Folks may flock to Costco for their Saturday morning tasting buffet, but next time you want some more interesting (and authentic) grazing, check out your local supermercado (Mexican supermarket). These neighborhood markets, usually located in the ethnic parts of town, hold all sorts of curiosities along with good eats, friendly folks happy to explain things, and last but not least, great prices.
A recent stop at my local supermercado yielded grilled quesadillas made with fresh corn tortillas and beef braised in guisa sauce, both made by a mom and daughter team from Panama handing out samples. My own daughter and I indulged and also picked up some plantains, Mexican cheese and sour cream from Honduras. My daughter got an education on ethnic foods and got to practice her Spanish along the way. I love taking ethnic markets—they’re super inspiring.
Here is a recipe for simple chicken enchiladas that should be fabulous with the fresh corn tortillas, Mexican cheese and some fresh roasted hatch chiles that a friend brought me back from New Mexico a couple of weeks ago. But, alas I’ve made it many times with canned chiles, regular Monterey jack cheese and supermarket tortillas to great acclaim. I also added some fresh corn, the last of the farmer’s market “Peaches and Cream” (a hybrid sweet corn) — but frozen will work too.
—By Jill Melton, Relish Editor
Chicken Enchilada Casserole
1 cup roasted green chiles or 3 (4-ounce) cans green chiles
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
3 large green onions or 1 regular onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves
juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup heavy cream or cream cheese
8 corn tortillas, warmed
2 cups pulled chicken meat
1 cup fresh corn kernels
4 ounces shredded melting Mexican cheese (such as Queso Quesadilla) or Monterey Jack
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Combine chiles, cilantro, green onions, garlic and lime juice in food processor and puree until almost smooth.
3. Place pureed mixture in a skillet and heat until warmed. Add cream (or cream cheese) and whisk until smooth. Place a small amount of sauce in bottom of 9×13 pan or shallow gratin dish. Layer tortillas, chicken, cheese, sauce and corn, ending with sauce and cheese. Cover and bake for 30 minutes or until heated through. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and rice.