Birthday Enchiladas

DEAR SOS: Cafe El Cholo in La Habra used to serve a dish called Enchiladas Santa Barbara. They were made with shrimp and chicken and were my husband’s favorite. I would love to surprise him with the recipe.


DEAR DOLORES: Surprise! A tip: Most markets carry the dried hot New Mexico and guajillo chiles called for in the recipe, but a milder dried chile, like the California dried chile, may be substituted if a less-hot sauce is desired.




3 cups water

1 ounce dried New Mexico chiles, stemmed and seeded

2 ounces dried guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded


1 tablespoon oil

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 tomato, seeded and chopped

1 large clove garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/4 teaspoon cumin




1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

6 ounces mushrooms, chopped, about 2 cups

1 1/4 pounds chicken breast, chopped

1 1/4 pounds raw shrimp, chopped

Pinch salt

1 pound Monterey Jack cheese, grated

12 corn tortillas



Bring water and chiles to boil in heavy saucepan. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until chiles are tender, about 30 minutes. Drain, reserving chiles and cooking liquid separately.

Heat 1 1/2 teaspoon oil in medium saucepan over low heat. Add onion and cook until golden, about 6 minutes. Add tomato, garlic, oregano, cumin and salt to taste and cook 5 minutes more.

Transfer mixture to blender. Add chiles and 2 cups reserved cooking liquid and puree until smooth.

Heat remaining oil in same saucepan over high heat. Add puree and boil 5 minutes, stirring constantly, adding more reserved cooking liquid to thin sauce if necessary. ENCHILADAS

Melt butter in skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms, chicken and shrimp. Cook 5 minutes. Add 2/3 cup Guajillo Chile Sauce to pan, coating meat and mushrooms evenly. Simmer until chicken is completely done, 3 to 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt.

Top each tortilla with 1/4 cup grated cheese; top cheese with 1/2 cup filling. Roll tortilla and place seam side down in 13x9-inch baking dish. Top enchiladas with remaining sauce, then with remaining cheese.

Bake at 375 degrees until heated through and cheese has melted, 12 to 15 minutes.

Makes 12 enchiladas. Each 2-enchilada serving:

700 calories; 868 mg sodium; 208 mg cholesterol; 38 grams fat; 43 grams carbohydrates; 50 grams protein; 6.25 grams fiber.