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Enchiladas rojas is one of those dishes that are cooked differently in every home. Each cook has his/her own recipe, so this is my own version based on my mom’s way of cooking them. In my hometown, it is common to have enchiladas for breakfast or brunch and served with a semi-dried salted meat known as “Cecina”. They are topped with crumbled fresh cheese and chopped white onion.
|This plate served family style has a variety of enchiladas using green, red, tomato, mole, bean, pipian and cream salsas. Served at the restaurant “El Huasteco”, in my hometown Tampico, Tamps.|
Now, Enchiladas rojas can be made using many different types of peppers, with spices or without spices. In México there are a handful of dishes known as ‘enchiladas rojas’, like the famous ones from Zacatecas using only Ancho Pepper. My favorite are the ‘enchiladas placeras’ sold at the plaza in Morelia, Michoacán, with a side dish of cubed carrots and potatoes. There’s also the spicier version of Enchiladas rojas from the Huasteca region of San Luis Potosí, using dried árbol peppers. After asking several cooks about their preferences on peppers for the sauce, most of them use a combination of Ancho and Guajillo Peppers. Some just fold the tortillas in half and others roll them up using shredded cooked chicken as a filling.
Recipe for 12 enchiladas
- 4 guajillo peppers, seeds removed.
- 4 ancho peppers, seeds removed.
- 2 garlic cloves chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon Mexican oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 12 corn tortillas
- 2 cups of shredded beef, pork or chicken (optional)
- 1 1/2 cup of fresh cheese crumble
- 1/2 cup of white onion finely chopped
- 1/3 cup of vegetable oil
- 2 cups of pre-cooked diced potatoes and 2 cups of pre-cook diced carrots.
- Finely shredded lettuce or cabbage and radishes
*This is my mother’s recipe. You can play around with the amount of peppers, using more ancho peppers than guajillo or even making the sauce using just one of the peppers in the recipe until you find the taste that you and your family enjoy better.
*My mom first dips the tortilla into the salsa and then fries them. It gets a little messy but the final result is worth the cleaning afterwards.
* Crumbled Fresh cheese is one of the traditional fillings.
* The Sauce can be made one of two days ahead and also freezes well up to 2 month.
1. Let’s start first with the sauce. Slightly roast the peppers in a hot griddle, pressing them flat with the help of a spatula. Make sure NOT to burn them. This step takes a few seconds on each side of the peppers.
2. Once roasted, place them in a saucepan with water and turn the heat to medium and simmer for about 15 minutes or when they look soft.
3. Remove saucepan from stove and let them cool for another 10-15 minutes. The pepper skins should look soft.
4. After the resting period, drain the peppers and place in the blender along with the garlic cloves. Add 1/2 cup of clean water and blend until you have a smooth sauce. If necessary, strain the sauce into a large bowl using a fine strainer. Season with the oregano, salt, and pepper, and set aside.
5. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees to keep the enchiladas warm while you finish assembling them. Add the 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil little by little as needed. To much oil will get a soggy tortilla.
6. Dip the tortilla into the sauce to lightly coat each side.
7. Place it in the Frying Comal-pan or skillet and briefly fry a few seconds on both sides. Add more vegetable oil to the skillet as needed. Place fried tortillas in a dish while you make the rest of the tortillas to keep warm in the oven.
8 . To assemble the enchiladas, first, place the filling in the center of the tortilla and fold it. Sometimes I place a meat filling into the center of the tortilla and then roll it, like in the pictures above.
9. Sprinkle the enchiladas with the cheese and onion. Add the garnish of your choice and enjoy!
10. If you decide to add the potatoes and carrots as a garnish: Peel potatoes and carrots, cut into cubes and boil until almost tender but still firm. Then drain and cool.
11. Use the same frying pan where you fried the enchiladas to lightly fry the potatoes, adding a little more oil. The potatoes and carrots will be coated with some of the sauce sticking to the frying pan. Season with salt and garnish with cheese.
If you enjoy this recipe please leave us a comment.