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Old 03-09-2006, 10:34 AM   #1
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Enchilada Challenge

I have an enchilada challenge for all you great cooks out there:) I'm an American living in Bulgaria for the past 16 months and there are ingredients I can't get here. Corn tortillas are one of them. I can get tortilla chips though. So, what I would like to know is, how could I make a cheese enchilada casserole type dish using the chips instead of the torts and not have them come out crunchy or too dry. I want to use red sauce, cheddar cheese and the chips only and have it come out similar to regular cheese enchiladas. Any and all instructions will be appreciated especially amounts and how to layer.


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Old 03-09-2006, 10:36 AM   #2
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I wonder if you could find the ingredients to make your own corn tortilla? here is a site that tells you how to make them..


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Old 03-09-2006, 05:59 PM   #3
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I have made an enchilada casserole with tostada shells before which are like tortilla chips but bigger I think you would hafto use a fair amount of sauce, but it could work.
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Old 03-09-2006, 06:06 PM   #4
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Do you suppose that by letting the chips soak a bit in the sauce before assembling would help?

Here's what I'd do, were I to make an enchilada type casserole:
Soak the chips in red sauce.

Put a bit of sauce on the bottom of a pyrex baking dish.

Put one layer of the soaked chips, followed by some seasoned ground beef, chopped/sauteed onions, diced tomatoes, and sharp cheese.
Top with more chips and then pour the remainder of the red sauce all over, till it's covered everything. End by topping the casserole with a sprinkling of sliced green onions and chopped black olives. Serve with a dollop of sour cream (I'd add avocado slices, but I'm guessing they're not present in your area!)
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Old 03-09-2006, 07:06 PM   #5
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Can you get lard and masa flour? Man that's about all you need except salt and water....
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Old 03-10-2006, 04:36 PM   #6
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Googled a bit, particularly using brand names like Doritos, and found a number.

The basic idea seems to be to crumble the chips by hand.

Which seems to make sense, at least to me.

Hope this helps.
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Old 03-10-2006, 10:21 PM   #7
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I'd have to say make your own as the others above me have said. Milled blue corn should be available where you are...tortillas are cake to make. Or else flour tortillas. Everywhere has flour tortillas...heck, you can find those in Ethiopia, where dirt is a delicacy.

Can you substitute hard shells like that? Yeah, you can...but they won't taste quite right. The salt content in them is too different and even if you did "sog" them down to the point that they had the basic flexibility of a soft tortilla...they'd be soggy.
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Old 04-09-2006, 02:01 PM   #8
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Sorry for the late reply. I was in another city having a baby and no internet.

Debbie, there are several brands of corn flour here and I bought some and tried to make corn tortillas and they came out awful both in texture and taste. And they were so sticky to handle that it took forever and I used wax paper, plastic and everything else the recipes I was using called for. Now that I have a baby to care for, I'm thinking the tortilla chips would be easier if I can figure out how not to drown them in too much sauce or have them turn out like cardboard cause I didn't use enough lol.

Hopz, what is masa flour? Is it corn flour? I'm not sure about lard. They have special stuff for deep fryers here but I'm not sure that is the same thing or not.

Thanks auntdot, I probably will do that.

Poppinfresh, it's rather amazing what you CAN'T find here. They are very traditional with their foods here. And although we have Kraft and Nestle companies here, I've never found tortillas. There are two mexican cafes I heard about that sell and even deliver flour torts but not corn. When I was in Russia, I was surprised that they had hard taco shells and flour torts but they didn't have soft corn. What surprises me more is that I lived in a small town of 4 million in China for a short time and they had Oreos. Not only the ones from Nabisco but an offbrand too. We don't have Nabisco or Oreos here:(

Mostly for cheese enchilladas, I was wondering about how much sauce and how to layer with the tortilla chips I want to use. They are rather thin and get soaked in just a minute or two from the taco meat I've put on them so they aren't hard to soften and actually soften rather easily so I'm afraid of drowning them and having mush.
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Old 04-09-2006, 04:22 PM   #9
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Wow, you had a baby? Congratulations!!!
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Old 04-09-2006, 06:21 PM   #10
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I'm no Mexican food expert, but I've always thought that enchiladas could be made with flour tortillas. That's how I've always made mine, but like I said, I'm no expert. IN Germany, we're lucky that Mexican food is available in small amounts in the markets - not the millions of varieties like in the US, but enough to make do.

I certainly understand not being able to get American products abroad, but there are ALWAYS ways to improvise... even it it's baking off pita chips in place of dorito-type chips or making crepes for flour tortillas. I guess part of it is embracing that it's different - one of the first things an American expat told me was to just leave the US behind and do what you can with what you have. I hope I'm making sense - as usual I'm up in the middle of the night and am half asleep.

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