Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cheese Enchiladas

There really is nothing quite like a good cheese enchilada.  And what makes something good even better?  A from scratch sauce that uses blackened chilis.  Oh, snap.  The flavor of this sauce tastes really authentic.  Well, I don't know if "authentic" is the right word, since I'm pretty sure that you won't get enchiladas like like in Mexico.  They are authentic as far as the American Mexican restaurants are concerned.  This is my husband's favorite enchilada recipe, and I think it is mine, too.  It takes some time and effort to make the sauce, but it's worth it.  Is buying a canned enchilada sauce easier?  Of course.  Is it as good?  I don't think so.  "Taste over convenience" is the motto that I will get cross-stitched onto a pillow when a cross-stitched pillow store opens.

Cheese Enchiladas:
source: It's All American Food by David Rosengarten

2 Ancho chilies
1 t cumin
1 T olive oil
1/2 c chopped onion
2 t minced garlic
1/2 c tomato puree
1 c chicken broth
3/4 t oregano

vegetable oil for frying
12 corn tortillas
8 c shredded cheese (I used Sargento four cheese Mexican blend- perfect!)
green onions for garnish, optional
grated cotija cheese, optional

Cut the chilie in half and remove the veins and seeds.  Turn on your burner and hold the chilies over the open flames to blacken it.  I love that "pop" sounds when the skin starts to blacken.  While you are blackening (is that a word?) the pepper, boil 2 c of water in the microwave.

*This pepper was from a different recipe, but the method is the same.

 Place the peppers in a bowl and cover with the boiling water.  Let the peppers sit in the water for about 25-30 minutes to soften.
 Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a skillet and add the onion.  Cook for a couple of minutes.  Add the minced garlic and cumin.  Stir well and cook for another couple of minutes.
 In a blender, add the chilies, 1/2 c of the soaking liquid, tomato puree, chicken stock, and the onion-garlic mixture.  
 Puree until smooth.
 Place a strainer over a saucepan and pour in the mixture.  Most of it will drain through the strainer.
 For the last little bit, use a spatula to press the mixture against the sieve.  This will get every last little bit of liquid out.
 Add the oregano.  Simmer for 15-20 minutes while you assemble the enchiladas. 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Pour some of the sauce on the bottom of your baking dish. 

Soften the corn tortillas by cooking them in the microwave for 30 while they are between two damp paper towels. 

Pour the sauce onto a large plate.  Dip a tortilla in the sauce on both sides.  Add 1/2 c cheese for the filling and roll the tortillas.  Repeat with the remaining tortillas.  Place seam-side down in the baking dish.  I actually skipped the step of dipping the tortilla in the sauce. 
 Top with some more sauce.  Sprinkle with cheese to cover the top of the enchiladas.
 Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes 
If desired, garnish with green onions, cotija cheese, and a chopped cilantro. 

I served it with seasoned refried beans, Mexican rice, and guacamole.  Oh, how I love Mexican food!

1 comment:

  1. Man those sound delicious! I wish we lived closer to each other so you would invite me to dinner.