Traditional Indigenous Recipes

Enchiladas

enchiladas with chilies

Chicken, onion and squash enchilada topped with black pepper and chipotle salsa

enchiladas

Rice with tomatoes, red and green peppers, black beans w/onions and green chili

enchilada with turkey

Turkey, chili, mushroom enchilada topped with green chili and mixed cheeses.

enchilada and green chili sauce

Shrimp, crab and poblano filling, topped with corn and tomato salsa

There are many ways to prepare enchiladas and my family loves them.

Most lovers of Mexican food are familiar with rolled-up enchiladas or other versions that might include dropping them into the fat fryer. The recipes here, however, use a minimum of fat and are usually stacked because it is faster to make them this way.

Traditional enchiladas are often made with the corn or flour tortillas soaked briefly in lard or oil to soften them, then laid flat with various ingredients added on top, then the tortilla is rolled around them. You can use almost anything for filling—meats, vegetables, eggs, fruit.

The foundation of these recipes is all the same: there is no oil or lard used. The tortillas are instead soaked in turkey, chicken or vegetable broth. You can then use your imagination for the rest of the ingredients. Here are a few suggestions:

New World Enchiladas


I call these “New World” because all the ingredients are from this hemisphere. No cheese, lard, chicken, beef, mutton, cilantro, sour cream, garlic or bacon is used.

Ingredients:

(Amounts vary depending on what you like the best/least)

18 corn tortillas (homemade or store-bought)
8 ounces of broth (your choice: turkey, chicken, vegetable, bison, etc. or a combination)*
1 lb. lean ground (or, if you prefer, roasted and then shredded) turkey or bison or elk or venison
1/2 cup sweet corn
1/2 cup chopped green chilies
1/2 cup chopped jalapenos
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup black beans (drained)
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
1/2 cup peeled and chopped baked potato
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
2 T vegetable or corn oil
Sea salt, dried red and/or black pepper to taste
1 cup green chili mix (or, use store-bought green or red chili enchilada sauce that contain no wheat products)

Place the corn tortillas into a bowl and pour the stock over the top. Allow them to soak for about 3 minutes. Drain stock, otherwise the tortillas will get mushy.

Try cooking the meats in the crock pot all day with spices, onions and chilies. It will be ready in the evening. Or, cook the ground meat and spices in a pan until almost done. Then place all the other ingredients into a sauté or frying pan along with oil at medium heat. Stir until the meat is cooked and the other ingredients are thoroughly hot and lightly browned or seared.

In a large, rectangular glass baking dish, place six tortillas at the bottom. They will overlap some.

Pour one cup of the sautéed pan mixture over the tortillas.

Layer another six tortillas over those ingredients.

Pour another cup of mixture then layer with tortillas.

Repeat—one cup of mixture covered by tortillas

Pour one cup of the green chili mixture over the top layer.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until hot. Let set five minutes before slicing.

This goes well with a salsa and/or guacamole


*Old World Ingredient Options:


Ground chicken
Ground or shredded lean beef
Ground or shredded pork
Chopped cilantro
Dollop of low-fat sour cream on top
Chopped spinach
Garlic to taste
Spinach or tomato wheat tortilla (be sure to only soak them for 2-3 minutes in stock; they will disintegrate if left too long)
1 can low sodium, lot fat cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup to add to sauté mix for more texture and richness
Chopped firm tofu (tofu absorbs the flavors around it)
If you must use *cheese, use a low-fat type. Shred and layer on the top on the top tortilla layer (before pouring the chili topping).
One cup of no fat *cottage cheese is a good component to the sauté mixture, but don’t add the cottage cheese until right before layering onto the tortillas.