Thursday, April 8, 2010


Mexico is a very big country with a large variety in its cusine. But something that can be found everywhere in this country are enchiladas. While enchiladas are made more or less the same way everywhere, the sauces can be very different from one region to another.

The three most common enchiladas are verdes (made with green tomatillos), rojas (made with red tomatoes), and the ones made with mole sauce. And all of these (and most enchiladas) are made by frying the tortilla, and then smothering them with chosen sauce. I have not met a single Mexican housewife who makes their enchiladas in the oven. The only enchiladas I know that go in the oven are the Enchiladas Suizas (Swiss) which go into the oven after the tortilla has been fried, and only so the cheese placed atop them melts.

Yesterday my neighbor and I made chile guajillo enchiladas which are from this region of the country. While I like any type of enchiladas, these are my favorite. They are not too difficult to make, but they are kind of messy. These enchiladas use no meat.

chile guajillo
ranchero cheese (wll explain)
day old tortillas

Extra sauce:
green tomatillos
serrano chile

The first thing I do is cube potatoes and carrots in a small size,
and boil them until soft, but not musshy.
I boil them separate beacuse the potatos cook faster.
All of this was for two families, a total of nine people.
There was enough for all of us to
eat in the afternoon (la comida 4:00 p.m.),
and then for dinner (la cena 8:30 p.m.)
And today Naty (my neighbor) and I ate three more each
for lunch!

While the potatos and carrots are cooking, I diced onion.
It has to be cut pretty small.

Chile guajillo is a dried chile that is mildly hot.
For us it is not hot at all.
It this case the chiles will be boiled for a bout 10 minutes.
Let them cool.

Since the guajillo chile is not hot, everybody makes another hot sauce.
Naty boiled green tomatillos and serrano chile
with a piece of onion.
Then she put it in the blender with some salt,
and that's it!

This is called Ranchero cheese here. In some other places it is
called queso fresco (fresh cheese).
This is a fresh cheese that can be made from cow's or
goat's milk, and slightly salty.

The cheese is a type the crumbles easily, but it is not dry.

Add the diced onion. Unless you don't like onions,
then only crumble the cheese.
Also chop lettuce (no photo).

Put the boiled chiles in the blender with
some water, a few cloves of garlic, and some salt.
Blend until a smooth liquid.

Strain, put aside.

Heat some oil in a pan, add the carrots and potatoes,
and pour some of the guajillo sauce.
Let it cook a few minutes while stirring carefully
till the vegetables are red.

Now here comes the messy part.
Put enough oil in a small pan.
Heat as if for frying.
(Put on an old apron, you can get very dirty).
Dip the tortilla in the guajillo sauce, and put in the hot oil.
And hereis where all the splattering occurs!
I like my enchiladas a little crispy,
so I leave them longer. We use day old tortillas, because fresh
tortillas get all limp and break easily.

Fry on one side, the the other.

Put the torillas on a plate, add vegetables, and fold.

Yes, I know the plate looks messy, but we were
"en confianza" (among friends).
These should be eaten right away while hot.

With lettuce, cheese and onions, and waiting for the salsa.
The cook is always the last to eat.
But that's OK, Naty and I enjoyed the meal

Click on dried chili information and substitute so you can see what subtitutes you
can use if you can't find chile guajillo.

As I said, there are many types of enchiladas. There are some delicious ones in the state of Colima. The sauce has a smokey taste to it, almost like a barbecue sauce. Sometimes chicken is added. On mole enchiladas, sesame seeds are sprinkled on top. They are all great tasting.

Hope you try them, I'm sure you'll like them....



Anonymous said...

Angie, Angie, angie! it is nearly dinner time here and your are tormenting me! I have planned soup, but now i WANT lovely enchiladas.

You have done a beautiful job on this post. Your method is the way i learned to make them in New Mexico and you are right - messy! But so, so delicious.

I will be trying these out tomorrow! I have everything i need and I am hungry for a good enchilada now thanks to you!

Angie said...

Yay, make some more for me! Can't stop eating these things!

Anonymous said...

These look fantastic! Lovely photos.

Angie said...

They are really good, Avital. And the cheese is also delicious. Naty's sister makes it. I want to go to her ranch someday a photograph her while making it.:)

Juanita said...

Hi Angie! I want to eat at your house. :) Looks soooo good.

Angie said...

Mi casa es tu casa, Juanita!
And everybody else's!!

Amnah said...

Yum Angie, those look amazing!! I love my enchiladas with the verde sauce. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

Angie said...

Hi Amnah,

I love the green ones also, with lots of cheese on top, yum!

I like your recipes too...thanks for commenting!

el dan said...

my mouth can't stop watering... i agree you are tormenting us sweet friend.

Anonymous said...

Finally! I made your enchiladas last night! Fortunately I have a freezer full of red chile sauce. I had never had enchiladas with potatoes and carrots as a filling but we both liked them very, very much! I am thinking sweet potatoes would also be good as a filling!

I made mine NM style - stacking them instead of folding and then our favorite topping - a fried egg!

Thank you again for sharing this recipe. We will be making our enchiladas Angie style again and again!

Angie said...

Mmmm, my husband would love the fried egg, Pam.

Dani, if I could I would send you some all the way to Hungary (and some chicharrón also)!

Besos to everybody...