Sunday, December 20, 2009

Venison Enchiladas with Christmas Chili Sauces

When I worked in northern New Mexico for a summer, I learned how to order "Christmas" at restaurants, and I learned it quickly. I flew in to the quaint Santa Fe airport and was picked up by a friend. I was hungry after the day's travel so we stopped off at a nearby restaurant. My friend had already been working in area a few weeks before I arrived and already knew how to enjoy the local cuisine.

I ordered a plate of beef enchiladas and the waitress asked if I wanted red or green chili sauce. Thinking that I hadn't had much green chili sauce during my life, I went with that. My friend ordered chicken enchiladas, and again the waitress asked, "Red or Green?" My friend replied, "I'd like that Christmas, please."

My friend knew I'd be a lot confused, and after the waitress left, my friend explained that ordering a dish with "Christmas" meant it would be topped with both red and green chili sauce - see, the colors of Christmas.

So today I give you, in honor of Christmas, a recipe for Venison Enchiladas with Christmas Chili Sauce.

Note: I've really appreciated all the comments people have been making to me, here and in person, about this blog and how it can be improved. My New Year's Resolution for this blog is to include many more high-quality photos of the actual dishes I'm preparing. So stay tuned and make sure I follow through!

Venison Enchiladas with Christmas Chili Sauces 
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Twelve 6- to 7-inch corn tortillas
3 cups of heated, canned venison meat
10 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (about 3 cups), can substitute with non-dairy cheese
1 cup finely chopped red onion
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh coriander
1 (10-ounce) can of red chili sauce
1 (10-ounce) can of green chili sauce
2 avocados for topping and garnish

In a small skillet, heat the vegetable oil over med-high heat until it is hot, but not smoking

Cook the tortillas, one at a time, for 5-10 seconds per side, or until they start to bubble but not crisp, and transfer them with tongs to paper-towel-lined plate to drain.

On each tortilla mound 1/4 cup of venison, one tablespoon of the cheese, one tablespoon of onion and one teaspoon of the chopped coriander.

Roll up the tortillas and arrange the enchiladas, seam-side-down, in a shallow 3-quart baking dish. Pour the red and green chili sauces over the enchiladas, sprinkle the enchiladas with the remaining 2 1/4 cups cheese and bake them in a preheated 350° F oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly.

Sprinkle the enchiladas with the remaining chopped coriander and serve with the avocado, peeled and diced.

Serves 4 to 6.

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