Viva Mexico and viva enchiladas

By Habeeb Salloum

The enchilada is a corn or wheat tortilla rolled around numerous ingredients, and has its origin in the Mayan region of Mexico. In the 19th century, enchiladas were mentioned in the first Mexican cookbook. Later, in the early 20th century they were included in an English cookbook in the U.S. Enchiladas are a popular food filled with a variety of ingredients: all types of meat, seafood, beans, cheese, vegetables or a mixture of them. In my view, seafood enchiladas are the best. Tasty and oozing in flavour, they are excellent for entrees, side dishes or snacks. When ones dines on a meal of seafood enchiladas it can truly be said: Viva Mexico and viva enchiladas.

Makes 12 pieces

Seafood Enchiladas – Mexican Turnovers

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion finely chopped

1 small hot pepper, seeded and finely chopped

1/2-pound crab meat, chopped

1/2-pound chopped shrimp

1/4-pound ground walnuts

1/2 cup pitted olives, halved

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

12 corn or wheat tortillas, 6” diameter

1 1/2 cups half and half cream

4 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon paprika

Heat oil in a frying pan, then sauté over medium heat onion and hot pepper for 8 minutes. Remove from heat, then stir in crab, shrimp, walnuts, olives, salt, pepper and half of the cheese to make a filling. Divide into 12 portions. Place one portion on each tortilla, then roll closed. Place seam-side down in a greased casserole and set aside. Place in a saucepan cream, butter, oregano and garlic powder, then stir over medium heat until heated through, about 10 minutes. Pour evenly over enchiladas, then sprinkle with remaining cheese then the paprika.

Bake uncovered in a 350°F preheated oven for 40 minutes, then serve warm.