“If I die tomorrow this will be my last dish to eat,” says Katsuji Tanabe of a’Verde in Cary, North Carolina, about his version of green enchiladas. Instead of a traditional red sauce, he makes a green sauce out of tomatillos, garlic, and jalapeño to pour over chicken enchiladas. To add a little freshness, he puts together a quick frisée salad to serve over top. “It elevates the flavor and brings out the sourness, spiciness, and crunch.”
2 pounds green tomatillos, chopped
2 garlic cloves
1 shallot, chopped
1 bunch cilantro
2 jalapeños, chopped
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 cups heavy cream
12 corn tortillas
4 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
1 cup shredded swiss cheese
1 cup shredded chihuahua cheese (ok to substitute mozzarella)
2 cups frisée
½ cup thinly sliced red onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Sour cream and cotija cheese to garnish
- In a large saucepot, combine tomatillos, garlic, shallot, cilantro, jalapeño, fish sauce, salt, and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for 5 to 7 minutes until vegetables are slightly softened.
- Remove from heat and either transfer to a blender or use an immersion blender to puree until smooth. Return sauce to pot over medium heat and stir in cream. Keep warm.
- Working in batches, add a small amount of corn oil to a sauté pan over medium-high heat and pan fry each tortilla, about 30 seconds per side, adding more oil in between batches. Wrap tortillas in a cloth towel to keep warm while frying the rest.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Fill each tortilla with about 1/3 cup chicken and roll into a tube. Place enchiladas seam-side down in a 9×13-inch baking dish, nestling them side by side. Pour sauce over enchiladas and sprinkle Swiss and chihuahua cheese over top. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until sauce and cheese are bubbling.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, toss frisée and red onion with olive oil and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
- To serve, place three sauce-smothered enchiladas on each plate. Drizzle with sour cream and garnish with a small pile of frisée salad and cotija cheese on top.
Recipe ByKatsuji Tanabe of a’Verde in Cary, North Carolina