Chances are you’ve had enchiladas before, but Guatemalan enchiladas are very different from the Mexican dish of rolled tortillas filled with meat or chicken and drizzled with tomato or tomatillo sauce. Guatemalan enchiladas, or jardineras as my grandma used to call them, consist of a toasted tortilla topped with an vegetable mixture or escabeche, ground beef and tomato sauce.
Guatemalan enchiladas are delicious: with so many different layers of flavors and textures, from the crunch of the tortilla to the tanginess of the beet and vegetable salad. I have never made them at home but my mother in law makes them all the time so I decided to head on over to her house so she could teach me how to make them.
Everyone makes enchiladas a little bit different, it’s one of those recipes that evolve and change, the recipe slightly different in every family.
Enchiladas Recipe From Guatemala
- 1 lb groud beef
- 3 large tomatoes
- 1 small onion
- 2 eggs hard boiled and cut into slices
- ¼ cup queso fresco
- 1 package of toasted tortillas
- 10 lettuce leaves
- ½ lb green beans chopped
- 3 small carrots
- 2 cups of green peas
- 4 beets
- ½ cup chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 2 laurel leaves
- 1/2 cup of white vinegar
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- salt and pepper
- VEGETABLE ESCABECHE
- Place in a saucepan covered with salted water to taste.
- Add 1 tsp of vinegar.
- Boil until tender about 40 minutes.
- Drain and run cold water over beets.
- Cut beets into small squares.
- Place 4 cups of water in a large sauce pan.
- Add the green beans, carrots, green peas and bay leaf.
- Bring water to a boil and cook vegetables until soft (don’t overcook as you still want some crunch).
- Let the vegetables cook and then chop the green beans and carrots into small pieces.
- Mix the vegetables and beets together.
- Add thyme and laurel to the mixture as well as the vinegar and one tablespoon of olive oil.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- GROUND BEEF
- Chop 1 tomato and half of one onion.
- Place a large saucepan over medium heat.
- Add one tablespoon of olive oil.
- Add the onion and sauté until translucent, add the tomato and sauté for a 2 or 3 minutes until softened.
- Remove 2/3 of the tomato and onion mixture from the sauce pan and set aside.
- Leave the remaining 1/3 of the mixture in the sauce pan and add the one more tablespoon of olive oil and the ground beef.
- Saute until beef is browned, about 10 minutes.
- TOMATO SAUCE
- Place half of the onion and two tomatoes on a pot and bring to a boil.
- Cook until tomatoes are soft.
- Remove tomatoes and onion from the heat, drain and let the vegetables cool.
- Remove the skin from the tomato.
- Place tomatoes and onion in blender and blend until smooth.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- ASSEMBLING THE ENCHILADAS
- To assemble the enchiladas place a lettuce leaf on the tostada, add a couple of tablespoons of vegetable escabeche on top of the lettuce leaf, add a couple of tablespoons of ground meat, top with one slice of hard boiled egg, drizzle a tablespoon of tomato sauce and sprinkle with cheese and fresh parsley.
The enchiladas where easy to make although it did take some time and work, specially because of the time it takes cut and cook all the vegetables. But the work was well worth it.
This traditional Guatemalan dish brings back memories from my grandmother’s house and I really enjoyed sharing this with my kids. I really love that the enchiladas are also very healthy and the perfect dish to enjoy on a warm day.