A couple of years ago, three journalism friends and I went to Vegas. I really wanted to try Bobby Flay’s restaurant Mesa Grill, but one of the women didn’t want to go because she loves Anthony Bourdain and he doesn’t like Bobby Flay. Normally I’m all for irrational hatred of celebrities, but the menu looked so good. We strong-armed her into going, but it didn’t stop her from berating “The Flay.”
Once we got our food she couldn’t help but shut up. She thought it was fantastic. We all did. She ended the meal by yelling, “I love the Flay.”
And now, after meeting him, I do, too! On Monday, The Flay was shooting a video for Hellmann’s mayonnaise with a young mother who needed help finding a quick meal for her family.
After the shoot I was able to ask Bobby some questions. I always make the same things. Green chile enchiladas, picadillo, calabasitas, and they’re all the dishes my mother made me growing up. I asked him what I could do to make my meals different, more interesting?
He started with the enchiladas and recommended I try adding tomatillos to my green chili sauce. The result is tart, not hot, he said. “It gives it another dimension.”
I decided to try out the recipe on Wednesday. It gave me an excuse to go to Top Valu in Culver City, the best Mexican grocery store around. (I got a bag full of produce for $8!). I bought poblanos chiles (labeled pasilla at the store) tomatillos, onions, garlic, and cilantro.
The Flay gave me general directions, but this is what I ended up doing and the enchiladas were very good.
Bobby said the leftover sauce can be saved and used for other dishes. Tonight we had the sauce as salsa over tacos made with the leftover pork and sauteed spinach and garlic. He suggested mixing it with mayonnaise and using it on fish or making a salad dressing out of it.
I can’t wait to try those. He also gave me a good suggestion for making my picadillo more authentic. I’ll try that next week.
Green Chile Enchiladas
- 1 lb pork shoulder, cubed
- ½ medium onion, diced
- 1 tbls minced garlic
- Chicken stock, enough to cover the pork in the pot
- 1 lb. tomatillos
- 1 ½ pound poblano chiles
- One onion, cut in strips
- 5 garlic cloves
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 6 corn tortillas
- Jack Cheese
- Cook cubed pork, minced garlic, and diced onion in chicken stock, filling until stock just covers the meat and vegetables. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 2 to 3 hours. (I did 2)
- Lightly spray or grease long pan with olive oil. Cut pasillas in half and take out top and seeds. Clean tomatillos (they’re sticky and look like small green pumpkins!) and cut out the top. Spread the poblanos, tomatillos, onion and garlic on the pan and roast at 450 degrees for 10 minutes turning once or until the chiles start to turn black.
- While that’s cooking, pull cilantro from stems. Take pork out of the liquid and shred.
- Once the vegetables are cooled, puree the vegetables in a food processer with the cilantro until it looks like the picture on the right:
- Lightly spray corn tortillas on both sides with olive or corn oil and bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes or until soft.
- Once the tortillas are cooled, place the pork and a spoonful of green chili sauce in a line on the center of the tortilla and roll. Place in a 9 by 3 casserole dish. Repeat with the rest of the tortillas placing the enchiladas close together. Sprinkle with Jack cheese and then pour green chili sauce over the top until covered.
- Bake at 350 degrees until the cheese is melted (about 15 minutes). Serve with beans or rice.