Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Exploring The Whole Enchilada

Today we're exploring The Whole Enchilada. Do you ever wonder where this phrase comes from and what it means? I did a little research on the web and here's what I found: It refers to the Mexican dish, enchiladas, and means all of it.

This makes sense to me because enchiladas are so good that you do tend to eat all of it. Another source offered that the word enchilada comes from the verb enchilar (to add chile pepper to) and that enchilada literally means in chile. So now you know.

But how do you really define enchiladas? Are they simply a flour or a corn tortilla, with a chicken, beef, pork, or cheese filling placed inside, rolled, then put seam side down in a baking dish, covered with sauce and probably lots of cheese--or are they so much more? Take a look at the enchiladas that Tex-Mex Foodies brought to the Fiesta today and decide for yourself what the whole enchilada is.

Chef Bliss brought an Enchitacurito Salad that defies description. Is it an enchilada? A taco salad? A tostada layered like a lasagna? A burrito? This definitely falls into the category of The Whole Enchilada.

Chef Bliss also offers Beef Enchilada Casserole, and to further confuse us with the whole enchilada, didn't even use tortillas to make enchiladas. She must be on to something; maybe she'll come by the party today and explain what The Whole Enchilada really is and what it means.

Teresa, Mexican American Border Cooking, being true to her hometown, El Paso, brought us two versions of quick, easy-to-make Red Picadillo Enchiladas.

Meg, Megan's Munchies, brought Chicken Black Bean Enchiladas, saying that you'll love this recipe if you want a delicious, cheesy, quick Tex-Mex meal. I'm so proud of Meg; she's a Texan and has captured the art and flair of Tex-Mex.

Chef E, Behind the Wheel Chef, offers us Enchiladas ~ Tejas Style and wonders if the enchiladas on the plate will be enough to fill us up. These look so good, maybe we need more to make the whole enchilada.

Ben, What's Cooking, brought Pork Enchiladas with Creamy Poblano Sauce, explaining that unlike the traditional green sauce enchiladas, this sauce doesn't use any tomatillos.

Taco (remember the bartender who gave you the delicious cheesy, Chile con Queso on Salsa Sunday?) brought Cheese Enchiladas, saying they're a cheesy Mexican food delight.

Taco also brought Chicken Enchiladas, saying that these enchiladas are a great way to use leftover chicken.

Picante Grill, a very popular restaurant here in San Antonio contributed a Chicken Enchiladas Rancheras recipe for my cookbook. These are the best enchiladas in town!

Do you have the best enchiladas in town? Want to prove it and share your recipe? I challenge all Tex-Mex Foodies to The Whole Enchilada Throwdown! The prize: A copy of my cookbook so you can get the recipe for Picante Grill's Chicken Enchiladas Rancheras.

Make the best enchiladas you've ever made, creatively define the term the whole enchilada, post your recipe on your blog by April 17th with the badge and a link to this post, then email me at with the link to your post. You can submit as many enchiladas as you want (that's part of the definition of the whole enchilada). If you already have enchiladas on your blog, just update your post to include what the whole enchilada is. I'll post a round-up on April 18th, one month from now. Voting will determine the winner.

Since enchiladas tend to be a family affair around here, my daughter, Jennifer, who loves cheese, made a Cheese Enchilada Platter with red corn tortillas, served with rice and beans, pico de gallo, and chopped avocado on the side. Her recipe is in the cookbook.

Of course I had to bring my Easy Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas Verde to the Fiesta because I discovered the secret to rolling perfect corn tortillas without frying. Plus, the sour cream topping, the lettuce and tomato, along with the rice and beans on the side sort of contributes to the effect of the whole enchilada.

Speaking of secrets, Karen, Domestic Muse, found out my Tex-Mex secret but she's sworn to secrecy until tomorrow when I reveal to all Tex-Mex Foodies what I've done. Just in case you want the thrill of discovery, here's the last guess she made, along with my last clue which led her to the site.

Karen: Are we getting our own group on

Me: You are SO close! Really, really close! You've almost found it! :) Another clue: It's not a group on an established site. It's more like a new site for Tex-Mex Foodies.

Tomorrow is Tex-Mex Thursday and I'll share my secret, along with a Tex-Mex tradition that's found on almost every plate.


5 Star Foodie said...

All fabulous recipes! I've got my "spring" soup up, finally made it yesterday! said...

Oh these all look so wonderful!! I swear there are not enough meals in a day! LOL!!! The secret to the enchilada casserole is the chips and as far as the whole enchilada ..... hhmmmm, good question!! I will have to come back for that one!! :)

Reeni♥ said...

Is it a new blog/forum? I have to go whip up some enchiladas now!! YUMMMMMMMMMMM!!

Ben said...

This is my kind of fiesta! All those enchiladas look amazing :)

Kendra said...

OH my so many taco so little time...can't believe I forgot to do this...but we've had three sick kids. Next time!

I seriously want to know this secret too! LOL

Coleen's Recipes said...

I just discovered your web page today and I LOVE it! I will be back again and again, its a beautiful web page!