Tuesday, June 21, 2005

I made this: Creamy Corn and Spinach Enchiladas

The range of tortillas available here is a revelation. Tortillas are big business, with their own industry association.

In Britain, you’d be lucky to find a couple of flavours of wraps. Here supermarkets devote an entire aisle-cap to tortillas, in various sizes (taco, fajita, burrito), thicknesses (tortillas for gorditas are fajita-sized but thicker) and brands (Mission seems the biggest brand here, but I rather like El Aguila’s motto: “life without Mexican food is no life at all”).

And best of all: corn tortillas. Very different to the flour tortillas: flatter and stiffer, and they need heat to make them pliable and tasty. Fry them, or steam them, or heat them in the oven; or easier, give ’em about 15 seconds a side on a hot dry skillet. Good from the supermarket, but best fresh from a tortilla factory. There’s one in the Las Montanas supermarket in Concord which does a steady business in bags of 50 or 100 still-warm tortillas.

Anyway, the recipe. I toned down its over-reliance on convenience food by substituting poached chicken—from the chickens I dismembered earlier—for the supermarket rotisserie chicken; 4 fresh jalapenos for the canned chiles; and a package of frozen chopped spinach for the creamed spinach. Creamed spinach doesn’t seem to exist in California supermarkets; and there’s enough creaminess going on with the sour cream and the creamed corn already.

Very, very good. The tip for using a third-cup measure for the filling works out pretty well: 12 enchiladas. Which is a problem when there’s just two of you. So a tip from me: the assembled enchiladas don’t keep well in the fridge, the filling makes the tortillas a bit soggy. Better to keep the filling in the fridge and assemble the enchiladas just before you cook them.

Categories: Food