As a fan of Mexican cuisine, there is never a doubt about being up for enchiladas. The freshness of ingredients, variety of salsas and sauces, and the increasing availability of really good chiles all make for really good food. This is a stacked enchilada recipe although you could make them any way you like.
Christmas-Style Stacked Enchiladas
For the red chile:
16 large dried New Mexico red chili pods
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil or lard
1 tablespoon flour
For the green chile:
2 cups roasted, peeled and diced New Mexico green chili peppers (fresh, frozen and defrosted, or jarred and drained)
1/2 cup water
2 cloves garlic, minced
For the enchiladas:
6 corn tortillas
1 cup grated Wisconsin cheddar cheese
1/2 small white onion, diced
2 eggs (optional)
1. Make red chile: Remove and discard stems and seeds from red chiles. Rinse pods in a colander under cool water, then place in a medium sauce pan with enough water to fully cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered until fully softened, 10-20 minutes. Strain and let peppers cool slightly.
2. Add cooled chiles to blender along with 2 cups water. Avoid filling blender more than halfway; blend in batches if necessary. Blend until completely smooth, about 60 seconds. Blend in garlic and salt to taste. Transfer puree to medium saucepan.
3. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly to make a golden-brown roux, taking care not to burn it. Remove from heat. Drizzle roux into chile puree and mix to combine. Simmer chile 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Do not boil. Season with salt.
4. Make green chile: Bring chiles, garlic, salt and 1 tablespoon water to a simmer over medium heat in a medium sauce pan. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until chiles fall apart and form a chunky sauce-like consistency, about 30 minutes. If pan looks dry during cooking, stir in water, a spoonful at a time. Season with salt.
5. Make enchiladas: Heat 1-inch oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat until oil bubbles immediately when the edge of a tortilla touches it. Fry tortillas, one at a time, just until they soften and edges begin to crisp, about 10 seconds per side. Drain on paper towels, then keep warm in a tortilla warmer or under a kitchen towel.
6. Mix cheese and onions in a bowl. Lay a tortilla on a plate, spoon a quarter of cheese-onion mixture over tortilla, top with another tortilla, and repeat, finishing with a third tortilla. On a second plate, make a second tortilla-cheese stack. (Cheese should melt slightly.) Spoon 1/2 cup red chile and 1/2 cup green chile over each stack, red on one side, green on the other. Top each stack with a fried egg if you like.
(Source: The Wall Street Journal)
Susan Woody has been a food writer for more than 25 years and is a member of the Association of Food Journalists.