If you are a fan of Mexican food, you may have noticed a distinct lack of Mexican recipes on this blog.
In this house we don’t cook much Mexican food. We enjoy it and like going out to Mexican restaurants, but it isn’t a go-to, craving that for dinner kind of food. Probably because I am a serious spice wimp. Like seriously have no tolerance for spicy, just the smell of hot wings brings tears to my eyes.
I get that the category of Mexican food is diverse and more a complex layer of flavors, than hot and spicy. BUT my ancestors ate cabbage and potatoes, so for me when I think Mexican food my mouth gets a little tingly, and my eyes a little watery.
Spicy, Spicy, Spicy
When I saw that the theme of this month’s wine pairing weekend was enchiladas I was more than a little intimidated. The Lovely Husband asked me if I even knew how to make enchiladas? I had a vague idea, but research and some recipe testing needed to be done. Keep in mind Enchilar means to cover in chiles. And that’s exactly what enchiladas are: stuffed tortillas coated and baked with a chile sauce. Chile sauce, yikes! My taste buds were already tingling…
If making something that I wasn’t familiar with/scared of wasn’t bad enough, I had to come up with a wine pairing. Full disclosure I am one of those people who strictly drinks beer when eating Mexican food… umm Negra Modelo is just food friendly.
After a few recipe trials I choose a verde sauce as my starting point for creating an enchiladas recipe. At the very least tomatillos are less fiery than an red chile sauce. Of course like all good plans, I set out with my little list and the grocery stores gods laughed at me. Do you think I could find fresh tomatillos anywhere?! Not a chance! The week before I saw them in several shops, but when I decided to go with the verde sauce and to create this dish again, not one tomatillo to be found, not even a tin of tomatillos. A few shops in I managed to find a jar of green mexican sauce – La Costena Green Mexican Sauce. I’m not a fan of using a jar of sauce, but this sauce was fantastic. If I am being completely honest I liked this version with the jar of sauce better than my first attempt with fresh tomatillos. I mean I jazzed it up a bit, because let’s face it I can’t help myself, but you could certainly skip a few steps of my recipe and just use the sauce straight out of the jar.
Part of my reasoning for adding in the chicken stock and lime juice was to temper the spice (yes, yes I’m a wimp I know!!).
- 8 yellow corn tortillas
- 2 cups rotisserie chicken, shredded*
- 2 cups oaxaca cheese, shredded
- 2 cups green Mexican sauce
- ½ cup red onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup chicken stock
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- ½ lime, juice
- vegetable oil
- salt and pepper
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 1 tbsp milk
- Place a large saucepan over medium heat with vegetable oil. Add onion and garlic, sauté for 5 minutes until onion is soft. Stir in coriander, then add chicken stock, green Mexican sauce and the juice of half of lime. Reduce heat to low, season with salt and pepper, and allow sauce to simmer for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- In a mixing bowl, toss chicken with 1 cup of green sauce and ½ cup of shredded cheese. Set aside.
- Heat vegetable oil in a fry pan over medium high heat. Working one at a time, fry tortilla, turning once, until just starting to brown and crisp, about 10 seconds per side. Transfer tortilla to paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
- Spread 1 cup green sauce lengthwise down the center of a 13x9" baking dish. Working one at a time, spread ¼ cup chicken mixture down the center of tortilla and fold one side over filling, then continue to roll enchilada onto itself. Place seam side down in prepared baking dish as you go (enchiladas should be nestled right up against each other). Top with remaining green sauce and cheese.
- Bake until sauce is bubbling and cheese is beginning to brown, 20–25 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes.
- Mix sour cream and milk to make a crema to garnish enchiladas.
- Serve with a green salad.
Rotisserie Chicken Recipe: Preheat oven to 275F. Coat 3 boneless, skinless chicken thighs in spice mix: 2 tsp paprika, 2 tsp salt, 1 ½ tsp dried thyme, 1 tsp garlic powder,
1 tsp onion powder, & ½ tsp ground black pepper. Place chicken in a roasting pan with ½ cup of chicken stock, cover tightly and braise for 2 hours until chicken is tender and falling apart.
Wine & Enchiladas #winePW
Now the fun part – the wine. My first time joining the wine pairing weekend crew I just selected one wine to pair with my lamb, but I noticed most of the other bloggers were pairing two (or more) wines. More wine?! Yes please!
The German Pinot Blanc is one of the most food friendly wines I’ve tasted recently. I thought this wine hasn’t met a food it didn’t like, and picked it as a safe choice for drinking with the enchiladas. While the Spanish Rosé I thought would have a depth of character that would stand up, in a complementary way to the spicy (to me) verde sauce.
The Pinot Blanc has extremely refreshing, with a long, lovely finish. It has a little residual sweetness that cut through the spiciness and calmed down my taste buds in a very welcoming way.
Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt, one of the most historical wineries in the famed Mosel region of Germany. The winery dates back to 1349, and they own vines in several of Mosel’s most prestigious vineyards. The estate owns 36 hectares (89 acres) of vines, all of which are on steep slopes. All work in the vineyards is exclusively done by hand. The estate’s guiding principle: the quality of the terroir should be reflected in a wine.
2014 Pinot Blanc has notes of crushed granite and slate find harmony against a backdrop of pert grapefruit and lime flavors. Vivacious and lean, this finishes briskly with a spray of orange blossom.
Then strolled in the Rosé and party began…
Drinking the Rosé with the enchiladas really woke up our taste buds. That first sip of the Rosé we both felt like it was making the enchiladas seem spicer, it was a bit much. However, a few more bites and a few more sips, the wine enhancing the flavors and was actually a quite playful pairing with the enchiladas.
This Rosé has a beautiful color and exceptional quality at the price point, in fact it was voted top Spanish Rosé in 2007. It really does drink like a lighter red. The recommended pairings are fish and seafood, but I think it is better suited with grilled chicken and pork.
Considered amongst the best in Spain, Fariña’s Rosé displays a strikingly deep color and intense raspberry and strawberry fruit flavours with good weight on the palate, almost like a light red. Packed with raspberry fruit, this is a great food rose and even greater on its own!
Where the German Pinot Blanc calmed down this spice party, the Spanish Rosé turned up the music and danced the flamenco. The distinct difference between these two wines, and how they reacted to the food, is really what I love about wine and the wine pairing weekend challenges. Both were so unique, it was a fun, and I did not expected such differences when selecting these two wines.
They both work well with the enchiladas. My vote is for the Rosé, while the Lovely Husband picked the Pinot Blanc. As for the enchiladas, well you can expect to see a lot more Mexican inspired recipes on the blog!!
But in the meantime the #winePW crew has you covered with some fantastic enchilada recipes.
Jeff of FoodWineClick will be running a Taste Test: Wines for Spicy Food.
Michelle of RockinRedBlog will be Exploring Enchiladas and Wine Pairings with WinePW.
Sarah from Curious Cuisiniere will post Chicken and Cheese Entomatadas: Pairing Tomatoes with Wine
Join us on Twitter
This Saturday, May 14, 2016, the #WinePW crew will be getting together on twitter to share their wine and enchilada pairing ideas. The concept was started by David Crowley [read his initial invitation here]. It is always a great time, so why not join in on the fun? All you need to do is get on twitter at 11am EST and follow #WinePW.