My brother likes to hover while I cook.  He peeks.  He peers.  He squints.  He eyes suspiciously.

Mostly, I think, to make sure I’m not adding any orange vegetables to his food.  Not that I would ever try to sneak a butternut squash into someone’s intestines.  Never.  Not me.  Not once.

Okay.  Maybe once.  (But really, I only do it because I know what’s best.  And if I left it to my mother to feed my siblings enough vitamins and minerals.  Well, let’s just say that the incidence of Rickett’s and scurvy in my family would be so high that you’d think it was an autosomal dominant inherited disease.  With me being the only Bruno left unscathed.)


So when he and my sister and her boyfriend (yes.  The 14 year old has a boyfriend.  Who she’s been with long enough that he comes to things like birthday dinners and stares googly eyed at her the whole time.  And I don’t.  Shake it off.) came over for my birthday dinner, I was maybe a tad bit anxious.

I mean, so.  They like enchiladas.  I know that much.  But when I say “enchiladas” I mean the plastic that either comes from this dirty filthy disgusting hole in the wall take-out place near our house that my brother thinks is a godsend or this dinner kit that my mother apparently makes for them because she realizes that the Mexican place they love oh so much is probably rat-infested.

So to say that I was walking one serious tightrope with this homemade, semi-authentic version of enchiladas (depending on how much you trust Rick Bayless with your Mexican cuisine).  Is an understatement.

And then I went and served it with mashed plantains.  Yeah, I kind of like to live on the edge.  Play with fire.  And tropical fruits.  Same thing.

But shockingly enough, this meal was so well received that I had no leftovers the next day to snack on.  Even by the googly eyed boyfriend who didn’t say a word the entire meal.  I like to think that it was just because he was stuffing his face.  Then my brother informs me that he does the same thing when my mother cooks.  So now I’m not so sure.

Next time Daniel.  Just humor me.

My point being that if you like Mexican food, or even if you think you don’t.  You should try these enchiladas.  And the mashed plantains.  They will provide you with a whole smorgasboard of flavor and make you so happy that even writing your public health paper on childhood obesity and school lunches won’t get you down.

Now remind me again why I didn’t make a double batch of these…

If you like what you see here at Eats Well With Others, I would really appreciate it if you voted for my entry in MarxFoods’ Ridiculously Delicious Competition!


Red Chile Enchiladas with Chicken and Melted Cheese
Serves 4, adapted from Rick Bayless’s Mexican Everyday

4 medium dried puya or guajillo chiles
2 cloves garlic, quartered
28 oz canned diced tomatoes
1/4 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups chicken broth
12 corn tortillas
1/2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 lb chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 cup queso fresco
1. Turn on the oven to 350.  Set a medium skillet over medium heat.  When it is hot, toast the chile pieces a few at a time, pressing them against the hot surface with a spatula until aromatic and lightened in color underneath – about 10 seconds per side.  Transfer the chiles to a blender jar.  Add the garlic, tomatoes, cumin, and black pepper.  Blend.
2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan.  Pour the tomato/chile sauce into the pan.  Cook, stirring until sauce is reduced to tomato paste, 5 to 7 minutes.  Pour in the broth, reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Taste the sauce and season with salt, usually about 1 ½ tsp, and the sugar.  Stir in additional broth if necessary.  Spread ½ cup sauce over the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.  Stir in ½ cup sauce into the chicken.
4. In batches of three tortillas, heat in the microwave for 40 seconds or until warm and pliable.  Lay out a warm tortilla, top with chicken and roll up.  Lay seam side down in the baking dish.  Continue filling and rolling the rest of the tortillas.  Ladle the remaining sauce over the enchiladas and sprinkle with the cheese.

5. Bake for 10-15 minutes.

Mashed Plantains
Serves 5, adapted from Emeril Lagasse 

4 green plaintains
1 lime
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup half and half
1/4 cup skim milk
4 cloves garlic, minced

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  In the meantime, remove skin from plantains and cut crosswise into 2-inch slices.  Cover with the juice of one lime, tossing to coat.  When water is boiling, add the plantains and cook for 25 minutes.

2. Strain the plantains and remove to a bowl. In that same pot, heat the 2 tbsp olive oil.  Cook the garlic, stirring, until fragrant – 1-2 minutes.  Add the plantains back into the pot.  Turn off the heat and mash with the cream and milk.  Mash until they are the consistency of lumpy potatoes, adding broth if necessary.  Season to taste with salt. 


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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115 Responses to Red Chile Enchiladas with Chicken and Melted Cheese, served with Mashed Plantains

  1. I’ll take any excuse to eat plantains! They are just too delicious. I actually made enchiladas recently but they were definitely not authentic at all. I may have to try your version and definitely the plantains!

  2. Sofia says:

    you spoil your siblings too much. not sure they are deserving (14 year old with boyfriend and all) of these supper-club-worthy enchies. start one and invite me, okay?!

  3. Carolyn says:

    Okay, I love everything about this meal. I do love plantains and I think mashiing them as a side dish is inspired. And I love how you showed your family what REAL enchies should taste like!

  4. L says:

    Your enchiladas look amazing! I’ve never made my own plantains, now I might have to try it out!

  5. Marisa says:

    Love these enchiladas. But how dare you rub your that plaintain-y goodness under my nose when I was just complaining about our lack of plantains the other day? Have you no shame woman!

  6. I love love love enchiladas and love love love red chiles so this is the perfect and I do mean perfect combo. I made crawfish enchiladas just last week with green chili’s and tons of cilantro- heaven! You never cease to amaze me on your pics!

    Oh- posted my mardi-gras king cake today- pics didn’t turn out best but the cake was great!

  7. this recipe looks so yummy, I love the way you use Plantains
    have a good day

  8. Jackie and I went out to a new Mexican restaurant just last week. ordered the Enchiladas. Worst meal I have had in several years.

    These sound terrific. Oh, and for the people who asked yesterday, you can only vote once, they will not let you vote every day (but I tried)

  9. Wonderful looking enchiladas! Love the queso fresco on top and the mashed plantains here too.

  10. Suman Singh says:

    These enchiladas looks amazing..great recipe..thanks for sharing!

  11. Big Dude says:

    I usually order echiladas when we go out for Mexican and yours look delicious. You sure you didn’t sneak a little orange into those plantains?

  12. Kristen says:

    Enchiladas with tomatoes, that’s sacrilege here in AZ, Joanne. They do look delicious. Your wonderful photos always make your food look so tempting.

  13. Danielle says:

    These look amazing.


  14. Oh, these just look perfectly delicious! I am sure the boyfriend just LOVED them and that’s why he wasn’t talking – less talk more eat ya know!

    BTW – my brother and husband do the same “peering over” when I cook!

  15. Joanne says:

    Oh, these look soooo good, I could eat them for dinner right now, at 9:15 in the morning, no problem 🙂

  16. Nina says:

    Oh Joanne, this is a keeper! Your enchiladas look *so* delicious! Perfect for this time of year.

  17. Enchiladas so rock!

    So you’re not at all bitter about the 14 year old with a boyfriend, are you? 🙂

  18. Yor enchiladas look so appetizing! I am curious about the mashed plaintains. Sounds really interesting.

  19. sweetlife says:

    Rick Bayless, you had me at when I read his name…oh yeah and I adore you …lol


  20. Amy says:

    Wait a minute – you made something which only calls for 11 ingredients? Are you feeling okay?

    And what is this nonsense about a 14YO having a boyfriend? Haley is no longer allowed to leave the house. Nope. I will buy enough glue and paper to keep her occupied. FOREVER. Gulp.

    OR make certain to serve these enchiladas when she starts dating, so her boyfriends will never want to leave. Best way to keep tabs on them. Evil plan? Perhaps. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

  21. Shannon says:

    Enchiladas are in my top ten favorite foods… not in my top 5 (ask me what those are and I can recite them without hesitation… and bacon IS in there) but right around the middle mark. Not gonna lie, sometimes I used the canned sauce. My mother buys it in bulk and pawns it off on me every time I visit her, “I found 28 oz cans of verde enchilada sauce, so I bought 10!” These look like my kind of dinner.

  22. Christy says:

    Joanne – sounds like a delicious birthday dinner! I have copied this recipe and as soon as I come up with the dried chilies I am so making this for my family. I love how simple and healthy it is. I have 3 teenage daughters with boyfriends – I wouldn’t take it personal they rarely talk – LOL!

  23. polwig says:

    These look amazing. I am not a big fan of Mexican food but I will have to try eliminate scurvy from my family with this dish 🙂

  24. ASHLEA says:

    The look so good and it is way too far away from lunch time to be craving this. I’ve still been looking for a great enchilada recipe, I’m gonna try this… it’s a must down here in Texas! 🙂

  25. Pam says:

    This looks and sounds great! I love plantains but have never cooked with them. Now you have inspired me to pick up some at the store and try it. Thanks for the recipe!

  26. Marcia says:

    OMG I love enchiladas and these look sooo delicious. Love love love!! I have only made my own red sauce twice…but it was worth it!

  27. Eden says:

    The crazy thing with me is that Im not a bog fan of bananas, but I love plantains. Nothing like fried plantains. Come to think of it, nothing like ANYTHING fried.
    PS, 14 and with a bf??? boy was I loser!

  28. Dawn says:

    Hmm…I have some chicken I was going to make tonight…I’ll have to see if I have the other ingredients because this does look amazing. I’m 100% sure the boyfriend was stuffing his face because it tasted so good.

  29. Catherine says:

    This looks so good Joanne.I love all the ingredients used in this meal. I know I would love it. I also love plantains and should remember to cook with them more often. Blessings, Catherine

  30. Katerina says:

    I am the right guy for these enchiladas my friend! Happy Birthday again. I can almost picture this family fiesta and the looks of the boyfriend lol. I wish I was invited!

  31. vanillasugar says:

    yes please. i adore when people think outside the mexican standard box and get creative. these are very creative and are perfect for dinner.

  32. Who doesn’t love more authentic Mexican food? You are brave with the mashed plantains, sounds intriguing!

  33. Delicious and pretty tempting looking enchiladas.

  34. Pam says:

    I am making this entire recipe, all the way down to the plantains.

  35. Barbara says:

    OK, kiddo, you had me at the mashed plantains! OMG….yes, I’m making this ASAP!

  36. Julie says:

    I’ll take two please! Going to vote now 🙂

  37. That Girl says:

    My husband hovers in the kitchen too. I think its to make sure I’m not using moldy cheese or brown lettuce.

  38. Shanon says:

    I have been so disappointed in the many enchilada recipes i have tried. usually, i find them too cheesey. these look perfect! i love using dried chiles and i love the queso fresco. mashed plantains? fancy!

  39. Swathi says:

    Mashed plantains looks delicious, enchiladas looks awesome too. love to dig in now.

  40. Ur bro is sure happy to be featured here and now ur sis and bf too:-)
    About the sake it off , id say , the best comes last 🙂
    Voted for u u and gng to hop again now to see how well ur doing and cheer u 🙂
    Ha ha , i am loving the BF stories , sound cute actually:-)
    And how can u have leftovers if ur so creatively delightful and come up with all this deliciousness!

  41. Victoria says:

    “These are a few of my favorite things” sung like Maria from the Sound of Music, haha. Looks like you had a fabulous birthday dinner!! I texted you yesterday! Let me know if you’re available this weekend!

  42. I have never had plantains – no idea what they taste like. I will definitely try the mash – as for the enchiladas, love them. The recipe is fairly straight forward, but no queso fresco here. Not yet. I guess because it is such a young unripened cheese. We have everything else from all over the world on the Alberta prairies – but the young unripened cheese from here and there: no.
    But, I have tasted it and love it!

  43. Eliana says:

    You are speaking to my Dominican soul with this one Joanne. Do you know that Dominicans have a special name for mashed plantains? Mangu? And that it’s like a national dish? Of course you do – cuz you’re my guru and you know everything. MUAH!

  44. Maria says:

    That’s such a delicious idea for a recipe, I love it!

  45. I eat plantain but sweetened and coated with sugar… we also have mashed plantain but then again we put more sugar and bake it but never with this kind of recipe, for which i crave for now even without tasting it. If the Bruno (plus the Boyfriend) didn’t leave any left-overs, then it must be really good.

  46. I love plantain but i eat them coated with sugar.. and shhh it’s fried. we also mash our plantains but then again, we add more sugar (and yet we wonder why our blood sugar level is high!)
    never tried anything like this yet but because of my love for plantain, i’m craving for it. why yeah if the Brunos (plus the boyfriend) loved it and with no leftovers to boot.. then it must be really GOOOHD!

  47. Pam says:

    What a beautiful birthday dinner! I can’t to try these enchiladas! I’ve never had a plantain but I am thinking I need to give them a try.

  48. janet says:

    What a wonderful meal, Joanne. I would interpret the silence a a good thing. 🙂 It is nice to see the plantains went to a tasty use. 🙂

  49. Kristin says:

    You just took enchiladas to a whole new level. These look too good to be true. I love the added touch of the mashed plantains.

  50. I do trust Rick Bayless with my Mexican food, and I’m certain there wouldn’t have been leftovers of these enchiladas had they been served in my house either! And, I’ve never made mashed plantains, but I’m going to have to.

  51. Shari says:

    Are plantains green bananas? I’ve never heard of them… but I sure am intrigued. I hope that you had a very happy birthday!

    Shari from

  52. Simply Life says:

    wow! i wish I could come over to this meal!

  53. Shannon says:

    ooh, any left over for dinner tonight? hope everyone liked them! 🙂

  54. Megan says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever had enchiladas… I’ve definitely never made them. This version looks so good! A lot better than the grilled chicken and salad I’l be having tonight.

  55. Mashed plantains? Never heard of this. I imagine the cream and milk would give it a few extra (and needed?) points.

  56. tigerfish says:

    No need for dessert after meal. This is all-in-one for me. ;p

  57. Raina says:

    What a nice sis you are! You are going to get them eating healthy for sure if you keep feeding them dishes like this. My family loves Mexican food. These enchilladas sound so good and with the plaintains….wow…yum!

  58. Tasha says:

    I love Mexican food, but I’m not really a fan of canned enchilada sauce. I would so love to try this homemade red chile version. I’m sure it’s a million times better.

  59. Chris says:

    I just voted for you, but only because I thought it was a donation to fight the blight of scurvy that is sweeping the non-pirate, non-sea going free world 😉

    I LOVE enchiladas and was going to ask you to give me one but I see the 14 y/o boy friend ate my leftovers. Want me to kick his ass for you? 😉

  60. Reeni says:

    These look insanely good Joanne – I’m glad they were a hit! I love the plantains – never saw them mashed like this. I’m off to see about voting!

  61. Lo says:

    Seems to me that your sister & her boyfriend are shockingly similar to MY brother and his wife — enchilada lovers, but probably not used to the kind of enchiladas I’m usually making.

    I actually really like Bayless’ red chile sauce. I appreciate that it doesn’t have tomatoes in it (the fault of many jarred sauces), and it’s not even all that labor intensive. A bonus with Bayless recipes 😉

  62. RamblingTart says:

    Usually enchiladas come out looking like mush, Joanne, but you managed to make yours PRETTY! 🙂 I’m so very impressed. 🙂

  63. Holy smokes! That is my kind of meal! Señor Verde gives a thumbs up too!

  64. Such a great combo and they look terrific!

  65. Monet says:

    Smile. I always get a bit nervous when cooking for some of my less adventurous family/friends. I know I would be thrilled if you served me a plate of these enchiladas though! I hope you have a wonderful day tomorrow. Thank you for sharing another bite of delicious goodness!

  66. Claudie says:

    I think I’ve said it before as well — your brother is lucky his sister cooks so well! 🙂

  67. Louanne says:

    I just downloaded the Bayless book. Can’t wait to read it. Your enchiladas are mouth-watering delicious. Never tried mashed plantains before, but they sound terrific.

  68. Johanna GGG says:

    the story about the 14 year old boyfriend reminds me of a story of a friend of mine who got a love bite when at school so the next time her boyfriend comes around her mum gives him a piece of bread and says chew on this!

    glad to see you are keeping your family in vitamins and minerals – after all you have to keep their health up so you don’t have to be treating them all the time once you are a doctor – love mexican but never ever had plantain mash – sounds just so bizarre I would love to try it

  69. You are a really nice sister.We love mexican food.I ll whip these up soon.
    These enchiladas look great with chicken and melted cheese.And I loved your straightforward recipe.

  70. wow those enchiladas look terrific! So are your photos!

  71. Beth says:

    I LOVE what I read on your blog. And I’d be happy to vote for you!

  72. Katy says:

    This looks amazing — not an orange vegetable in sight! Too cute!

  73. Nadji says:

    Un plat des plus gourmands. J’aime beaucoup.
    See soon.

  74. Ben says:

    Your posts ALWAYS put me in such a good mood! Even if you are making enchiladas not the traditional way! LOL. I won’t give a hard time I really liked your version and the addition of plantains is just, well, on the edge 😀

  75. Ben says:

    Oh, and I just voted for you, good luck!

  76. Hi Joanne! I voted and I drooled. Not necessarily in that order though. These look specatcular and I LOVE the idea of mashed plantains. Have not tried this but must now!

  77. Plantains mash?? Great idea!

  78. Just voted for you – and you’re WINNING!

  79. My sons can cook and cook well, never stops them from standing over me while I am cooking though 🙂
    Your enchiladas looks wonderful and I love these mashed plantains…
    Hope your having a great week 🙂

  80. I love Mexican food! Enchiladas era always a YES in my book!

    Camila F.

  81. teresa says:

    i just cooked with my friend from mexico who can’t say enough good about rick bayless. after tasting her food, i’m going to take that as a good sign.

    these look just gorgeous, i’m craving enchiladas!

  82. Delicious! The perfect family meal. I love that you did plantain mashies too, what a great idea!

  83. Ah! You just reminded me of how much I adore enchiladas! I need to make some! the plantain idea too is swell! You are the Star of New York City kitchens!!!!!

  84. Melissa says:

    I love your blog – and I watched Sex in the City all the time!! you go girl!

  85. Gorgeous dish! I love Rick Bayless. BTW–you should go over to IHCC and vote for him as our next chef after Giada and then join in. 😉

  86. daphne says:

    mmmm… that looks amazing.. comfort to the max esp when it is still hot from the oven. Will vote for ya!

  87. im voting for you because you deserve. your recipes are seriously awesome. I would kill for these enchiladas right now!

  88. Julie says:

    hahaha i HATE when people hover and ask questions! like hello if i’m going to feed you then you’re going to shutup and eat whatever i cook and put in front of you.

  89. Oh my, mashed plantain!! Yum yum! I make homemade enchiladas with green sauce, and this red sauce looks awesome! Rick Bayless knows his stuff! Don’t you love 14-yr old romances? My brother is 17— they just get shmoopier and more disgusting with fewer words and more google-eyed staring.

  90. 14?! Eeeek! 😉 My 16 year old son is starting to get goofy about girls and it seriously weirds me out. *sighh I’m to young for this. 😉
    Ummm, yeah. These enchiladas look absolutely fantastic. So perfect, and I pride myself in being an expert in home cooked Mexican food living so close to Mexico and all.
    The plantains are a very cool addition! Will give this a try and am heading over to vote for you now.

  91. Peggy says:

    You had me at plantains! These look hella good girl! No wonder they were so well received!

  92. Candace says:

    omygosh! These look sooooo good. I have never made my own enchilada sauce except for the pumpkin one and that turned out great. I am saving this one to try. I have never seen green plantains. How are they different from the yellow/black ones? I need to try them mashed like you did here. I usually have them sauteed.

  93. Miriam says:

    I don’t know why I’ve never mashed plantains before, it seems like a perfectly delicious thing to do :). Nice looking meal. Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

  94. Enchilada love! I have it, and am wishing I had that pan of them now. 🙂 They sound great. (I have no idea of what authentic Mexican is, but I know what I like.) I’ve never mashed plantains before, but they sound delicious too!

  95. theUngourmet says:

    Yum! Your enchiladas look amazing! I grew up on my mom’s enchiladas with homemade tortillas. This brings back fond memories. 😉

  96. Mary says:

    Oh wow! This is out of this world… fabulous!!

    Great blog; happy I found you!

    Mary xo
    Delightful Bitefuls

  97. You are such an amazing writer. I love reading your posts, seeing your pictures, and drooling over your recipes! I am making mashed plantains the next time I see them in the store now! Thanks for sharing such a great story 🙂

  98. MaryMoh says:

    Mmmm…I love these enchiladas. Mexican food are just so good. Love your plaintain mash. New to me but definitely good for health. Sometimes when people eat our food quietly, I just wonder what goes through their brains. Well, who cares, as long as they eat…haha.

  99. grace says:

    yeah. my 9 month old niece gets more male attention than i do. it’s a sad state. 🙂
    GREAT batch of enchiladas, joanne. the plantains are a nice accompaniment!

  100. Ada says:

    Haha it must be so weird for your sister to be growing up and having a boyfriend already. I’m sure he totally loved the enchiladas though.

    Plaintains are quite possibly one of the greatest foods ever. I’m always scared that I’ll mess them up if I cook them, but this recipe might make me more eager to try cooking them. Thanks for another awesome post!

  101. Kim says:

    I’m so glad to hear that Rick Bayless came through for you. The enchiladas look seriously delicious. In fact, I know my family would love these and God knows I always have leftover chicken to make them with.
    Love the mashed plaintains too. Sounds like a great side dish to shake things up.

  102. Karen says:

    What a great side for the enchiladas… I’ll have to try the plantains. Off to vote…

  103. OMG! yummmsss!! LOVE enchiladas! Off to vote…

  104. Just realised that I’ve already voted 😀 silly me!

  105. Nutmeg Nanny says:

    Delicious! I love the sounds of the whole meal.

  106. Kerstin says:

    I love plantains – yum!! I’ve made that RB recipe too – so good!

  107. I am bookmarking this recipe! I love enchiladas, and I have yet to try Rick Bayless’ version, which I am sure is so good since there were no leftovers.

  108. gaga says:

    I haven’t had plantains in ages. This looks wonderful!

  109. This is getting made THIS week. I can’t even stop drooling right now. My stomach has a sort of heartache craving such enchilada glory.

  110. I’m dying to get a Rick Bayless cookbook. And I love that you’re serving with mashed plantains – I should try that!

  111. This looks absofreakinlutely amazing. I love the mashed plantans part. And of course, the photography of it all.

    My boyfriend is very skeptical of my cooking since it’s all usually healthy and veggie filled- however, lately, he’s be pretty impressed with the creations. 😉

  112. Kevin says:

    Those cheesy enchiladas sound great and I like the sound of mashed plantains!

  113. Allison says:

    After 10 days in Barbados eating plantains as often as possible I am SO making this!

  114. Simply Life says:

    thanks for pointing me in this direction – wow! this looks amazing and definitely a better version of enchilada sauce than what comes in a can!

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