Enchiladas Suizas with Quick Avocado Salsa

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Mr. SGCC is not exactly what you would call a gastronome.  Don’t get me wrong.  He loves to eat and appreciates good food.  But, local and sustainable are words he doesn’t normally associate with with that food.  He doesn’t care if his chicken is free range or if his beef is grass fed. He can’t tell the difference between heirloom tomatoes and any other kind.  And, when it comes to Key lime pie, it’s Sara Lee all the way for him!  As long as whatever dish in front of him tastes good, he’ll eat it.

Mr. SGCC also travels a lot for work.  Several times each month, you’ll find him tooling up and down the highways and in and out of rural towns from Miami to Tallahassee.  Sometimes, he’ll tell me about a guy in Okeechobee he passed selling wild shrimp out of the back of his truck, or a farm stand in Ruskin selling ripe and juicy just-picked tomatoes.  I’ll ask excitedly, “Ooh!  Did you stop and get some?” The answer is always the same.

“Nope. I was in a hurry.  Besides, you can get that stuff here.”

Um….. No, I can’t.  Sigh…..

So, imagine my surprise when he brought a bag full of these home last week. 


In case you don’t recognize them, they’re avocados – Florida avocados to be exact.

Florida avocados are much larger than the more common Hass avocados from California.   And, while Hass avocados have a dark green, dimply skin, our local variety has a smooth, shiny, light green skin.   They’re also not quite as rich and buttery as the Hass.  But, since Mr. SGCC bought these avocados out of a laundry basket from a lady sitting in a lawn chair on the side of the road, I guess they’re about as local as you can get.

And true to form, these avocados were HUGE!  In fact, I’ve has a pretty hard time using them up before they go bad.  I made guacamole, salads and even ice cream with them, and still had some left.  I got a great tip from Elise and also made this recipe with some of the salmon I brought back from Seattle.  (Don’t fret. The ice cream and salmon dish are coming soon!)

Finally, I was down to my last avocado half.  To be honest, as much as we love avocados around here, we were getting a little sick of “avocado-centric” dishes.  So, I decided to mix things up and make a dish that would be complemented, instead of dominated by some avocado.

One of my favorite Mexican dishes is Enchiladas Suizas.  Usually filled with chicken, these enchiladas are smothered with a creamy, dreamy, cheesy sauce and baked, casserole-style.  Suiza means Swiss, and in Mexican cuisine is used to describe a dish is topped with a white, dairy-based sauce.  I had tried my hand at making Enchiladas Suizas before and was less than thrilled with the results.  Mine always turned out a little bland and too creamy (if there is such a thing).  So, I grazed a bit around the web and nibbled on a little of this and a bite of that to come up with a few ideas to spice up my enchiladas.


Here’s how I made them.

The first thing I did was buy a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket for my enchilada filling.  You heard me. This recipe calls for shredded, cooked chicken. Why spend time cooking up chicken at home when you can buy  it already done for you?  Plus, an average-sized rotisserie chicken will yield perfect amount of meat needed for this filling. So, do yourself a favor.  Buy a rotisserie chicken and get over it.

Next, you have to make the suiza sauce.  There are several ways to do this.  Some recipes start with a béchamel and add cheese and tomatillos.  Others simply use a puree of tomatillo sauce and Mexican crema or sour cream.  On a Thursday night I’m all about the simple, so I went with version two.  My little twist here is that I also added some roasted poblano peppers to the puree for a little extra zing.  If you don’t feel like roasting poblanos, you can also use a few cans of fire-roasted green chiles.  It doesn’t pack quite the same punch, but it works.  I’m here to make your lives easier.  I’m considerate like that.


If you do feel up to roasting some peppers, there are a few different methods you can use.  If you’re lucky enough to have a gas stove, you can roast them right on top of one of the burners.  Here is the link to a quick video that shows how to do it.  If you’re like me and stuck with electric, you can also roast the poblanos under the broiler.  First, turn on the broiler and place the poblanos on a baking sheet lined with some foil.  I like to rub a smidgen of oil on them to help things along.  Put the peppers in the oven, about 4-5 inches from the the broiler element. They will deflate and the skins will blister and turn black. Turn the peppers as needed to char all sides evenly.   Then, remove the roasted poblanos from the oven, place them in a paper bag and seal the bag.  Allow the peppers to sweat in the bag for about 10 to 15 minutes. When you remove them from the bag they will be easy to peel.  Peel the skin off of the poblanos and remove the seeds and stem.  Then all you have to do is dice them up.

After your sauce is made, it’s time to prepare the filling.  Sauté the chicken with diced onions.  I threw some of the poblanos in there too.  Add a little chicken broth and crema to moisten it up.


The filling should look like this – nice and creamy, but not too wet.


Then, fill some tortillas with some filling and roll them up.  You can use either flour or corn tortillas.  I used flour because the tortilleria near my house had just made fresh ones.  You just can’t beat homemade, still-warm-from-the-press tortillas!


Line ‘em up in a baking dish, pour on the suiza sauce and sprinkle with lots of cheese.


After you bake them, they should look something like this.


Mmmm! Muy delicioso!

Now, you’re probably wondering where the avocado fits into all of this.  Well, I made a jaunty little salsa with it to top the enchiladas.   It was the perfect complement too.  The acid from the lime juice and the punch of the cilantro really offset the richness of the suiza sauce.

Let me tell you, people.  These Enchiladas Suizas were the best I’ve ever eaten – even in a Mexican Restaurant!  They were seriously To. Die. For. You absolutely have to make them for yourselves.  And when you do, don’t bother to thank me.  Your happiness is thanks enough!  😉



20 responses to Enchiladas Suizas with Quick Avocado Salsa

  1. On September 28, 2010 at 1:50pm, Jessica @ How Sweet said...

    I adore enchiladas… I could live on them alone. All of their cheesy goodness… drool!

  2. On September 28, 2010 at 2:04pm, Rosa said...

    Soooo scrumptious looking! That kind of food is addictive.



  3. On September 28, 2010 at 2:23pm, Romy said...

    I am Swiss (and live in Switzerland) – it’s funny to see a dish like enchiladas with the adjective “Swiss”! Your average Swiss person would surely not know what an enchilada is… tacos and fajitas, maybe, but not enchiladas. Either way – these look delicious! And I am in total agreement about taking the rotisserie chicken shortcut, I would do the same thing!

  4. On September 28, 2010 at 2:45pm, Eliana said...

    WOW – this looks glorious! Love all the colors, textures and of course, all the yummy cheese.

  5. On September 28, 2010 at 3:24pm, Joanne at Frutto della Passione said...

    We love TexMex, but I have to make everything (literally, like even the sour cream) from scratch myself if we want to eat it at home. But I don’t mind, it’s fun and makes for a great evening. I am definitely going to try these enchilladas (substituting Italian ingredients where I can’t find the ones in your recipe!).

  6. On September 28, 2010 at 4:10pm, nina said...

    Susan , I hear you sista. My husband also does not get the organic, free range thing, but he is cathing up slowly…. the thing is when they do something like bring avos home, it is so precious!!!

  7. On September 28, 2010 at 5:55pm, Pieholes & Plyos said...

    I remember the first time I saw the Arnold Schwarzenegger of avocadoes while vacationing in Sanibel! They taste terrific though. Florida mangoes look a little different than the imports we get in Seattle too and are AMAZING. Your enchiladas are beautiful–can’t wait to try them!

    PS: I make spaghetti squash in the microwave all the time. It works great as long as you don’t mind nooking for 15+ minutes at a time. I wrote about it in more detail here:


  8. On September 28, 2010 at 7:15pm, SMITH BITES said...

    oh Susan, you just make my mouth water!!! and i’ve just eaten dinner!! and YAY for the husband!!!! cannot wait to FINALLY meet you in San Fran – can you believe in less than 2 wks??!

  9. On September 28, 2010 at 7:17pm, Ruth Ann said...

    Those enchiladas suizas look amazing! My mouth is watering and I want some now. Thanks for sharing.
    P.S. See you at Blogher Food. :)

  10. On September 28, 2010 at 8:41pm, bellini valli said...

    Definitely delicious Susan. I feel like Mexican for some reason:D

  11. On September 28, 2010 at 8:46pm, Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

    These enchiladas are new to me, and oh boy, they look fantastic. I’m bookmarking!

  12. On September 28, 2010 at 9:00pm, Joanne said...

    Sigh. Boys. They just don’t understand our need for fresh local from-the-source food. Oh but when they get it, do they ever get it. This looks like such a fresh flavored take on enchilada suizas! Delicious!

  13. On September 29, 2010 at 10:05am, Rachel (S[d]OC) said...

    Did you read the recent post over at A Duck in Her Pond about enchiladas. I can’t look at enchilada recipes without wondering if they would pass muster. 😉 These would certainly go over well with me. They look so creamy and rich and delectable. I love that avocado salsa too. If you’re still overwhelmed with avocados, feel free to send some my way.

    My husband doesn’t quite get it either with the whole fresh food thing, but he’s learning. The problem is he didn’t grow up with it. My MIL wasn’t much of a cook (by her own admission) so his tastebuds have always leaned toward the generic.

  14. On September 29, 2010 at 6:57pm, UrMomCooks said...

    These look seriously yummy. “White” enchiladas are a welcome change every once in awhile! (My parents live in Florida and I have never had one of those big smooth avocados! Need to ask ASAP!)

  15. On September 29, 2010 at 10:10pm, Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen said...

    They look delicious!

  16. On September 30, 2010 at 1:16pm, Linda said...

    OMG – this looks mouthwatering! Enchiladas are my dieting achilles heel – I can’t resist them, but never troubled to make them at home, as I assumed that it would be too complicated. Thank you for this recipe — now i can get my enchilada fix at home.

  17. On September 30, 2010 at 1:31pm, nicole said...

    This looks fantastic. Plus I love the fact that you say to buy rotisserie chicken. It just make sense and I love your write up about it. fantastic.

    I want a FL avocado now!

  18. On October 09, 2010 at 10:16am, Livin Local said...

    Simply fantastic! I am also a fan of enchiladas suizas for their flavor, but often find the sauce too gooey and creamy. Thanks for getting the proportions figured out for us. Also, any time a recipe starts with roasting your own peppers, you know there’s some foodie love going on. Thanks.

  19. On October 14, 2010 at 3:32am, grace said...

    in a word, stellar. i love each and every component here, and it’s one heck of a looker!

  20. On September 28, 2011 at 11:54am, Julia said...

    The enchiladas look delicious, however, I only use hass avocados, otherwise I go without.

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kiss the cook!

Hello and welcome to SGCC! I’m Susan, a professional writer, food columnist, recipe developer, wife, mother, daughter and sister, who used to be a lawyer in a previous life. My love of food comes from a long line of wonderful and creative Italian home cooks who didn’t always have a lot, but knew how to make a lot out of what they had. I hope that you enjoy yourself while you’re here, and visit often! read more >>

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