One evening last summer, my husband Ross came home with a bottle of Malbec. “I decided to try something new,” he said. “I was at the wine store and realized it had been a while since we have experimented with anything, so I brought you home a bottle of Malbec!” I ran to the kitchen and pulled out our stem-less wine glasses, the corkscrew and our notepad for tasting notes, and got my mouth ready for a new adventure.
This particular wine was from the Mendoza region of Argentina. A fragrant bouquet of blackberries, exotic floral and grape hit my nose and my tongue and I was absolutely mesmerized. This deep purple elixir was the most divine liquid that I had tasted in quite some time. As we sat enjoying the sunset on an early autumn day sipping this delicious and robust wine, my palate screamed for something fresh, creamy and spicy.
This audacious Argentinean wine took me back to one of my many visits south of the border. I wanted something with some spice and heat, but not laced with chili powder or tomatoes. And then it came to me: tomatillos, Serrano chilies, chicken, Crème Fraiche, Queso Blanco, Monterey Jack, Asadero and Mild Cheddar cheeses. Ross and I decided that he would fry the tortillas and I would make the filling and stuff them. I made the filling while he walked two blocks to our neighborhood wine shop and got another bottle of that magical Malbec.
Ross and I always work well in the kitchen together he is an amazing chef’s apprentice. I love to cook and he loves to eat, so in the kitchen we work wonders together. By the time he got home, I had the filing ready and we soon got this show on the road. Forty minutes later the house was alive with the smell of enchiladas and the sounds of South American music while we settled in for what has now become the quintessential paring of Malbec and Chicken and Tomatillo Enchiladas, the recipe we’re going to share with you today. This is definitely a fiesta for your taste buds so pour the wine, relax and enjoy!
Chicken and Tomatillo Enchiladas with Salsa Verde
2 cups cooked chicken
6 medium fresh tomatillos, husked and rinsed well
6 small to medium Serrano chilies
1 bunch of scallions
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 cloves of garlic
1 can salsa verde or green enchilada sauce
12 tablespoons crème fraiche or Mexican sour cream
2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
12 corn tortillas
½ stick butter
A few quick notes: For the chicken, you can use a cooked rotisserie chicken from the supermarket and just pull off the skin and bones. To control the heat from the chilies, you can slice them open and take out the seeds and membrane for as many of the chilies as you wish. Lastly, crème fraiche can be found in the specialty dairy section at your local supermarket.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat a 9”x13” pan with non stick spray.
In the bowl of your food processor with your chopping blade place the cooked chicken and pulse until finely chopped. Remove to a bowl.
Next In the bowl of your food processor place the Serrano chilies, tomatillos, scallions, garlic, and cilantro and pulse until finely chopped. Place in the same bowl as the chicken. Add ½ cup of the green enchilada sauce to the chicken mixture and toss to coat
Meanwhile in a frying pan over medium high heat melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Once the butter has melted place
one tortilla in the pan; fry it in butter until bubbles on the top side bubble then flip with tongs or a spatula and repeat. Cooking times will vary based on size and brand of tortilla and temperature of your pan. Repeat with the remaining 11 tortillas melting butter 2 tablespoons at a time as needed. Blot tortillas with a paper towel to remove excess grease.
Fill tortillas with 2 tablespoons of chicken filling, then top with 1 tablespoon crème fraiche and sprinkle lightly with shredded cheese blend. Roll tortillas and place in the baking pan seam side down.
Pour the remaining enchilada sauce on top of the enchiladas then sprinkle on remaining cheese.
Cover the pan with foil and bake. After 20 minutes remove the foil and continue to bake another 10 minutes until the edges are slightly brown and the cheese has melted. Total baking time should be 30 minutes.
Place the pan of the counter to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving. Pour the Malbec, kick back, relax and let the smell of the wine and the spice of the enchiladas take you away!
Image via Bev Cooks