E is for Enchildas
Growing up in Southeast Texas I've been raised on Mexican food. The semester of college spent of Saltllo, Mexico further cemented my love. My family and I eat Mexican food at least once a week. So for letter E, I'd like to tell you a little about enchiladas and share my favorite enchilada recipe.
The history of enchiladas can be found when the Mayas first invented the tortilla. In the time of the Aztecs, they would wrap tortillas around small fish or other bits of meat. There is also evidence that they would fry the tortillas in grease, then put them on a plate and pour salsa over the top, add cheese, then another tortilla, cheese, salsa and so on. They would then top the stacked enchilada with a fried egg and some lettuce.It’s progressional history, I might say. We have taken an ancient dish, gave it a name; (in 1885, the word enchilada first appeared in print, meaning “chili filled”) and transformed it. We now stuff tortillas with cheese, shrimp, beef, pork, and the most famous of all, the chicken enchiladas. We have taken something from the past, and brought it through to the future. The Tex Mex enchiladas that are drowning in red sauce are a far cry from the Aztec times, but the enchilada has survived anyway. Now for my favorite enchilada recipe:
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 cup sliced green onions
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach , thawed, drained and squeezed dry
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 10 (6 inch) corn tortillas
- 1 (19 ounce) can enchilada sauce
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
- Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and onion; cook for a few minutes until fragrant, but not brown. Stir in spinach, and cook for about 5 more minutes. Remove from the heat, and mix in ricotta cheese, sour cream, and 1 cup of Monterey Jack cheese.
- In a skillet over medium heat, warm tortillas one at a time until flexible, about 15 seconds. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the spinach mixture onto the center of each tortilla. Roll up, and place seam side down in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Pour enchilada sauce over the top, and sprinkle with the remaining cup of Monterey Jack.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until sauce is bubbling and cheese is lightly browned at the edges.