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Old 03-09-2006, 11:34 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, 11:36 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..


http://www.texascooking.com/features...ntortillas.htm
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Old 03-09-2006, 06:59 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, 07:06 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.
Repeat
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, 08:06 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, 05:36 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, 11:21 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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Old 04-09-2006, 07:20 PM   #11
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I am with Velochic. I may also be a minority but I prefer enchiladas made with flour tortillas and not corn. I find the texture of the corn tortillas a bit dry and tough for my taste. I dont like to fry much so lightly frying the corn tortillas to soften it (per the original recipe) is also something I don't like to do and that is the reason soft flour ones work well for me. I would think no matter where you go you can definitely find all purpose flour, salt and some oil or shortening.

I guess you know the rest of the steps once you have the flour tortillas made. I am not sure if you get cumin and corrainder seeds there. If you can get some fresh cumin, corrainder and other spices it will come out great.
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Old 04-09-2006, 07:25 PM   #12
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Rather than frying the corn tortills to soften we just dredge the tortills in the sauce and go from there .Works really well.l
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Old 04-09-2006, 09:05 PM   #13
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I've always made me enchiladas with flour tortias too! It tastes really good and you could just be able to subsitute the corn tortias for the flour oes. good luck!
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Old 04-10-2006, 01:41 PM   #14
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I've made corn tortillas using the flour you buy for polenta (schkanze, etc) but it does fall apart easily. Otherwise I'd just use the wheat, which is what I use anyway. The corn flour for Schkanze does make a great tamale pie. I like the attitude of using what is available and just learn to enjoy things that taste different. I've lived a lot of places in my life. Believe it or not, when I first moved here I couldn't get any sort of yellow corn tortillas or chips, only white (what I refer to a "grits chips"). Now I have a Mexican grocer. I find that corn requires more sauce that regular flour tortillas.

Velochic, I once took a vacation to Slovenia, right after the iron curtain fell, for a couple of weeks. When my American freinds found out that it was very normal for me to go to a grocery store and pick up cheese, bread, etc for lunch. "How did you do the conversions from metric to English in your head!?" I'd laugh: I don't do math. Why do converstions? We simply looked for something, anything that weighed a kilo or half kilo, eyeballed it, and went for it at the deli counters. Shopping in the grocery stores was a great deal of fun.
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Old 04-12-2006, 07:37 AM   #15
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Thanks for all the replies everyone:) My mom liked her cheese enchilladas with flour tortillas but to me that sounds really icky lol. I just love the taste of corn though, so not sure if flour would satisfy me anyway. I actually make great flour tortillas that I started making for the first time in my life after moving here. When I started living in other countries, I really never thought food would be an issue but it sure is. I'm just one of those people who hates change for the most part and I get very attached to things the way I like them. I'm also an ultra picky eater. We actually get Doritos here in small bags so I have about 3 different tortilla chips to choose from.
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Old 04-12-2006, 10:51 AM   #16
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I always make my enchiladas with flour tortillas, & you can probably make those by hand where you are.
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Old 04-13-2006, 05:00 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcana
When I started living in other countries, I really never thought food would be an issue but it sure is... I'm also an ultra picky eater.
All I can say is that you'll be a richer person (on the inside) to just jump in with both feet and live in the culture, including the food. I've spent the last 15 years experiencing "foreign" (to the US) cultures and foods and I've yet to find one that isn't beautiful in some way. I believe that I'm a better person for it. Best of luck to you. And best of luck finding those corn tortillas.
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Old 04-13-2006, 05:09 PM   #18
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Well, regardless of how you "soak" them, you're not going to be able to make corn tortillas out of crushed Doritos. The most you could do would be to make a layered casserole sort of thing.
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Old 04-13-2006, 05:32 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claire
Shopping in the grocery stores was a great deal of fun.
I have made it a point to go into a grocery of every country I've been to, even for a visit. You're right - it is, indeed fun. And it really shows the soul the of the country. I think a grocery is more informational than anything about a country, except perhaps dining in someone's home - and even that is only a sample of one.
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Old 04-13-2006, 06:17 PM   #20
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I would imagine that, even being a picky eater, the original poster just has a taste for Mexican food.

I'm 100% Czech, & Bulgarian food, like German food, is very similar, & the ingredients are really no different than ingredients found in any American supermarket. Even the pickiest of eaters, I'm sure, can easily shop & cook in Bulgaria without having to learn new techniques or ingredients, etc., etc.
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