Thursday, February 10, 2011

Shrimp Enchiladas

This recipe was on the cover of Bon Appetit last summer.  I saved it and then didn't come across it again until recently when I had company on the way for the weekend and a craving for Mexican food. 

The actual title of the recipe is "Shrimp and Cotija Enchiladas".  Cotija cheese is a hard, white Mexican cheese made from cow's milk.  If this is an ingredient you think you'll have trouble purchasing, you can substitute feta cheese.  I was able to make a trip to Reyna Foods in the Strip District of Pittsburgh to get most of the ingredients for this dish that I would have trouble getting at my local Kroger store.  It's a great little store that carries lots of Mexican/Latin American staples, novelties, various fresh guacamole and salsas as well as in-store-made tortillas and corn chips.  I was able to get the only other ingredient that isn't readily available to me at home in Wheeling, which is Crema Mexicana.  This is the Mexican version of sour cream (which, of course you can use as a substitute in this recipe).  True Crema is sour cream's richer, more decadent cousin.  If you can get your hands on it, you won't regret it.  It's delicious!

For the first time making this dish, I did follow the recipe closely.  I thought it was wonderful, but I do have just a few changes that I will make when (not if, WHEN!) I make these enchiladas again.  

  • I will substitute flour tortillas for the corn tortillas called for in the recipe.  This is really a matter of personal preference.  The one modification I did make was to use both flour and corn tortillas in this dish.  The recipe directs that both sides of each tortilla be dredged in the freshly made salsa verde.  I liked how the flour tortillas soaked the flavor up more (and I have to be honest, I just don't care for the texture of corn tortillas--again, personal taste should guide you, here)
  • The recipe calls for the finished enchiladas to be topped with thinly sliced avocado and red onion for serving.  The next time I make these, I will dice the avocado and red onion and marinate it in lime juice then top each enchilada with the mixture along with fresh cilantro.

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