There are a lot of theories about how these enchiladas became “Swiss.” Some people think they originated in the kitchen of the Emperor Maximillian, back when the French invaded Mexico. Some say that it is because Swiss immigrants to Mexico usually went into the dairy business and these enchiladas use a lot of cheese and cream. And others claim that it is because the cheese and cream reminded them of the Swiss Alps.
Whatever the origin of the name, they are one of my favorite enchiladas!
Enchiladas Suizas (Swiss Enchiladas)
3 cups shredded chicken
2 pounds tomatillos, husked, rinsed and cut into quarters
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
¼ medium white onion, chopped
2 serrano peppers, chopped
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano, crumbled
½ cup chicken broth
½ teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
1/3 cup vegetable oil
12 (6-7 inch) corn tortillas
2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
4 green onions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
½ cup Mexican crema or sour cream thinned with some milk
Prepare the chicken and reserve.
Prepare the poblano peppers and chop them coarsely. Place them in a blender.
Add the tomatillos, cilantro, onion, serrano chiles, oregano, broth, sugar and salt. Blend until smooth.
Add the sauce to a large sauce pan and cook over medium heat for 12 to 15 minutes. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Using tongs, dip the tortillas in the oil until limp (about 3-4 seconds). Drain them on paper towels and set aside. Mix ½ cup of the tomatillo sauce with the shredded chicken.
Assembling the enchiladas: Put one of the tortillas on a plate and put 2 tablespoons of the shredded chicken on the tortilla and roll it to a cylinder. Place it seam-side down in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Repeat with the rest of the tortillas.
Pour most of the remaining sauce over the enchiladas.* Sprinkle the cheese and green onion over the top. Bake, uncovered, for about 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Take them out of the oven and drizzle the Mexican crema over the enchiladas along with the cilantro. Serve.
Note: These enchiladas are traditionally “drowned” in the sauce, but I like them a little bit drier. You can decide whether to use all of the sauce or reserve some for another use.