Monday, July 20, 2009

Shrimp Enchiladas

It's my roommate Kimmy's birthday! Well, it was Kimmy's birthday. On June 7th. Since I was basking in the sun in the Bahamas at that time (or rather, waiting in line at the U.S. Embassy and begging to get my visa approval), I figured there was no time like this weekend to pull together Kimmy's belated birthday meal.

Kimmy is a shrimp lover. As is, she can eat shrimp all day for at least a week and be OK with that. Although I tend to favor other meat and seafood options, this was not a dish being created entirely for my personal enjoyment.

However, Kimmy and I do share a common bond over salsa verde. I obtained a recipe from my friend Matt and it is the most amazing sauce ever. I put it on everything when I make it, so of course I have to put it on/in these enchiladas.

That being said, I began the requisite search for salsa verde enchilada recipes through my favorite blog website, Tastespotting. The Boastful Baker's Chicken Enchiladas recipe seemed like a good base with which to start experimenting. So here we go, the final product of my labors:

Shrimp Enchiladas with Corn, Green Chiles & Sweet Onions
Yields 8-10 enchiladas (12 enchiladas if you don't overstuff like I do!)

  • 8-10 medium flour tortillas
  • 25 frozen, chopped cooked shrimps (you can also use fresh cooked shrimp if desired)
  • 1 sweet onion, diced and cooked until soft
  • 1 can corn (fresh or frozen), drained
  • 2 4.25 oz cans diced green chiles
  • 2-3 cups shredded Colby Jack cheese (use more or less cheese depending on personal taste)
  • 5 1/2 cups tomatillo sauce
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2) Lightly oil a 9 x 13 baking pan. Depending on the size of your enchiladas, you may need to oil another baking pan.

3) Pour 1/3 of the tomatillo sauce into bottom of pan and spread evenly.

4) Mix another 1/3 of the tomatillo sauce with shrimp, corn, green chiles, and onions. Stir until well combined.

5) Using a skillet, lightly heat a corn tortilla. They’re not very flexible when they're cold or at room temperature. If they are not heated, they will break during enchilada assembly.

6) Spoon 3-4 tablespoons chicken mixture down the middle of tortilla shell.

7) Sprinkle with a small amount of shredded cheese. Roll one side of tortilla towards the middle. Roll the other side and then carefully transfer the enchilada to baking pan with the seam side down.

8) Repeat steps 5 - 7 until the pan is full.

9) Evenly pour the last 1/3 of the tomatillo sauce over the enchiladas in the pan. Top with remaining shredded cheese.

10) Bake for approximately 30 minutes until sauce is bubbly. Let cool for a few minutes before serving.

The result? A sweet, tangy and savory combination of shrimp, vegetables, tomatillo sauce, and of course, cheese! I enjoyed the entire dish first of all because I love enchiladas suizas (basically, enchiladas with a green sauce). Second of all, I love melted cheese and this dish can pack as big a wollop of melted cheese as you desire.

You can also customize your enchiladas. Below are a few examples, but feel free to go hog wild:
- Serve the enchiladas with rice on the side and a big dollop of sour cream on top.
- Substitute other meats and vegetables as fillers in the enchiladas. I made these before using shredded grilled chicken instead of shrimp.
- Add black beans or pinto beans to the mix. I personally dislike beans, so I kept them out of my recipe, but don't let this stop you if you actually like beans.

I could eat Mexican food at any time. These enchiladas would definitely satisfy my cravings for a spicy and cheesy meal, which is what I tend to associate Mexican food with. That could also be because I typically only order Mexican food containing cheese, but that's another story. Pair this dish with a Corona or two (substitute margaritas here, if necessary) and I think you'll have a stellar dinner meal at hand.

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