Cinco de Mayo, that crazy day when we celebrate the wonders of Mexican culture and heritage, is second only to St. Patrick's Day as an excuse for millions of Americans to party hearty.
If eating and drinking yourself into blissful oblivion isn't the kind of Cinco de Mayo celebration you had in mind this year, don't sweat it. There is no shame in keeping things a little more ... um ... low key. Instead, you could throw your own little Mexican fiesta featuring these amazing Enchiladas Suizas.
Unlike the ground beef enchiladas found on the menus of most Mexi(Ameri)can restaurants, Enchiladas Suizas are filled with hunks of shredded chicken and smothered in a luscious white sauce. The beauty of the dish is that it can be made using a rotisserie chicken from your friendly neighborhood supermarket. Sure, you can roast your own chicken if you want, but why would you? A pre-cooked chicken from the deli will save you lots of time better spent scarfing down nachos and Coronas. Plus, an average-sized rotisserie chicken will yield just the right amount of meat needed for this recipe.
The suiza sauce is truly a creamy, dreamy, cheesy thing of beauty that starts with roasted poblano peppers. The poblanos are blended with Mexican crema or sour cream, cheese and prepared tomatillo sauce – all of which also can be found at most area supermarkets. If you don't feel like roasting your own poblanos, you can find them already roasted in jars at many Latin markets. Or else, use a few cans of fire-roasted green chiles.
Once the filling and sauce are ready, roll up the enchiladas using your favorite flour or corn tortillas, and bake. Es muy delicioso!
So this year for Cinco de Mayo, mix up a pitcher of margaritas, whip up a batch of Enchiladas Suizas and rent a copy of Like Water for Chocolate -- and you're good to go!
4 large poblano peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded and diced, divided (You can also use 4 cans of roasted green chiles.)
4 cups cooked chicken, shredded
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 whole jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
1 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 cups Mexican crema or sour cream, divided
2 cups prepared tomatillo sauce, divided
2 cups mild, white cheese like Queso or Monterey Jack, grated
Salt and pepper, to taste
12 flour or corn tortillas
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
To make the filling: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent and slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add half of the diced poblanos, the chicken, jalapeno and garlic powder, and continue to sauté about 2 minutes more. Add the broth and crema or sour cream and bring to a simmer. Simmer until liquid is evaporated and mixture is soft and creamy, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and set aside.
To make the sauce: Combine tomatillo sauce, remaining crema or sour cream, poblanos and a pinch of salt together in a blender and puree until smooth. Set aside.
To assemble: Ladle 1 cup of the sauce on the bottom of a 9-by-12 casserole dish. Spoon about ¼ cup of chicken mixture in the center of each tortilla. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon cheese on top and roll them up. Arrange, seam side down, in one layer in the casserole. Cover with the rest of sauce; sprinkle with the rest of the cheese. Bake 30 minutes or until sauce gets bubbly and cheese starts to brown.