Daring Cooks May: Enchiladas

Our hosts this month, Barbara of Barbara Bakes and Bunnee of Anna+Food have chosen a delicious Stacked Green Chile & Grilled Chicken Enchilada recipe in celebration of Cinco de Mayo! The recipe, featuring a homemade enchilada sauce was found on www.finecooking.com and written by Robb Walsh.
Good Mexican food is hard to come by in Sweden. Sure, “Tex Mex” is extermely popular and is on the dinner tables of many Swedish families on Friday and Saturday evenings, but it's of course a “Swedified” version and, in my opinion, quite boring. I haven't found any good Mexican restaurants either, but we do have some Taco Bell-copies.

So, the alternative, as always, is to make it yourself. But then you run into problems at the grocery store. Corn tortillas? Yeah, maybe. Anaheim chilies? Errrr, no. Tomatillos? What's that? (Answer here.) As usual, our hosts were aware of the regional limitations of the global Daring Cooks, and provided us with some suggestions for substitutes. Tomatillos are apparently somewhat related to gooseberries. Fresh gooseberries are hard to come by during gooseberry season (unless you have a bush in you garden, or knows someone who does, your only bet is the local farmer's market. I have never seen gooseberries in a grocery store), and in May? Impossible!

So what's two Daring Cooks to do? Well, improvise of course!

We had of course great plans to make our own tortillas and all, but we didn't have time. We did, however, have time for a crazy chicken “grilling” experiment. The recipe says to use a gas grill or medium-hot charcoal, which we didn't have access to. Instead, we brushed the chicken breasts with Liquid Smoke (yay, artificial flavorings!), cooked them in the oven for about 20 minutes, and then Markus went over them with our kitchen torch (the kind you use for brulées). We don't know if the torch thing really did anything to the flavor, but it added some color and was so crazy we just had to do it!

And for the Anaheim peppers? Well, our guess was that they are mainly green and has a bit of a punch in them, so we opted for green bell peppers (for the color), regular red peppers (for the punch), and some jalapeño (for color and punch, turned out to be hard to peel them after roasting, so we ended up not using very much of it, which was probably for the better anyway.)

Oh, and since we were unable to get either tomatillos or gooseberries, we opted for gooseberry jam! Well, what's a daring cook to do?

So, here's the recipe for our gooseberry-pepper salsamathingy

450 g Green bell peppers
40 g Jalapeño
70 g Red chili
1 Onion
2 cloves of Garlic
1 tbsp Chicken stock concentrate
½ dl Water
250 g Gooseberry jam
1 tsp Dried oregano

Grill, peel and remove the seeds from the green bell peppers, the jalapeño and the red chili. Chop the onion and press the garlic. Mix it all up with a mixer, and stir in the chicken stock, water and seasoning. Taste on your own risk. Since we only had 250 g of Gooseberry jam, we halved the recipe at this time, using only half of the pepper mix.

To assemble the enchiladas, we used store brought corn tortillas, a mixture of Porte Salute, Cheddar and Parmesan cheese and the “grilled” chicken. We started with a thin layer of salsa, then added two layers of tortilla, salsa, chicken and cheese, and topped it all with a layer of tortilla, salsa and cheese.

The enchiladas were cooked for 15 minutes at 225°C, and served with guacamole and cold, Mexican beer – as is becoming of this kind of dish. We later found out that tomatillos are available in Sweden, but only as a prefabricated “Tomatillo & Green Chili Sauce”...

Thank you for a fun and tasty challenge! Make sure to visit the Daring Kitchen for the whole recipe and the other Daring Cooks' creations!


  1. So, how did they taste? It sounds like you had fun searching and improvising for this challenge. Looks great!

  2. Oh I guess we forgot to write about how great they tasted! We had Markus' parents as dinner guests and they really liked them too.

  3. I love it! What splendid creativity you used in replicating this recipe! Gooseberry jam! The pepper blend! Liquid smoke! You are truly a Daring Cook and I am glad you enjoyed your Swedish version of the recipe.

  4. I love your creativity! Your grilling alternative is a hoot, and the salsamathingy sounds worth tasting! Great job coming up with solutions, and I am so glad that the end results were worth the work!

  5. Bunnee and I split up the posts to visit - she took the odd numbers and I'm visiting the even numbered posts, but she loved your post so much she sent me an email to come read it and I'm glad I did. You are what the Daring Cooks is all about. Being inventive and trying out new things. I might have to buy a torch just to give it a try. Glad you had fun with the challenge. Well done. Thanks for cooking with us!

  6. I don't think I would have ever thought to use gooseberry jam if I couldn't find fresh berries, but I can see how it would work and it sounds like it did!

    Also, love that photo of the kitchen torch and the chicken. :P

  7. I loved reading your post on how you improvised to make up for what you couldn't find. LOL@gooseberry-pepper salsamathingy. That said, your enchilada turned out wonderful..and no doubt tasted great too! Love the photo of the peppers..bright, vibrant naturally lit goodness :)

  8. Wish I'd thought of liquid smoke to add some flavour - and the torch grilling is just a wild idea! You did a great job adapting to the ingredients (or lack thereof). Oh, and I love the title of your blog, too!

  9. LOL! "Swedified" that's cute=;) I haven't tried gooseberries not even w/ jam. After this blog, i'm going to be on the watch on my next farmers market and give gooseberries a whirl. Thank you!

  10. Well, now I know what Swedish Tex Mex will taste like. ;)

    I think you guys improvised very well! And I love that you torched your meat! hahaha! :D

  11. Well done with all the hurdles. As we share lattitude, I can't help but feel a kinship with my fellow Nordic cooks.

    I laugh every time I read your blog title. I think to myself, mmmm, deer veal.