Here's a recipe series from September 2000:
I've never been very good at rolling enchiladas. I don't know what happens –– they just fall apart. Since my enchiladas resemble a casserole more than tortilla wraps from south of the border, I figure: Why not build a casserole in the first place?
You'd think that with 30 years experience in Navy galleys and institutional kitchens, I'd be able to roll thousands of enchiladas in an afternoon. But unlike Mexican restaurants, institutional kitchens often purchase pre-rolled enchiladas. Cook a red chili sauce, chop a handful of yellow onions and grate a brick of sharp cheddar cheese and you have the makings of a pan of enchiladas.
You have two choices when camping: roll enchiladas or prepare a casserole. You could heat a pan of oil, dip corn tortillas and fill them fill beef or chicken. But why bother? My goal is to keep things simple. Unless you're worried about plate presentation, Dutch oven enchilada casserole is a straightforward approach to preparing this Mexican favorite.
DUTCH OVEN ENCHILADAS
This chicken enchilada recipe uses a mild cream-based green chili sauce that's a refreshing change from the heavier red chili sauce. For a creamer texture, substitute half-and-half for the milk in the recipe. Imitation crab can also be used in place of chicken for seafood enchiladas.
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onion
3 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1-1/2 cups chicken stock
1 cup milk
2 (4-ounce) cans diced green peppers
1-1/4 pounds diced pre-cooked chicken
1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese
5 corn tortillas
Cilantro leaves and sour cream for garnish
Use a 12-inch Dutch oven for this recipe. Ignite 25 to 30 charcoal briquettes and let them burn until they are barely covered with ash, about 20 minutes. For a 350-degree oven, you'll need 8 briquettes underneath and 17 on top of the oven. You may need several extra briquettes underneath the oven while preparing the sauce.
Arrange 14 briquettes underneath oven in a circle. Melt butter in the oven. Add onions and sweat. Add the garlic and sweat until you smell them. Stir in flour and spices; cook roux about 5 to 10 minutes, but do not brown. Add stock and milk; cook until thickened, about 10 minutes.
Add chicken and half of the cheese to the sauce; simmer until cheese melts. Remove half of the meat and sauce mixture into a bowl. Tear or cut tortillas into wedges. Arrange half of the tortilla wedges over the meat mixture in the oven. Spoon the remaining meat mixture over the tortillas. Arrange remaining tortilla wedges over meat mixture.
Place lid on oven. Remove 6 briquettes from underneath oven and place them on lid. Place 11 additional briquettes on lid and cook for 30 to 35 minutes, until sauce bubbles. (You will have 8 briquettes underneath and 17 on top.) (Or bake in a 350-degree oven.) Sprinkle remaining cheese over enchiladas. Cover; bake an additional 5 to 10 minutes to melt cheese. Garnish each serving with cilantro leaf and sour cream dollop. Serves 5 to 6.
Serve enchiladas with cilantro lime rice and cucumber relish (recipes follow).
CILANTRO LIME RICE
If you tire of eating Mexican or Spanish rice that's made with a hearty red sauce, you'll enjoy cilantro lime rice. Simply cook a dish of white rice. When it's nice and fluffy, toss in lime juice, chopped cilantro and lime zest. You can use you favorite recipe for white rice or this recipe.
1 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup minced onions
2 cloves minced garlic
1-1/2 cups medium grain rice
2-7/8 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
3 tablespoon lime juice (or the juice of 1 lime)
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
Use a 10-inch Dutch oven for this recipe. Ignite 21 charcoal briquettes and let them burn until they are barely covered with ash, about 20 minutes. For a 350-degree oven, you'll need 7 briquettes underneath and 14 on top of the oven.
Arrange 7 briquettes underneath oven in a circle. Pour oil in oven and heat. Add onions and sweat. Add garlic and sweat until you smell them. Add rice and coat with oil. Add water, salt and pepper.
Place lid on oven. Arrange 14 briquettes on lid and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, until done. Fluff rice and mix in cilantro, juice and zest. Serves four to six.
Cucumber relish can be used in place of salsa or served on the side as a salad.
2 peeled and seeded cucumbers
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
3 fluid ounces white wine vinegar
3 fl. oz. water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 diced shallot or 1/4 cup diced red onion
2 tablespoon chopped cilantro
Mix all ingredients together. Add additional sugar if you desire a sweeter relish. Chill in cooler until ready to serve. Makes about 2-1/2 cups.
Still want to roll tortillas?
C.W. "Butch" Welch, author of Cee Dub's Dutch Oven and Other Camp Cookin' and More Cee Dub's Dutch Oven and Other Camp Cookin', has a simple method for rolling enchiladas. He uses burrito-sized flour tortillas instead of corn.
Cee Dub –– as he affectionately known by his readers –– says: "To roll my enchiladas, I place the lid of a 12-inch Dutch oven with handle towards the burner on my propane cookstove. I turn the stove on low. After the lid heats up, I place each tortilla on the lid to warm them up. Ten seconds to the side should be about right. Once warmed, they are quite pliable.
"Then I place two to three tablespoons of filling in a line a couple inches from one side. First, I fold the side over the filling. Next, I tuck each end in before rolling it the rest of the way closed. I lay them with the exposed flap down on a plate or cookie sheet for a few minutes to cool. I put enough enchilada sauce in the bottom of the Dutch oven before I place the enchiladas in. On occasion, I've done two layers, but I prefer to just use one layer. Then I pour the remainder of my sauce over the enchiladas."
You can order Cee Dub's books and videos from www.ceedubs.com.
I adapted these recipes from other sources. Sunset Magazine originally published the recipe for Dutch oven chicken enchiladas in its June 1985 issue. The recipe is attributed to Salmon River Outfitters from Columbia, Calif. The recipes for cilantro lime rice and cucumber relish were adapted for Dutch ovens from the New Professional Chef, 6th edition.
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