Enchiladas Suizas: A meal to die for

Papel picado hung up in front of San Miguel's main church, La Parroquia, to celebrate el Dia de los Muertos (Photo by: Derek Burrows)
Papel picado hung up in front of San Miguel’s main church, La Parroquia, to celebrate el Dia de los Muertos (Photo by: Derek Burrows)

As I lit the candles on my altar, I thought of each and every soul I’ve loved who has passed on from this earth.I stared at the flames as the glow warmed my face, thanking each soul for coming back to visit me and watching as the candles flickered in acknowledgement.

It’s always a comfort – even a joy– to welcome them back into my life once a year on Day of the Dead, to embrace their memory, feel their spirit and be reminded to live to the fullest. It is a day of thanks and a day of joy, never sorrow.

I love Dia de los Muertos. I always have, even as a kid who didn’t fully understand it’s significance. I would gnaw away at my deeply dyed and covered in sharpie sugar. I would walk around town admiring the colorful altars with the delicious looking ofrendas, and my family and I would set up a small altar in our own home

.

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Yes, I would eat these. (Photo by: Ric Rack Heart Attack)

I would wonder about the altars people would one day put up for me. I tried condensing myself down to my favorite things: my teddy bear, chocolate Abuelita, broccoli, refried beans, enchiladas suizas.

Dia de los Muertos altars, with ofertas to honor the dead (Photo by: Derek Burrows)
Dia de los Muertos altars, with ofertas to honor the dead (Photo by: Derek Burrows)

Today, a decade later, I still think about this every year. What would draw me back to earth today? A warm latte, my pillow, broccoli, refried beans, enchiladas suizas.

Some things don’t change.

I love enchiladas suizas so much, that no matter how old I get, even when I’ve passed on from this world, I will still crave them.

They’re a staple on any Mexican restaurant’s menu, but there IS a right way to prepare them, and I’m going to teach you. Follow this simple but delicious recipe, and you’ll not only seem like an expert chef, but you’ll be eating food divine enough for the afterlife.

Beautiful, cheesy enchiladas suizas! (Photo by: Edgar Jesús Camejo)
Beautiful, cheesy enchiladas suizas! (Photo by: Edgar Jesús Camejo)

Enchiladas Suizas are green enchiladas, often prepared with chicken, but today I’m going to teach you a delicious vegetarian-friendly version. The difference between enchiladas verdes and enchiladas suizas is the abundance of cheese and cream, so get ready.

Ingredients

            For the salsa:

  • ~Two pounds of tomatillos
  • One white onion
  • Vegetable broth
  • A clove or two of garlic
  • One bunch of cilantro
  • Serranos to taste, I recommend 2-3

For the enchiladas:

  • CORN tortillas
  • Cheese – your choice, but manchego, cheddar, gouda are all good!
  • Crema
  • Zest of one life (or lime if you’re feeling sassy)

How to make the most divine food on earth and in the afterlife:

  • First we make the salsa: Peel the skins off the tomatillos, wash them, and plop them in a pot with water to boil.
  • De-seed the serranos, and throw one half into the water on the stove.
  •  Add a sprig of cilantro, a clove of garlic, and just a chunk of onion.
  • Boil until the tomatillos change color, become soft and are just barely falling apart.
  • Throw in a blender with some vegetable broth, salt and pepper to taste, a handful of cilantro, the rest of the chilies, a bit more garlic and onion to taste.
  • Once blended return to the pan and cook until clear and beautiful.
  • Next, the enchiladas: Warm the tortillas, fill with shredded cheese, and roll up.
  • Place all the rolled enchiladas in a pan.
  • Pour the green salsa all over the enchiladas, and sprinkle the top with more cheese, make it seriously cheesy. Warm till all the cheese is melted.
  • To serve, top with a bit of cream. Pair with some refried beans and as always some broccoli.

Bonus: The green salsa is delicious and versatile. Be sure to make extra. Eat it with chips or to make chilaquiles!

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