|Swiss Enchiladas (Enchiladas
by S. John Ross ©1998,1999
There's nothing fancy about this one, but it's amazingly tasty, and a little unusual, because it's Mexican food that isn't cut from the "Tex-Mex" mold that's so familiar to us from restaurant eating: Regardless of what you call them, they're unique and elegant, and they'll feed six very hungry people, or up to eight if you provide chips and some guacamole as an appetizer. Have plenty of fresh cilantro on hand as a tasty and aromatic garnish.
The Filling: Saute the onion,
garlic, and jalapeño in a tablespoon or two of the olive oil, until
the onions just barely begin to turn clear. Add to tomato paste and chicken.
Simmer for two minutes, then remove from the heat.
Variations and Options: This dish is very rich, and not a gram of its excessive fat content is wasted in terms of flavor. However, if you're looking to trim things down a bit, you can substitute many things for the cream, from drained yogurt to fat-free condensed milk to a blend of sour cream and skim milk. By trimming down on the cheese, baking the enchiladas "dry," then drizzling the sauce over them on the plate, the dish takes on a different character while remaining delicious and becoming much "leaner."
The number of jalapeños to use is a matter of taste. Back in
Virginia, I found two gave the dish just enough extra flavor without actually
making it hot in any real way. Here in Texas, just about all of
the vegetables are bigger and juicier, and all the peppers plumper and
more packed with spicy oils . . . And two Texas jalapeños
might be a bit much for the creamy and delicate flavors of the dish. Experiment
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