Tuesday, March 27, 2007


When I lived in the Seattle area. I never cooked mexican food. Never! NEVER! Not with great burrito shops all over the place, which great barbequed meat. One of my favorite places had some great pinapple salsa. Anyways, now that I'm in Switzerland, instead of a great burrito for about five dollars, I can buy one about half as good for about 25 dollars. So, yeah, I make my own mexican food now.

In Basel, I usually go for supplies at El Sol currently in Dreispitz. They have pretty much the best tortilla chips and corn tortillas that you'll find here in Switzerland. In Zurich, you'll want to shop down by the train station at El Maiz who has a great selection, often including fresh jalapeno peppers and tomatillos. I get my enchilada sauce at El Maiz, as I haven't found a good recipe for it yet. Besides, the canned stuff is good enough.

If you use the canned sauce, Enchiladas are pretty easy to make. Some soak the tortillas in water, others cook them quickly in oil or in the sauce. I noticed the last time I made the enchiladas, that if I let the tortillas warm up to room temperature, then they were flexible enough to roll.

Enchiladas (serves 3)

  • 6 corn tortillas
  • 1 small onion
  • 50g black olives, pitted if possible
  • 1 16oz can of enchilada sauce
  • 250g cheddar cheese for cheese enchiladas OR 50g cheddar cheese for chicken enchiladas
  • 200g chicken meat, skinned and boned, baked ahead of time. (If, obviously, you're making chicken enchiladas)

Prehead oven to 200C

Chop the onion and slice the olives, place into a bowl, or a ziplock bag.

Using two forks, shred the chicken meat, if you're making chicken enchiladas. Add to the bowl/bag

Grate the cheddar cheese. If making cheese enchiladas, add all but 50g to the bowl/bag.

Mix ingredients in the bowl or bag well. Add three tablespoons of enchilada sauce to the mix only if you are making chicken enchiladas.

Pour about 1/4 of the sauce on the bottom of a medium glass casserole dish

Take a small handful of mixture and put it on a tortilla, and then roll the tortilla closed, and place the enchilada on the casserole dish with the seam down. Repeat until finished with the tortillas.

Pour the rest of the sauce over the enchiladas, covering them well. Sprinkle the rest of the cheddar cheese over the enchiladas.

Place dish in oven and cook at 200C for about 30 minutes. Let cool for about 5 minutes before serving.


The Big Finn said...

Greg - We've been to El Sol a few times (...strange place for a store, isn't it?), but I'd never heard of El Maiz before. Thanks for the tip.

...just in time for Cinco de Mayo!

Greg said...


El Sol IS in a strange place. It's a bit like shopping in the big industrial research lab I worked in at one time in Seattle. But I love the fact that they actually have free parking. It took me awhile before I was able to read the german to figure that out though. The dudes running the place are very cool. I don't know what I'd do without that shop. I'd probably have to make my own corn tortillas....

El Maiz is pretty close to the train station, but parking isn't too good around there. However, one big bonus is that they are open on Saturdays.

Thanks for the visit!

Un-Swiss Miss said...

I'm thrilled to find out about El Sol. Old El Paso simply doesn't cut it!

Also, have you ever been in a store called La Espanola, on the Spalenring? Every time I've passed by, I've been in a rush, so I don't know if it's any good.t

Z said...

Hey, thanks for the visit and for the info on the canola/rapeseed plants. I think I should ask someone around here, which is something I don't like to do (sort of like with asking for directions -- I'd rather not!)

Please come by Villigen regularly as I intend to post other crop photos over the course of the growing season and will need someone to help identity the plants. :-)

I've walked by El Maiz many times but have never bought anything there.

z in Villigen

CanadianSwiss said...

I'll have to go to that shop. We need to go to Dreispitz today anyway. And thanks for the recipe :)

Greg said...

Un-Swiss: I think La Espanola is a wine shop/tapas bar. I went in there with some American friend when they were visiting and we searched around for some spanish wines. Nothing mexican in there that I remember.

Z: El Maiz is pretty cool. Definitely visit it.

CDN-CH: El Sol is closed on Saturdays, which is a bummer. But they'll do online anytime and phone orders during the week. Their website is in German, but the guys there speak very good english.

CanadianSwiss said...

Thanks, Greg. I saw that it was closed on Sat - to my disappoitment - when I went on their website. Good to know that they take orders by phone and internet though. Maybe I'll have to ask TBF to pick up a few things for me when he goes - I'm sure he will - as he's got soooo much free time ;)

PS: LOL. After 22 years in Switzerland, I think I will manage the conversation in Swiss-German, too, but good to know that they also speak English. Some expat friends will surely appreciate this factor.

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