On our first date, I took my then future wife Carrie to a place called The Whole Enchilada in Moss Landing. They had a variety of enchiladas, but my favorite was the shrimp. It was a creamy smooth, cheesy dish, the tortilla stuffed with tender shrimp. A culinary delight!
As the years went on and my taste changed, I attempted to replicate the enchilada, only with a spicier flavor.
The following recipe resembles the original only because it has cheese, tortillas, and it’s served on a plate.
This is decadent, rich and not for the squeamish. The sauce is made more for a bunch of chest-butting Navy Seals than your relatives who may believe that flour is a spice.
Heed my warning, this will burn, but it’s a good burn. I serve this dish by itself, and as I add so much heat, I also have to eat it all by myself. The family passes on food this hot.
I brown the tortillas so they don’t break up during assembly or turn into hard crust after baking. I prefer a smooth, soft texture.
The salsa I use comes in a small jar in the Mexican food section at the local market.(La Victoria Salsa jalapeno) I could make my own, but I like the thickness and flavor of this one. Less work, tastes great!
Diablo Prawn Enchiladas Recipe
Note the word “vein” is in quotation marks — you really don’t want to know what it is. I learned this in my college zoology class. Also, I use prawns in this recipe since most markets have already done most of the cleaning, and you have to process fewer than if you used shrimp.
• 4 tablespoons olive oil
• 12 flour tortillas
• 1 pound prawns, “deveined” and peeled
• 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter
• 1/4 cup minced garlic
• 2 jars of salsa, separated (flavor is up to you — this is where the heat comes from)
• 16 oz. sour cream
• 6 large jalapeño peppers
• 2 cups shredded jack cheese
• 8 oz. merlot wine
In a hot pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil, which will be enough to brown three flour tortillas. Repeat until all 12 tortillas are lightly browned. Let stand on paper towels; they should not be too oily.
After thoroughly cleaning prawns of all exoskeleton and “vein” (ditch the tail) set prepared prawns aside in ice water. Pat dry before cooking.
Melt half a stick of butter in pan, add minced garlic, and heat about 40 seconds, do not brown or all could be lost. Add prawns, cook for about 1 minute. Remove from heat, add one jar of salsa, 12 oz. sour cream (save the rest for topping), and four chopped jalapeño peppers. (I use only the outside of the pepper in this part, as the seeds contain most of the heat. The outer part has the flavor without the pain.) Stir and set aside.
To assemble, set out tortillas, cheese, prawn mixture and a large greased baking pan.
Put 2 tablespoons shredded cheese and three to four prawns in mixture, then roll up and add to pan. Add a thin layer of salsa (this is to keep it from sticking or burning).
Repeat until baking pan is full.
Add the rest of salsa on top, along with any sauce from cooking the prawns, covering all tortillas so they won’t dry out. Add remaining shredded cheese. Garnish with the last jalapeños, sliced horizontally. These can be removed at serving by those who can’t take the heat.
Cover in foil, making a tent so cheese doesn’t stick, and bake in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes. Let stand for five minutes, then serve. Enjoy!
(You may need 8 oz. of merlot wine by now.)