Green Enchiladas

It’s really a good thing everyone in my family shares my love for cilantro. If they didn’t, they’d miss out on some tasty meals.

I made a variety of salsas last summer, with cilantro as a foundation. Mango and blueberry salsa graced freshly grilled fish, pineapple salsa spiced up roasted pork, peach salsa gave a Moroccan twist to lamb chops, and a favorite of my children, watermelon salsa cooled down spicy chipotle fish tacos.

Many of our favorite Thai, Caribbean and Mexican foods depend on cilantro, but our “Favorite Cilantro Recpes” would be my Green Enchiladas. The original was a reduction of cilantro, onions, garlic in chicken broth, simmered until it reached the stage of a medium dry paste that was then spread over stuffed and rolled tortillas. Although tasty, all the goodness and living vitality was simmered to death. I have reworked the recipe, turning into a fresher, richer, more nutritional version, retaining cilantro’s color and flavor.

Cilantro Enchilada Collage

The original recipe called for one 7-ounce can of green chilis, their bitter, metallic taste, not at all pleasing. I prefer to make my own tomatillo sauce with roasted Hatch chilies.

No hatch Chilis to roast? The next best thing is to use Trader Joe’s ready-made green chili salsa. This is one of the few times I use any processed food products, because the flavorings in TJ’s green chili salsa are very close to my made-from-scratch green chili salsa.

The great thing about this taste combination is, which green chili salsa you select, when the sour cream, squirt of lime, and generous portion of diced avocado garnish the top, the flavor will be, I’ve been told by friends and family, “better than any restaurant

As with all my other recipes, it is assumed, as many ingredients as possible are organic, sustainable, and grass-fed pasture-raised meats as well as home-made stocks.

Pork Cilantro Enchilada Pic

Green Enchiladas

Green Sauce:

  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 3/4 cup chicken stock, divided
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 cup firmly packed cilantro
  • 7 oz. finely diced roasted, Hatch green chilies OR 7 oz. Trader Joe’s Green Salsa OR 7 oz. home-made green tomatilla sauce7
  • 1/4 to 1/2 stemmed and seeded fresh jalapeno chili OR 1 T fermented jalapeno sauce
  • 1/2 tsp ground ground cumin
  • 1 cup home-made chicken broth

  1. Combine onion and 1/2 cup chicken broth and garlic in a saucepan; gently simmer for 5-minutes; remove from heat, cool to lukewarm (may be made and chilled up to 1-day ahead)
  2. Place cilantro, chilies, jalapeno, cumin, cooled onion/garlic mixture and remaining 1 1/4-cup stock in food processor; pulse until cilantro is finely minced
  3. Pour cilantro stock into onion stock to complete “Green Sauce”, stir to combine; set aside.

Enchiladas:

  • 12 organic corn tortillas (6 to 7 inches)
  • 2 2/3 cups cooked, skinned, chicken OR pork, torn into pieces
  • 1 cup each (1/2 lb total) shredded cheddar and jack cheese

  1. Dip 1 tortilla at a time in a shallow pan of simmering hot water – 5 to 10 seconds; drain briefly
  2. Place 2-3 T chicken or pork on tortilla
  3. Place 2 T cheddar cheese on chicken or pork
  4. Roll tortilla; place seam side down in a shallow 9×13 inch casserole; repeat, filling remaining 11 tortillas
  5. Spoon green sauce over filled enchiladas; sprinkle with Jack cheese
  6. Bake 350 oven until cheese melts and enchiladas are hot in center – about 20-25 minutes. Garnish with cilantro, lime wedges, avocado slices and sour cream