Whenever you decide to move to a new city, people always ask aren’t you going to miss (fill in the blank.) Mexican food was the thing that most people were concerned about when I moved to New York. I grew up in the land of Tex Mex and mall hopping. My friends and I would hop from air-conditioned mall to air-conditioned mall. In each of those malls was at least one Tex Mex restaurant. I developed a certain appreciation for things like quality enchilada sauce or masa harina. When I first moved here, I remember asking my mom to mail me a lifetime supply of Old El Paso enchilada sauce. Funny, my bodega on the east side of Manhattan didn’t carry that brand…
I used that stockpile of Old El Paso to make big batches of enchiladas that would feed me for weeks. Nowadays, in order to save my dear mother on shipping costs, I opt for homemade enchilada sauce. These Enchiladas Rojas are made with warm corn tortillas, homemade enchilada sauce, shredded chicken, and Monterey Jack cheese. Enchiladas rojas, as opposed to enchiladas verdes, are (you guessed it!) made with red sauce instead of green.
This enchilada sauce is made by blending rehydrated chiles with onion, garlic, tomato sauce, and spices, and then simmering it down a bit. I added a bit of cream to this enchilada sauce to make it extra special. Top these enchiladas rojas with shredded iceberg lettuce, chopped avocado, sliced chiles, or any other toppings you desire.
- 3 dried chiles (such as ancho and/or guajillo), stemmed and seeded
- 1 small yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 cups cooked shredded chicken
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
- 1 1/4 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (5 ounces)
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Shredded lettuce, sliced chiles, and chopped avocado, for serving
- Make enchilada sauce: place chiles in a small heatproof bowl and cover with 1 cup boiling water. Let stand until softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer chiles and 1/2 cup liquid to a blender with onion, garlic, cumin, coriander, tomato sauce, oil, and 1/2 cup fresh water; blend until smooth. Transfer to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes. Season with salt.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium. Add onion and season with salt and pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, 6 to 8 minutes. Add tomato paste and cumin; cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup enchilada sauce and chicken; cook until warmed through, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro and 3/4 cup cheese; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer to a bowl.
- Wipe skillet clean and heat vegetable oil over medium-high. Working with one tortilla at a time, add to oil and cook, flipping once, until pliable, 5 to 10 seconds. Transfer to paper towels and pat dry.
- Whisk cream into remaining enchilada sauce. Spoon 3/4 cup sauce onto the bottom of a shallow 2-quart baking dish. Place about 1/3 cup chicken filling int the center of each tortilla; roll up tortillas to enclose filling. Arrange enchiladas in a single layer in prepared dish, seam-side down. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over top, then sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Cover tightly with foil.
- Bake until sauce is bubbling, about 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until cheese is melted and bubbling, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with shredded lettuce, sliced chiles, and chopped avocado.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 593