Sometimes when I miss my mom, I make enchiladas.
No, not the red-sauced cylinders with spiced ground beef inside. They are white. They are ooey and gooey. They are rich and decadent. They just scream out “MOM” from the very first bite.
Carol created this recipe over a period of 30 years, making slow baby-step changes as time went on until they became the perfect creaminess with a spike of green chiles and green onions just to wake up your mouth while you are moaning with pleasure from the sheer rich gooeyness of her signature dish.
When I was tall enough to let my elbows rest on the counters without a step stool, Carol taught me the secrets of her famous White Enchiladas.
Don’t skip frying the tortillas until they’re soft, Carol insisted, or your tortillas will turn to mush when baking. The green onions have to be sliced thin, Carol cautioned. The sour cream must be fresh, Carol warned.
She was right, of course, about all of it: the most perfect comfort foods have a warm, filling feeling, with just a touch of something different to make them your own.
A delicious dish, like a delicious life, has a harmony of sweet, sour, salty and bitter. The joyful as well as the bittersweet, in every bite, in every day life.
This recipe is the one thing my children must help make before taking flight from the Kelly nest. This is the signature recipe from my side of the family, and all children must make it and swear an oath to teach it to coming generations.
The generations to come may not be able to meet Carol, but they will know her a little better through her enchiladas.
— posted by Donna
P.S. from Anne: This was another recipe that Donna emailed to me in our early getting-to-know you, getting-to-know-all-about-you phase, and in that email she had explained the origin of the recipe via her own mother. And as you might well guess, this is now one of my very favorite recipes when I want something savory and indulgent. I use rice flour for the sauce to make it gluten-free, which works very well. It is one of the first dishes Donna and I made together, a nod to my biological family and to my birthplace – Tucson, Arizona.