Eat Mexico with Lesley Tellez


Cookbook author, blogger, and all-around Mexican food authority, Lesley Tellez, is stopping by our Cooking School in July, and we wanted to whet your appetite.

In the class, Lesley guide you in the creation of two classic guisados, stewed dishes, and you'll discover the building blocks of good salsas as you construct two in the blender and then scoop them into warm corn tortillas. Um, yum! You can sign up for the class here:

Dallas Lovers - Wednesday, July 15    Register  >
Fort Worth - Thursday, July 16    Register  >
San Antonio - Friday, July 17    Register  >
Houston - Saturday, July 18    Register  >

Ahead of the class, Lesley was kind enough to share her recipe for Enchiladas Verdes with us, and we know the only fair thing to do is share and share a like. This recipe was inspired by Lesley's favorite enchilada street stand where they’re stacked in a messy, luxurious pile, with separate individual layers of corn tortillas, fresh cilantro and onion, green enchilada sauce, shredded cheese and chicken.

Ingredients:
3 pounds skinless chicken legs, thighs, and breasts, fat trimmed
1 pound chicken backs, fat trimmed
3 medium cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 dried Mexican bay leaf
5 peppercorns
1 medium onion, quartered
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds tomatillos, husked and rinsed
2 large serrano chiles
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons lard or canola oil
24 corn tortillas
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 cups crema
1 cup mild, shredded cheese, such as Monterrey Jack or Colby
 
Directions:
1.  At least 2 hours before you’d like to eat, place the chicken, 1 garlic clove, the bay leaf, peppercorns and a quarter of the onion in a large stockpot. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to very low, cover and simmer for 25 minutes. Remove the chicken legs, thighs and breasts with tongs or a slotted spoon and let cool. Discard the chicken backs and strain the stock; set aside.
 
2.  Once cool enough to handle, shred the meat and season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and the black pepper. Set aside.
 
3.  Place the tomatillos in a large saucepan. Add the remaining 2 cloves garlic, peeled, and 2 quarters of the onion. Cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then simmer on medium heat until the tomatillos turn pea green and soften, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool. (Vegetarians can reserve the cooking water, turn up the flame, and reduce for 15 to 20 minutes, to use in lieu of chicken stock, if they choose.)
 
4.  Stem the chiles and chop roughly with the cooked garlic. Add to a blender jar with half of the tomatillo mixture, and 1/2 cup of the strained chicken stock. (If you have a high-powered blender, toss all the ingredients in at once.) Blend until smooth. Add the remaining tomatillo-onion mixture and 1 teaspoon salt, and blend again until smooth.
 
5.  Warm 1 tablespoon lard in a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the sauce in one quick pour, being careful as it might splatter. Cook until the flavors meld, about 5 minutes.
 
6.  Heat 2 teaspoons lard in a small skillet over medium heat and swirl to coat the bottom. Fry the tortillas lightly, one at a time, until slightly tougher but still pliable, about 30 seconds per side. (They shouldn’t be crisp.) As you work, remove the fried tortillas to serving plates—I like to serve 4 tortillas per person. Fold the tortillas in a half-moon shape and make sure they sit in an even layer on each plate.
 
7.  Dice the remaining quarter of onion. Ladle 3/4 cup sauce over each serving of tortillas, spreading slightly so the tortillas are entirely smothered in sauce. Add a layer of diced onion and cilantro, a layer of shredded cheese, a layer of chicken, some crema and another layer of sauce. Top with another light sprinkling of diced onion.
 
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1 Comment(s):

Mary John Lynch wrote on 6/5/2015 6:06:16 PM

Recipe sounds very good. Not quite sure why nothing is put in the fold-up of the tortilla, right? I don't think I can get 4 tortillas in one plate, two--yes. I will try your recipe but will do my enchiladas, the old way--put chicken, sauce, cheese on tortilla and roll them up, with more sauce and cheese on top--probably will have to bake them a bit, too. thanks, Mary John Lynch

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