These came to a surprise to us, but we're glad we gave them a try. Initially when we arrived to Las Palmas, a creative Latin-infused restaurant in Wicker Park, Chicago, we wanted our traditional enchiladas. I personally had a taste for mole(a Mexican dark sauce made of a multitude of ingredients). As we catched-up with our lives(best friend and I were having dinner) we looked everywhere in the menu looking for the enchilada options, but nothing!
Upon the waiter coming to take our order, we asked about their enchiladas. Are they in a different menu? Did we miss them? He kindly explained that they don't make traditional enchiladas and pointed to something that they do make; enchayotadas. He explained what they were and gave us a few more minutes to place our order. At that point, we had considered leaving. I was not really in the mood of trying something new, but we had already put in our order of drinks which were Pepinadas(a fresh cucumber and lime margarita(I skipped on the alcohol). The drinks were as promised: refreshing, tangy and non-sugary.Yes!
All the sudden we felt adventurous with our food and decided to stay, enjoy our drinks, and try these restaurant faves of enchayotadas. Soon right after, our courteous waiter arrived with our main dish. It looked green, fresh and smelled pleasant. I took a minute to observe them before digging in. The first thing I tasted was the sauce--creamy, not spicy, and not bursting with green tomatillo flavor. Now if you're asking what's in it. Veggies is the easiest answer, but to be specific, they were grilled portabello mushrooms, carrots and the main ingredient: chayotes. The chayote is a native food of Mexico and its name derives from the Nahuatl language, chayohtli.
The chayote's shape and color is like that of a green pear. Some call it a fruit and others a vegetable, but it's part of the gourd family and treated like a squash when cooking. I sometimes use it in beef stews. Vegetables can be very bland, but these were not and the creamy jalapeño and green tomatillo sauce just brought everything together. Something else that brought it home was the homemade tortillas. It was a very raw and full of vivid flavors dish. The creative behind this delicious dish is Executive Chef Armando Gonzalez, native of Huahuapan de Léon, Oaxaca.
We finished our meal with the Abuelita Chocolate Cake because grandma(abuelita) knows best. The only problem with the enchayotadas is that I live in New York and it's a bit hard to enjoy them again soon. I think I will try my own version at home although I know for certain that they won't come close to the original ones, but that will do for now.
Written by Mariana Aguilera