Happy Cinco de Mayo!
Mexico’s win over France many years ago has “turnt up” to the boozy Cinco de Drinko. As a food centric human, yes, it’s a day to celebrate, but I am definitely more about the culture, the food, and spending time with friends than the drinking and politically incorrect moustaches on a stick. I still remember my first time hosting Cinco de Mayo in college with my roommates where we crafty, cooking ladies put out quite the spread: carnitas, chicken enchiladas, cheese enchiladas, potato tacos (Becca, you’re the bomb), guacamole for days, trios of salsa, and more--most homemade! Also, purchased a Costco sized drink dispenser for the event, so we did give in to the “drinko” part for friends with a piñata. That was broken by some random guy who is seared into my memory for breaking our piñata. I'm almost over it. It was fun hosting but set our bar high for future parties and events. The food, the people, and the good vibes are what really make holidays special and I’m glad I have these great memories and more to come!
For this cinco de Mayo, I am celebrating with my enchiladas verdes that are stuffed with chicken, zucchini and cheese! These are topped with a tasty tapatio crema to bring in that heat. These are perfect for a lowkey dinner or for lining your stomach before heading out today. Super simple recipe that can be made tonight! And hey, let’s be real, you can and should eat Mexican food more often, so I have these bad boys planned for next week too. I’ll reminisce on the 10 de mayo with more enchiladas!
Before you get started on this recipe, please, PLEASE only use corn tortillas in enchiladas. I am BEGGING you! Flour tortillas get slimy and are not meant to soak up the sauce. Flour tortillas are for wrapping and bundling amazing meals in burrito form and should stay far away from enchiladas (in my opinion). Happy rolling!
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Chicken, Zucchini, and Cheese Enchiladas, Green
2 cups of shredded chicken
1 cup of shredded cheese or queso fresco + ~1 cup for topping (don’t need to be shy)
¼ cup, packed chopped cilantro or parsley
1 small jar of salsa verde (Trader Joe’s or your favorite green salsa)
1 ½ cups of cooked zucchini (~2 medium zucchini diced & sauteed)
12-16 small corn tortillas, depends on your stuffing abilities
1- 28 oz cup of green chili enchilada sauce
1 teaspoon cumin
Salt, pepper, chili flakes for taste.
½ cup sour cream
Juice from half a lime
Tapatio for taste. Start with 2 teaspoons!
Cracked black pepper for taste.
Large baking dish, or a few small baking dishes
Bowl for mixing filling, shallow dish to pour sauce into.
Blender/ magic bullet/ vitamix
Active: 25 min. Inactive (baking): 25 min
1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Spray or grease 9x13 casserole dish. Pour and spread ~½ cup of enchilada sauce to cover the dish bottom of the dish. This helps prevent sticking and also makes the enchiladas easier to serve.
2. In a medium sized bowl, mix chicken, 1 cup shredded cheese, cilantro or parsley, zucchini, cumin, and 1 ½ cups of salsa verde.
3. Set up enchilada station (see graphic below). Start on your left with tortillas, a shallow baking dish filled with sauce, your bowl of filling, then a clean plate, cutting board, or surface to roll the enchiladas, and finally the pan on the far right. It’s easy!
4. Warm ~6 tortillas in a wet paper towel in the microwave for about 45 seconds. They should be pretty hot, which allows them to become malleable and not crack when rolled. Get rolling. Start by dunking the hot tortilla into the sauce. Put it on your clean surface, add about two hefty tablespoons of filling. Gently roll and place enchilada into dish. Repeat until the dish is full.
5. Top the rolled enchiladas with more enchilada sauce. And then top with 1 cup of cheese (if you are a cheese lover, go ham and do what feels right!).
6. Bake for 25 minutes or until enchiladas are warmed through and the cheese is golden brown. If the enchiladas are warm and the cheese isn’t brown, broil for 2-3 minutes.
7. While the enchiladas cool, make the crema. In a blender or bullet, blend sour cream, tapatio, lime juice, and black pepper until one color. Taste and add more tapatio if you want it to be spicier, or more sour cream if it’s too hot.
Serve enchiladas and top with chopped cilantro and crema! Enjoy!
Tips & Notes
-If the zucchini is not cooked before hand, it will cook and become very watery. Zucchini holds a lot of water, so best to take it out before. If you do not want to prep it, skip it, sub in beans, or add another cooked veggie like roasted sweet potatoes to bulk up the mix!
-In case you forgot, use only corn tortillas!
-Wear disposable gloves if you do not want to get salsa all over your hands!
-Rotisserie chicken is the quickest fix for shredded chicken. Or bake some chicken breasts or thighs and shred them with a fork.