Ever wanted to know ‘the whole enchilada’ about Enchiladas? You’ve probably enjoyed an Enchilada or two at your local Mexican restaurant and perhaps you have even been adventurous enough to make your own at home, but what makes a real enchilada and how many ways can you prepare them? Here’s the story of the Enchilada.
What is an Enchilada?
The modern Enchilada is a corn tortilla that is rolled around a filling, then covered with a tomato and chilli sauce. Enchiladas can be filled with a wide variety of traditional ingredients including cooked meats, cheese, potatoes, beans and vegetables in any type of combination. They are often topped with cheese, sour cream, coriander, onion and guacamole variations.
In a more traditional fashion, authentic Enchiladas were corn tortillas – often fried – and topped with a chilli sauce. They didn’t always have a filling like they do nowadays. They were served with a sprinkling of fresh cheese (queso fresco) or a drizzle of cream.
What’s the difference between an Enchilada and a Burrito?
An Enchilada should always be made using a corn tortilla. A Burrito is made using a flour tortilla. A Burrito can be eaten ‘dry’, or wrapped up without a chilli sauce, or ‘wet’ where the Burrito is served topped with a tomato and chilli sauce plus cheese and then baked in the oven.
What does the word Enchilada mean?
The name enchilada is Spanish and is the past tense of the word ‘enchilar’ which means ‘to add chili to’ or literally ‘to season (or decorate) with chili’
Where did Enchiladas come from?
The practice of rolling tortillas around other food dates back at least to Mayan times where the people living in the lake region of the Valley of Mexico traditionally ate corn tortillas folded or rolled around small fish. 1
What are some ways to eat Enchiladas?
Chicken Enchiladas with Salsa Verde – Poached chicken is shredded then rolled in a fried corn tortilla and covered in a green chilli sauce and a grating of Cotija cheese.
Black Bean Enchiladas – A spiced stew of black beans is rolled in a corn tortilla, topped with a red enchilada sauce and cheese then baked in the oven then served with slices of red onion and fresh coriander leaves.
That’s the whole enchilada on the Enchilada!