Friday, May 14, 2010

Daring Cooks May - Enchiladas

Our hosts this month, Barbara of Barbara Bakes and Bunnee of Anna+Food have chosen a delicious Stacked Green Chile & Grilled Chicken Enchilada recipe in celebration of Cinco de Mayo! The recipe, featuring a homemade enchilada sauce was found on and written by Robb Walsh.

When I read about the enchiladas I had to make this month, I got unnaturally excited. I haven't had much Mexican food since I moved over to Germany. I think there was a Mexican place not too far from where I live but it has since turned into a French restaurant, adding one more eatery to the list of "food from our neighbouring country". Mexican on the other hand, is not common. It is more common to find a Spanish restaurant here in Germany than a Mexican one. This is of course, the complete opposite of North America, where it is much easier to find Mexican food. (For an amusing take on this problem, see The Onion's article: Restaurant Turns Out To Be Spanish, Not Mexican)

Suffering from a lack of Mexican restaurants means that there will be a certain lack of Mexican ingredients as well. It is extremely difficult to find tortillas, for example. I could go to my local Turkish donair shop & get them to roll me yufkas, which are like kinda like tortillas. I could try to deconstruct a nacho chip & make enchiladas out of those. Fortunately, I have a friend from Central America who wanted to make tortillas and had a bag of corn flour at home. Neither of us really know how to roll tortillas. We've seen our moms do it (mine rolled roti - another flatbread like a yufka) but never knew how to do it ourselves.

rolling tortillas

Being far away from home, far away from not only families but the cultures we call home, it makes me aware of the value of cultural goods. The value of not only having my mom around - I'm already aware of her value - but also of having people with similar backgrounds around. The next problem in the enchilada recipe was Anaheim chilies. I don't know offhand what exactly an Anaheim chili is, but research showed that it's a mild chili. I bought the next best thing. Which resulted in a very deadly hot dish. Would this problem have been avoided had I been at home? Maybe not. But at least there, I have more than 2 chili varieties to chose from. Here, it was either red or green. I picked green.

Dinner was still edible. If only because there was some yogurt in the fridge and a bottle of tequila on the table. Being far away from home has drawbacks, certainly, but there's something to be said for spending an evening with friends who share commonalities.

Finished product: deadly hot stacked enchiladas


Mary said...

Sometimes, sharing a meal with friends overcomes a meal that was less than you wanted it to be. It's a shame you were unable to find the ingredients you needed to make the challenge more acceptable to you. Your enchilada casserole look great. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

Murasaki Shikibu said...

The difficulty of finding the ingredients I need to make something I have a craving for has been an on going thing all my adult life.
In fact, I think that this is what has made me a better cook as I've always had to improvise and deviate from the original recipe.
Last night I made a Chinese stir fry with black bean sauce and it has zucchini and dry dark Spanish sherry in it. :)

Wic said...

oh the horror of searching for Mexican food here in Germany.
For the chilies I was at the Turkish supermarket. they have pointy Paprika tat have a kick.
Still it looks delicious and you had fun, this is the way a daring Challenge should end.

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

Deadly indeed - looks like you rocked this challenge!!!

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