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Dinner Tonight: Enchiladas Especiales Tacuba Style

The enchilada sauce is basically a b├ęchamel with a lot more kick.

[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

I knew from the moment I put these in the oven that they'd come out perfectly. I mean, was there any choice? Every single recipe from Rick Bayless seems to work. This one from his Mexico: One Plate at a Time was no different. I wish the same could be said for the recipes I've tried from other Mexican cuisine authors. I mean, I try to spread the love around, but I've just managed to pick four absolute duds in a row. Four failed meals! So, I run back to him like the scared kid I am. Show me the ways, Rick.

I tried a green enchiladas recipe from a new author and it was an absolute failure. A pan of mushy tortillas. This recipe avoids that by pre-baking the tortillas in the oven for about three minutes with a simple brush of oil. The enchiladas come out sturdy and pliant, ready to take any sauce tossed on top of them. And the sauce is the real story here.

It's different from any enchilada sauce I've made before. I understand the pobalnos, but how do you explain spinach, milk, chicken broth, and flour? It's basically a b├ęchamel with a lot more kick. The poblanos and spinach get blended up, turning the whole sauce a bright green. It's slightly spicy, slightly thick, and perfect for coating the the tortillas.

That Rick Bayless knows what he is doing.

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