History and definition
An enchilada is a tortilla dipped in chile sauce, stuffed with a variety of ingredients then rolled up and baked.
The concept of tortillas being wrapped, filled and eaten in various forms was clearly defined by the Aztecs. There does not seem to be any reference to the term "enchilada" that dates back to the Aztecs. The first reference to the term "enchilada" in the U.S. came in 1885.
"The word “enchilada” simply means “in chile” and in Mexico, the most beloved version is actually a street snack: a corn tortilla dipped in chile sauce that’s a far cry from the limp, stuffed tortillas swimming in a sea of red sauce and molten cheese that we’re familiar with in the U.S.
According to American Food and Drink an article in "American Speech" in 1949 described the enchilada as "a Mexican dish prepared more for turista than for local consumption".
In Spanish, to "enchilar" something is to get chiles all over it. Hence, the name for the much-beloved enchilada. Traditional preparation of enchiladas calls for corn tortillas to be quick-fried, then dipped in a chile sauce (a plain red-chile sauce, mole or tomatillo-chile sauce), filled and rolled.
Source: Ortega Foods.com
The tortillas are filled with any of dozens of possible ingredients and rolled up, placed in a casserole, and covered with more enchilada sauce, cheese and onions.
Enchiladas can be filled with dozens of things depending on the cook's taste and imagination. While beef enchiladas are very popular, chicken and cheese enchiladas as well as vegetables, seafood or eggs may also be found in homes and restaurants.
I prefer beef or cheese enchiladas. I've tried chicken enchiladas, but I don't really care for them. As far as my tastes are concerned, no enchilada dinner is complete without a side of Spanish rice, refried beans and guacamole. Oh and don't forget the flour tortillas! (As if this dinner weren't carb-packed enough.) My mouth is watering already.
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