The next ‘holiday’ on deck is only a week away: Cinco de Mayo.
I can’t claim much any Hispanic heritage, but I do have a familial connection to Mexico. My grandma and her siblings grew up in the colonies of northern Mexico, and, let me tell you, my grandma’s got the Spanish language AND the Mexican culinary skills to prove it.
So, thanks to her, I don’t feel like I’m completely riding another culture’s coattails when it comes to celebrating on May 5th. Now St. Patrick’s Day, that’s another story…
Not that I’m against riding coattails, especially when it comes to another culture’s food. And, let’s be honest, how much of the ‘Mexican’ food we eat is really culturally correct anyway? Bottom line is that all of that cilantro and cumin and garlic and mole make for addictingly good food.
It doesn’t really matter if you’re donning a sombrero or not next week. What does matter is that then or sometime soon you try these enchiladas! They are, hands down, our favorite variety.
I love to make a double batch and freeze the other half so I’ve got more enchilada deliciousness waiting for another day…with no prep work!
Honey Lime Enchiladas
adapted from Phemomenon
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup lime juice (about 2 large limes)
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cloves of garlic, ﬁnely minced
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2 large breasts), cooked and shredded
12 corn tortillas
2-3 cups cheese, grated (use what you like: monterey jack, colby and the preshredded Mexican blend are all good options)
28 oz. can of green enchilada sauce (mild or medium, to your taste)
1/2 to 3/4 cup of heavy cream
1 tablespoon of chopped cilantro, to garnish
Place the cooked and shredded chicken in a medium sized bowl. Set aside. In a small bowl whisk together the honey, lime juice, chili powder, cumin and minced garlic.
Pour mixture over the chicken and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to marinate while you prepare the tortillas, about thirty minutes in the refrigerator. Alternatively, place the chicken and mixture in a large Ziploc bag and just let it hang out in the fridge overnight. Less work for you the next day!
Heat the oven to 350. Then heat a large griddle until a drop of water skitters across (about 350 degrees F). Spray the surface with non-stick cooking spray or oil it with a little bit of canola oil in between each round of tortillas. Heat tortillas about 20 seconds on each side till warm and ﬂexible and some golden brown spots have appeared. Remove the tortillas from the griddle and keep them between a couple of paper towels until ready to use.
Spray the sides and bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish lightly with cooking spray.
In a medium bowl combine the enchilada sauce and the heavy cream. Spread about 3/4 cup of the mixture in the bottom of the oiled baking dish.
Add a large spoonful (about 2 tablespoons) of the chicken mixture to the center of each tortilla in a line. Cover the chicken with a large tablespoon (or big pinch) of cheese, then roll the tortilla up from one side to make a rolled enchilada. Place the enchilada seam side down in the baking dish starting at one end with the long edge parallel to the longest side of the pan so that you end up with two columns of six enchiladas each.
Repeat with the remaining chicken, cheese and tortillas. Add any remaining marinade mixture to the enchilada sauce and cream mixture, if desired.
Pour this mixture over the top of all the enchiladas. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
Bake the enchiladas for 30 to 35 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly and starting to brown on top.
Finally, a few thoughts:
- Get your kids involved when it comes to shredding the chicken. It’s a perfect job for clean, little hands!
- Use as much or as little sauce and cheese as you want. The amounts listed above are just suggestions. If my recipe is too saucy for you, you can always freeze the remainder and use it with tacos, quesadillas or burritos.