Since discovering my love for cooking a few years ago, I have also found that I love a certain kind of recipe the best – international recipes! Why should we stick to our same old menus when there is an entire world out there filled with different foods to try? Cooking dishes from another country is like traveling there and experiencing their culture, right at home. I like to make cooking international recipes even more of a cultural experience by listening to music from the region my recipe is from while I’m cooking, and learning more about the history of the recipe. Introducing different ethnicities’ foods into your recipe book will add tons of new flavors and ingredients you may not have tried before, and you may find some new favorites!
One of my absolute favorite regions to try food from is Mexico. A lot of people love Mexican food from restaurants, but home cooked Mexican can’t be beat. There is a huge variety of food that Mexico has to offer, and here are a few of my favorite things to make from there!
Gimme Some Oven’s Best Chicken Enchiladas Ever.
- 1 tablespoons avocado oil (or olive oil)
- 1 small white onion, peeled and diced
- 1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into small 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles
- Sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 8 large flour tortillas
- 3 cups Mexican-blend shredded cheese
- 1 batch red enchilada sauce
- Optional toppings: fresh cilantro, chopped red onions, diced avocado, avocado, sour cream, and/or crumbled cotija cheese
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In large sauté pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add diced chicken and green chiles, and season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté the mixture for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the chicken is cooked through. Add in the beans and stir until evenly combined. Remove pan from heat and set aside.
To assemble the enchiladas, set up an assembly line including: tortillas, enchilada sauce, chicken mixture, and cheese. Lay out a tortilla, and spread two tablespoons of sauce over the surface of the tortilla. Add a generous spoonful of the chicken mixture in a line down the center of the tortilla, then sprinkle with 1/3 cup cheese. Roll up the tortilla and place in a greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
Assemble the remaining enchiladas. Then spread any remaining sauce evenly over the top of the enchiladas, followed by any extra cheese.
Bake uncovered for 20 minutes, until the enchiladas are cooked through and the tortillas are slightly crispy on the outside. Remove pan from the oven and serve the enchiladas while they’re nice and warm, garnished with lots of toppings.
This recipe is one of my all time favorites. I make it at least once a month, and everyone that I’ve cooked it for has loved it! I like to make Spanish rice, just from a box, and serve it on the side of these enchiladas. I also like to add lots of hot sauce to make mine extra spicy. Yum!
These enchiladas can be topped by canned red enchilada sauce, or you can make your own with this recipe.
Gimme Some Oven’s The Best Enchilada Sauce Recipe.
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- Fine sea salt, to taste
Cook the roux and spices: Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour and cook for 1 minute, whisking constantly. Add in the chili powder, garlic powder, cumin and oregano and cook for 1 more minute, whisking constantly.
Simmer: Gradually pour in the stock, whisking constantly to combine until no lumps remain. Continue cooking until the sauce reaches a simmer. Then reduce heat to medium-low to maintain the simmer (the sauce should continue lightly bubbling) for about 10-15 minutes, uncovered, until the sauce has slightly thickened.
Season: Give the sauce a taste and season with salt, as needed. (I typically add 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, but the saltiness of the sauce can vary depending on the brand of stock that you use.)
This flavorful sauce is the perfect addition to enchiladas! You can make your enchilada sauce extra creamy by whisking in half a cup of heavy cream, too.
Another delicious Mexican dish I love making is fresh guacamole. Who doesn’t love some guac?! I love this recipe because it’s so tasty and authentic!
Downshiftology’s Best Ever Guacamole.
- 3 avocados, ripe
- 1/2 small onion, finely diced
- 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed and finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Slice the avocados in half, remove the pit, and scoop into a mixing bowl. Mash the avocado with a fork and make it as chunky or smooth as you’d like.
Add the remaining ingredients and stir together. Give it a taste test and add a pinch more salt or lime juice if needed.
Serve the guacamole with tortilla chips.
So simple! And a huge crowd-pleaser!
Those are just a few of my favorite Mexican recipes. International flavors are just the best! Stay tuned for more international recipes blog here in the future!
Allison Ervin, granddaughter of company founder Jay Lehman, is passionate about the powerless – children, animals and anyone in need. A freshman at Kent State majoring in international business with a minor in non-profit management, she has served in Indonesia and Central America, teaching English in daycare centers and orphanages. A committed vegetarian, when not studying or cat-cuddling, Allison enjoys painting, listening to the latest music, and thrifting (shopping at thrift and vintage stores).