Christmas time always has different memories for me. Some years we would spend them at home with extended family. Other years we were estranged from extended family members so it would be a quieter year. Other years we would go to Mexico. The last time I remember spending Christmas was before high school and I still have fond memories. One of the things I learned growing up is that there are special dishes prepared during the holidays. I always wondered why and then I quickly found out when I got older. It is because it take such a LONG time to prepare dishes like tamales.
Some other dishes I remember my grandmother making were enchiladas. I quickly learned to love enchiladas with mole’ sauce and enchiladas suizas, which are made with green salsa with melted cheese over the top. So good. When I had one baby at home I would make them a lot more often, but now with three kids under the age of 4, making these delicious comfort foods is a challenge.
Many of you might not remember but even though I am half Mexican, half Chilean, I did grow up all of my life in Houston, Texas. We traveled to Austin, San Antonio, and many other cities within a few hours when we were kids. Many times we would stay the night in San Antonio and sight see and eat at delicious Tex-Mex or authentic restaurants. One of the restaurants we visited at one point was La Fonda on Main. Yummy enchiladas and food were consumed on those trips.
Well fast forward to now and I have the privilege of reviewing a cookbook authored by the owners of La Fonda on Main and other fabulous restaurants in San Antonio. How cool is that? How many times have you finished eating a meal at a restaurant and wished you had the recipe to make at home? I certainly have and I have now.
Enchiladas: Aztec to Tex-Mex is by Cappy Lawton and Chris Waters Dunn who own and operate 3 restaurants in San Antonio. While the title suggests having only enchilada recipes, it boasts more than that. It has fabulous recipes for homemade sauces, tortillas, side dishes and more. The photos are gorgeous and mouth-watering. Many recipes that I grew up eating but have no recipes for are available for me to use and test in my own kitchen. I am so excited to have this book to own because when my husband asks me to make something he wants I can turn to this book.
I am going to tantalize you with a recipe I chose from the book. While I will not be able to share that recipe I used, I will be able to share another enchilada recipe to make over the holidays. I made the Enchiladas Espinacas (Spinach) with Poblano Cream Sauce because I have never made a poblano cream sauce. The process was super easy but it still required steps to make it, like roasting the poblanos for the sauce and the assembly, but it was still pretty easy in my opinion and the recipe was easy to follow. The sauce definitely had a bite but it was so flavorful and the filling was made with mushrooms, spinach, and sun-dried tomatoes, a filling that was different from ones I have made in the past.
My husband liked them a lot and while I prepared the meal he kept telling me how the house smelled so good. That is always the key. When preparing Mexican or Tex-Mex, it always smells so yummy. If I have tantalized you enough with my pictures consider purchasing the book. It is a great book to master your inner chef. I might just go through cooking the whole book this year!
- Available on Amazon.com and other book sellers. If purchased from their Enchilada site, a portion of the sale goes to Lighthouse for the Blind in San Antonio, Texas.
- Check out the Enchiladas
- Special book offer on their website only: all the books are signed by both authors. Buy 3 get one free.
Enter below for an awesome foodie bundle that also includes the Enchilada Cookbook. Open to US readers.
Serving Size: 4
Source: Victor Maldonado/La Fonda on Main
- 3 cups (390 grams) poached skinless, boneless chicken, shredded into bite sized pieces (use your favorite method of preparation, moisten with broth, cover, and refrigerate until needed).
- 4 guajillo chiles (approximately 35 grams), destemmed, deveined, and deseeded
- 10 ancho chiles (approximately 150 grams), destemmed, deveined, and deseeded
- 1 medium white or yellow onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 tablespoons (18 grams) kosher salt
- 1 cup (237 ml) olive oil
- 8 ounces (227 grams) chorizo
- 1 large Yukon Gold potato, peeled, medium dice, and simmered until barely
- tender, 5–7 minutes
- 1 large carrot, peeled, medium dice, and simmered until barely tender, 5–7 minutes
- 1⁄2 cup (65 grams) frozen green peas, defrosted
- 12 corn tortillas, preferably a day old
- Crema Mexicana
- Queso fresco
- Avocado slices
- Jalapeño en escabeche (pickled jalapeños)
- Place the prepared chiles a few pieces at a time on a comal (or iron griddle or skillet) over medium heat and dry roast until fragrant, about 30 seconds per side.
- (See How to Prepare Dried Chiles for detailed instructions).
- Place chiles, onion, garlic, salt, and 4 cups (1 liter) hot water in a blender.
- Let sit for 5 minutes to soften the chiles.
- With the blender running, add the olive oil in a slow steady stream and process
- until emulsified.
- Strain the sauce into a wide sauté pan over medium heat.
- Warm through, taste, and adjust seasoning. Cover and set aside (It does not need to be kept warm).
- Remove the casings and crumble the chorizo into a large sauté pan over
- medium-high heat.
- Cook, stirring frequently to break up the chorizo, until it begins to brown,
- about 5 minutes.
- Add the potatoes and carrots and gently stir to combine. Cook, gently stirring
- occasionally, until the edges of the potatoes barely begin to brown.
- Remove from heat, stir in the peas, cover, and keep warm.
- Gently warm the shredded chicken. Have the topping and garnishes ready
- and at hand.
- Warm 4 individual serving plates.
- Heat a 9-inch (23 cm) nonstick sauté pan over high heat. (The pan with
- sauce should be nearby.)
- Dip a tortilla in the sauce, making sure it’s well coated, place in the hot sauté pan, and quickly sear for about 3 seconds per side—just long enough for the sauce to begin to caramelize.
- Place 2 tablespoons shredded chicken on the tortilla, fold in half, and place on an
- individual serving plate.
- Wipe the sauté pan with a paper towel moistened with a little vegetable oil and reheat.
- Repeat the process with the remaining tortillas, slightly overlapping the
- enchiladas on serving plates, 3 per serving.
- When the enchiladas are plated, top with a drizzle of crema Mexicana
- followed by a generous scoop of the chorizo/vegetable mixture and a sprinkle
- of queso fresco.
- Place the avocado slices and jalapeños en escabeche to the side of the enchiladas.
- The sauce recipe yields more sauce than is needed for this recipe. The remaining sauce may be refrigerated for a week or frozen for up to a month.
Callejeras are street style enchiladas, often made and sold on the streets in many parts of Mexico. The chicken, chorizo, vegetables, and cheese make these a complete—and substantial—meal.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a percentage if you make a purchase using this link. I also received a copy of the cookbook to review.