Saturday, March 26, 2011

Red Chile Enchiladas

I love any kind of Mexican Food. I spent a good deal of my life in Mexico. These Enchiladas are also typical of what you might find in New Mexico where they grow and dry some of the world’s best mild chilies. The secret is in the sauce, simply made but dense and complex at the same time. Give it a try! I usually double this recipe and make enough to freeze. It just makes so much sense when making a mess and when a dish freezes as well as this one does.

20 dried New Mexico or California Chiles (look for supple ones that are dark red in color)
4 tablespoons canola oil and more for softening the tortillas
15 cloves of garlic cut into chunks
¼ cup of fresh lime juice (about 2-3 juicy limes)
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
2 tablespoons sugar or agave
Sea Salt to taste
Crushed red pepper to taste (just a pinch)
1 dozen fresh corn tortillas
1 cup grated cheddar
2 cups grated queso fresco or jack cheese
1 cup of goat cheese crumbled
1 large red onion finely chopped
1 can of chopped green chilies (fresh is better if you can find them)
1 can of sliced black olives rough chopped
½ cup chopped cilantro
¼ cup finely crumbled cojita cheese (parmesan can be substituted in a pinch)
4 green onions sliced, tops included
Mexican Crema (if you have a Hispanic Market you can find it there, if not thin some sour cream with cream or use Crème Fraiche

Pre-Heat Oven to 450˚

Take Chiles and cut off the stem end, empty of seeds and veins.

Using a hot flat skillet, toast the chilies for a few minutes on each side, then cover with boiling water or broth if you have it.  Allow the chilies to reconstitute for about 15-30 minutes.
Heat the oil in a 12 inch skillet add garlic and seeds. Toast for about 2-3 minutes.

In a blender place the chilies and broth along with the garlic and seeds. Puree till no chunks are visible. Add lime, sugar, salt and red pepper. Puree again. Strain through a sieve using the back of a spoon to push through the pulp. Place in the skillet and warm up. Reserve. 
Take the cheddar and jack cheeses and mix together. Reserve about a ¼ cup. To the larger  bowl of cheese, add the goat cheese, onion, olives and cilantro. Mix together. This will be the filling for your enchiladas.
In a small skillet add some oil and briefly warm the tortillas. You only want the tortillas to soften, not get crispy. Drain on paper towels.
In a baking dish (unless I am serving more than two people I do this in small dishes and freeze one or two.) add a ladle of sauce. Dip the tortilla in the sauce and then add a generous hand full of filling, squeezing to compact. Roll into a tube shape and place in the pan seam side down. When the pan is full, top with additional sauce and a bit of the reserved cheese mixture. When all pans are full, place in the oven for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. 
To serve place 2-3 enchiladas on a plate, sprinkle with the cojita cheese, crema and chopped green onions. This goes well with a nice crisp salad. 


Tinky said...

I just ate lunch, and I'm hungry reading this. Triple yum!

Sam Francisco said...

Served with some cubed chilled honeydew melon on the side and it's almost like being in heaven!