Seafood Enchiladas have a delicious crab and shrimp filling, inspired by a dish from the defunct Chi-Chi’s restaurant chain.
By Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime
This month I am hosting the Fish Friday Foodies group, and since cold weather was upon us, decided it would be nice if the theme were on baked type fish and seafoods in a casserole.
I decided to do my version of the old Chi-Chi’s seafood enchiladas, or enchiladas Suizas with seafood as I remember it. It has been a very long time since I went to one before all their locations eventually closed. We used to go to one out in West St. Louis in the early 1980’s (I think it was on Olive Road) and I do remember getting these there when we were hanging out with Bill’s friend Mike Oleshchuk.
No doubt, this version isn’t exactly like theirs and no doubt mine is probably much better (laughs). I’m thinking they may have used whitefish or surimi in theirs. And you know, the small shrimp in these aren’t that pricey (they were going to be chopped anyway) but my lump crab meat was running $20/pound. But I want to say that you don’t have to use that type- there is much less expensive canned crab meat for a few dollars. Or you could use surimi, chopped up.
I do like the guacamole in this- I think it made the flavor stand out, and the squeeze of lime was a plus. The parts where the cheese browned more were especially good- so don’t be too hasty getting it out of the oven.
I didn’t put a guac recipe in here- just mash that up with a fork, stir in some lime juice, salt, pinch of cumin and a little garlic and you’re all set. Did you know that when you choose your avocados you should lift the stem and choose the ones light colored beneath that? Take them home, let them sit on the counter for a day until they have ever so slight of a give to them, then put them in the fridge. Most will stay perfect for 4-5 days that way. So you don’t have to worry about finding an avocado that is ripe when you want Mexican, or have something come up and have the avocado turn black from sitting out. And another tip- if you want to keep guac green, put it in a ziplock bag and squeeze every last bit of air out. Those other tips using plastic or oil or other gimmicks are just that- gimmicks. It’s the air that oxidizes it so just keep it out. Worse to worse just scrape off the top and don’t stir it in.
Tomorrow I am back with a recipe I have promised you that I made using the leftovers of my mac and cheese: fried macaroni and cheese. Sunday I am posting with the Sunday Supper group with my recipe for cheese ball pops. It’s a party appetizer weekend! Until then-
- 1 pound tomatillos, husks removed and chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 3 cloves garlic, whole
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 3/4 cup Mexican crema or thin sour cream
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon Tabasco green jalapeno sauce
- 14 ounces small peeled and deveined raw shrimp
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- pinch ground cumin
- 8 ounces lump crab meat, picked over for shell bits
- 10 7-inch flour tortillas (soft taco size)
- 8 ounces shredded Pepper Jack cheese or Monterrey Jack cheese
- paprika (maybe 1 tsp total)
- Optional for serving: guacamole, extra crema, lime wedges
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Place chopped tomatillos, onion, garlic and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Cover, reduce heat and simmer for thirty minutes. Cool slightly and puree.
- Stir the tomatillo puree with the vegetable broth, crema, ground cumin, salt, pepper, ground coriander, sugar and Tabasco sauce.
- Saute the shrimp in the butter with minced garlic and cumin; remove half the shrimp and chop.
- Mix the chopped cooked shrimp with lump crab meat (it is already cooked) and one cup of the suiza sauce.
- Pour another cup of Suiza sauce in the bottom of a oblong casserole dish to cover.
- Roll the filling inside of the flour tortillas and place seam-side down in the casserole.
- Cover enchiladas with remaining Suiza sauce, then sprinkle with the cheese mostly across the center, and sprinkle with a little paprika for color.
- Bake, uncovered, for thirty minutes or until browned and bubbly.
- Scatter remaining cooked shrimp across the top (rewarm if necessary).
- Serve drizzled with a little extra crema, some guacamole and a lime wedge.
From the kitchen of palatablepastime.com
Fish Friday Foodies
Fish in a Dish!
(Fish and Seafood Baked in Casserole Dishes)
Hosted by Sue at Palatable Pastime
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I don’t think we ever had Chi Chi’s here in southern California, so I never tried the original, but I’m positive yours are better! Anything with real crab. Thanks for the great theme!
These look and sound great, Sue! P~
Love the idea of comforting seafood enchiladas – sounds tasty!
Oh, I miss Chi-Chi’s (are they all gone or just the ones in my area?)! And seafood enchiladas are a comfort food that remind me of childhood. Hungry!
They are all gone now. I haven’t seen one in years.
Now that’s what I’m talking about! I seldom went to ChiChi’s but when I did…I ordered the seafood enchiladas and margaritas and margaritas and margaritas…which explains why I did not go to often LOL. Thanks for hosting this month Sue.
Ahhh…you’re killing me…these just look too darn good!!!