notes: What type of flour and can margarine be substituted?
*Flour: Again, I have not tried the recipe yet, but Ali tells me that for the flour, plain flour / enriched flour / masa flour / wheat flour can all be used. She says she uses enriched flour for sopas. I will probably do that for sopas, but for the tortillas I will use masa or maize flour. From a nutrition perspective, masa flour should be a slower carb than white flour.
*Margarine: I don’t use margarine, instead I use unsalted butter.
2 cups sugar
3 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cinnamon stick
1. Place 1 cup of sugar in a heavy pan. Stir sugar at low heat until it is liquid and light, golden brown.
2. Pour carmelized sugar evenly into six warm custard cups. Set cups aside.
3. Place milk and cinnamon stick in a medium-sized saucepan. Scald milk at medium heat and allow to cool.
4. Beat eggs until foamy. Gradually add remaining sugar to eggs and beat well.
5. Gradually add scalded milk to egg mixture, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add vanilla.
6. Pour mixture into caramel-lined cups. Place cups in a pan of hot water and bake in a 350°F oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes.
NOTE: You can read more about Ali and her journey with running on www.marathonconfessions.com – she is one of my favourite bloggers – especially her entry about the tan lines that mark out someone dedicated to training.