If I had to pick one type of food that I could eat forever that would be “my favorite,” without a doubt it would be mexican food. I have always enjoyed mexican food but my love of it really blossomed when I was dating a previous boyfriend(who happened to be half mexican) and would enjoy his mom Kelly’s homemade enchiladas and tamales and such. And it wasn’t even until the beginning of college when I had dated him for a year or two that my tolerance for and appreciation of the spicy side of mexican food really took my love affair with the cuisine to the next level.
There is a certain simplicity with mexican food yet it seems so complex that really makes me love it. You could order a vegetarian burrito at one place then try the same meal at another and it could taste 100% different. I think its the constant guessing game of spices and flavor combination that really makes cooking the cuisine so much fun.
Enchiladas happen to be a favorite of mine under that umbrella of mexican cuisine, however, I would never order enchiladas at a restaurant for one reason…They never seem to taste the same as Kelly’s homecooked enchiladas. When I would go over to their house for the enchilada meal it seemed that somehow, word had spread like wildfire and instead of it just being immediate family who live in the house all of a sudden the house had doubled with the amount of people, all in search of those infamous enchiladas. And for that reason, she would haul out at least two large enchilada baking pans, and fill every inch with cheesy goodness. (all which would be scarfed down by everyone within 15 minutes, almost as fast and with as much competition as her tamales which I have yet to learn how to make).
Maybe it is the memory of this large group eating together that makes enchiladas feel more like a dinner for a large group but ever since I have started making enchiladas, it is always more satisfying to serve them to a group. Before this family introduced me to the idea of adding shrimp, I would have thought of the simple chicken enchiladas but it was the revelation of filling the tortilla with sauteed mushrooms and shrimp that really got me addicted to the meal.
This recipe has simply been adapted from what Kelly’s enchiladas had in them and what I thought to add. The technique is pretty much universal so here goes…
Shrimp and mushroom enchiladas: (makes approx 10)
10 tortillas, 1 large can of enchilada sauce (preferably red), 3/4 lb uncooked shrimp that has been shelled and deveined then chopped into bitesize pieces, 1 package of button mushrooms, 1/2 lb of grated cheddar cheese (or more to taste), chili powder, paprika.
1. add the sliced mushrooms to a pan with a little cooking oil, add chili powder and paprika to taste, cook until almost done (about 5 minutes). Then add the chopped shrimp and add more seasoning if desired. cook until shrimp is fully pink (about 10 minutes). stir occasionally to move around.
2. microwave the tortillas for about 15 sec to get them pliable. and preheat the oven to 350 degrees
3. set up assembly station by placing the tortillas down, then a dinner plate with a layer of enchilada sauce, then the grated cheese, shrimp mixture, and a baking dish with a layer of enchilada sauce on the bottom.
4. to assemble grab a tortilla and place it on the plate with sauce and cover both sides, shake to loosen off any excess.
5. place sauced tortilla in baking dish and sprinkle a line of cheese at one end of the tortilla, then add the shrimp mixture on top.
6. gently roll the tortilla starting at the end with the cheese until it is rolled completely and place it in the baking dish with the seam of the tortilla facing down. continue this process until the baking dish is full. you may need to add more sauce to the plate.
7. when dish is full pour sauce to cover the top of the enchiladas and sprinkle the tops with the remaining cheddar cheese (to taste).
8. place in oven to allow the cheese to melt (15-20 min).
*if you do not like mushrooms feel free to take them out, and add any other filling you wish. I have added canned green chilies before.