THE BLOG
06/22/2010 12:10 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Recession Recipe: Enchiladas Verdes (VIDEO)

Summer is the season of the tomato and I am a tomato-aholic! I can eat fresh tomato salsa by the pound (ask the boyfriend, he's seen me do it). Today's recipe hi-lights one of my favorite tomato types: the Tomatillo!

The Tomatillo is a small, green fellow. He is essential to Mexican cuisine and he's the star ingredient in today's dish: Enchiladas Verdes.


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I have a lot I want to say about this recipe. One -- I think the idea of making your own salsa might be daunting to some people. Let me promise you -- it is NOT hard. The secret is getting the best Tomatillos, Jalapenos, Cilantro and Mint you can find. Start with good ingredients and the salsa will pretty much make itself. All you have to do is boil and puree. And we've done that a million times now, right? It's a sinch.

Two -- you need lots of cookware to make these enchiladas in a timely manner. You need two large pots, a skillet, a blender and a baking dish. If you don't have all of everything then substitute, substitute, substitute. You can use a food processor instead of a blender and you can reuse the chicken boiling pot to boil the Tomatillos. Part of the fun of cooking is being creative and working with what you've got.

THREE AND LAST -- this is a great healthy recipe. The biggest three ingredients: corn tortillas, chicken and tomatoes. Health! Cotija and Queso Blanco are also two relatively low cal cheeses. Put this in your healthy dish recipe box and keep it there!

Have fun everybody! Recipe Below:

Ingredients

Chicken

-1 1/2 lb chicken breast

-1/4 onion white or yellow onion, chopped

-1 clove garlic, smashed

-1 tsp salt

Salsa Verde

-2 1/2 lbs Tomatillos, rinsed and husks removed

-2 jalapenos, stems removed and seeded

-4 cloves garlic, smashed

-1/2 yellow onion, chopped

-1 bunch Cilantro, rinsed and chopped, stems included

-1/3 cup Mint, rinsed and packed tight

-1/2 cup cooking liquid

-1/2 Tbsp Cumin

-2 tsp salt

-1 Tbsp peanut oil

Etc.

-12 corn tortillas

-2 Tbsp peanut oil (plus more if needed)

-3/4 cup Sour Cream

-1/2 cup Cotija cheese or Queso Fresco

Procedure

-Preheat oven to 375

-Put chicken in a pot and cover with water. Add garlic, onion and salt and bring water to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, drain water and let chicken cool before shredding.

-Husk Tomatillos and stem and seed jalapenos. Put them in a large pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer uncovered until the Tomatillos are soft, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and drain, reserving 1/2 a cup of cooking liquid.

-Remove Tomatillos and add Jalapenos to the blender (use a slotted spoon or tongs). In batches, add garlic, onion, cilantro, mint, cumin and cooking liquid (in a regular sized blender, you can probably do it in two). Blend until the salsa verde is pureed.

-Heat oil in a skillet on medium. Add salsa to skillet and cook for 10 minutes until thickened. Add salt if necessary. You should have about 4 cups of salsa.

-To soften tortillas: heat 2 Tbsp oil in a skillet on medium. Add 1 tortilla and cook for about 15 seconds on each side. Use tongs to flip. Transfer softened tortilla to a paper towel to drain oil. Repeat with each tortilla adding oil as needed.

-Layer enchiladas in a casserole dish in the following order: 4 tortillas, 1/2 the chicken, 1/2 the sour cream, salsa verde. 4 tortillas, 2nd 1/2 chicken, 2nd 1/2 sour cream, salsa verde. 4 tortillas, salsa verde, Cotija and/or Queso Fresco.

-Bake for 35 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned. Makes 6 servings.