While I enjoy making quick weeknight meals, there are some days I don't mind spending more time in the kitchen. Many times in the winter months I like going into the kitchen and cooking because it keeps me warm and toasty. Having food on both the stove and in the oven is actually warm and comforting.
That's why instead of making my traditional enchiladas last week I went with a slightly fancier version. These enchiladas are covered in a sweet chile and garlic sauce that is totally worth the effort. It was also a great way to use the some of the chilies I received as a gift in December.
If you aren't big on spicy food you can totally adjust the amount of spice in the sauce by reducing the amount of chilies. I also adjusted the amount of brown sugar because we aren't big on really sweet sauces. The enchiladas can also be filled with chicken, beef, or pork so they are customizable to your tastes.
Enchiladas de Chile Ajo (adapted from Saveur)
1-2 chili peppers
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. cumin
1 c. diced tomatoes
½ onion, minced
2 T. olive oil
2 c. chicken stock
1 t. oregano
1 t. thyme
½ t. paprika
½ t. black pepper
1 slice white sandwich bread, toasted
1 T. brown sugar
2 T. lime juice
12 soft tortillas
2 c. cooked, shredded chicken
1 c. cheddar cheese, shredded
1. Place the chilies and the 1 cup water in the blender and puree until smooth.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, tomatoes, and onions. Saute for 10 minutes. Pour the vegetables into a bowl.
3. Return the skillet to the heat and add the remaining oil. Add the chili puree and fry, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes.
4. Pour the chili paste, cooked vegetables, chicken stock, oregano, thyme, paprika, pepper, and bread into the blender and puree until smooth.
5. Pour the sauce into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add in brown sugar and lime juice. Remove from heat.
6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
7. Divide the chicken and ¾ cup of cheese between the tortillas. Roll the tortillas up and place in a large baking dish. Pour the sauce over top of the enchiladas and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted.
8. Serve hot with sour cream and cilantro on top if desired.