Cheese enchiladas were a favorite of mine as a child. As a very picky eater, they were often the only entree I would eat on the menu.
As an adult, I love it all. But it is nice to go back to the basics.
This recipe makes 16 cheese enchiladas.
You will need:
2 11 x 7 pans to cook enchiladas in. Distribute 8 into each pan.
4 dried ancho chile peppers
1 tsp. ground Mexican oregano
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 Tbsp. chili powder
2 cloves diced garlic (or one heaping teaspoon from a jar)
1 tsp. chicken base (Knorr seasoning. I buy mine at Costco. It is also available in the Mexican food aisle at the grocery store. Magic seasoning!)
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 small can of tomato paste
4 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. flour
1 1/2 pounds shredded mexican cheese (yep.)
16 corn tortillas
For this recipe, I adapted an Adobe recipe of Zarela’s (I recommend watching her video. It taught me a lot). and added a couple of items to make an enchilada sauce.
First, Rinse your dried ancho chiles. Cook the dried ancho chile peppers for about ten seconds each side in a skillet.
Remove. Break off top and shake out seeds. Discard top and seeds.
Soak chiles in a bowl of water for twenty five minutes.
Remove chiles. Discard water. Add chiles to blender with oregano, garlic, chicken stock, chili powder, cumin, chicken base, & salt. Blend until smooth.
In a large saucepan, melt butter. Add flour. Stir to combine, until it is, as Zarela says, “the color of a cockroach.” Which might be my very favorite cooking tip ever!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Add blended ingredients. Carefully, this will splatter! Stir. Add tomato paste. Stir until smooth. Let simmer on low heat ten minutes.
While sauce is simmering, heat vegetable oil in skillet. Add tortillas, one at a time. Fry quickly on each side until just beginning to bubble. About ten seconds each side. Remove to paper towel covered plate. For every four you fry, place two more paper towels on top.
When all of the tortillas are fried. Turn off heat. (Be very careful with hot oil! Do not pour down sink! This will ruin your sink! Let cool completely and discard.) Turn off heat to enchilada sauce.
Pour a little enchilada sauce in pan you are cooking the enchiladas in, to coat it. Take a tortilla and coat with sauce. I find placing some sauce on a flat plate, and then rubbing the tortilla into it works the best. And yes, this is messy! Take coated tortilla and fill with cheese. Roll. Place seam side down in pan. Repeat 7 more times until pan is full.
Repeat the step above with another pan.
Pour sauce equally over Enchiladas in both pans. Distribute remaining cheese equally over enchiladas.
Cover with foil and bake for fifteen-twenty minutes. Remove foil. Bake for an additional 5 minutes.
Remove hot pans from oven with mitts. Turn off oven.
Serve with toppings and optional sides.