Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Stacked Cheese Enchiladas with New Mexican Red Chile Sauce

A couple of weeks ago I posted a recipe for Huevos Rancheros and included my recipe for red chile sauce. I always double or triple the recipe when I make the sauce because I use red chile sauce in many, many dishes. My favorite is enchiladas. And, since it is casserole week at Food Network's Comfort Food Feast, it is the perfect time to share my favorite enchilada recipe.

In New Mexico, enchiladas are served "stacked"...not rolled the way they are prepared in Mexican cuisine.  I don't notice a difference in taste!...this version is so easy!!  This has become my "go to" dish when I have a large group of people to feed.  The stacked enchiladas, plus pinto beans, posole and a green salad create a simple and delicious menu for any size dinner party.

Enchiladas are basically tortillas (usually corn), a filling, cheese and sauce.  Southwestern style calls for either red or green sauce...or "Christmas" which is both.   You really don't need a recipe....more like the here is the way I make cheese enchiladas with New Mexican red chile sauce:

You will need to start with the sauce. (recipe follows) Note, the quantities I am providing make enough for 6 people with the side dishes mentioned above.  If you want just the enchiladas with a salad this serves 4.  You can double, triple, quadruple...whatever you like. Just ensure you increase the pan size accordingly, or use more than one.  (my tip...make more than you think you will need...leftovers are delicious too.)

Stacked Cheese Enchiladas with New Mexican Red Chile Sauce
(serves 4-6)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
9 corn tortillas
1 lb extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 white onion, diced
2 scallions, minced  (white and green parts)
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
3 cups New Mexican chile sauce (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Add the olive oil to a 2.2 qt casserole dish. Use a paper towel or pastry brush to coat the dish with the oil.  Pour 1 cup sauce into the bottom of the prepared dish and spread to cover.  Use 4 tortillas to cover the sauce.  Take 1 additional tortilla, tear in half, and the tear 1 half into 3 pieces.  Use the pieces to cover up any gaps where sauce is showing. Sprinkle 1/3 of the cheese over the tortillas.  Sprinkle 1/2 of the onions and 1/2 of the scallions over the cheese. Repeat with remaining tortillas, another cup of sauce, another 1/3 of the cheese and the onions and scallions. Cover with the remaining sauce and the rest of the cheese.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Sprinkle cilantro over enchiladas and serve. I like this dish with a crisp green salad tossed only with seasoned rice vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Some people top their enchiladas with sour cream...I am not a fan (dilutes the taste too much for me)  but, if you like...feel free. :)

New Mexican Red Chile Sauce
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 large yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp flour
2 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup pure new mexican ground red chile powder, medium
1 1/2 tsp dried mexican oregano
1/2- 1 tsp chile caribe (caribe is crushed red pepper, seeds and all.  this one is hot so start with 1/2 tsp.  taste and add more if you like your sauce really spicy)
1/2 tsp ground cumin 
Add the oil to a medium saucepan and heat until gently shimmering.  Add the onions and sauté until they are translucent (do not let brown).  Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Stir in the salt. add 1 tbsp flour and stir until flour is incorporated into the oil ensuring all lumps are dissolved.  Repeat with second tbsp. of flour and sauté for 1 minute.  Add the water and the chile powder and stir until combined.  Add the oregano, chile caribe and cumin and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer (low) for 30 minutes. Taste and correct seasonings if necessary.

It is "Casserole" week at Comfort Food Feast roundup. Check out the other delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends. Do you have a favorite casserole recipe? Share in the comments section. 

The Heritage Cook: Tex-Mex Arroz con Pollo (Gluten-Free)
Jeanette's Healthy Living: Smoked Sausage Chicken Cassoulet
Big Girls, Small Kitchen: Cheesy Butternut Squash Enchiladas
Dishin & Dishes: Black Bean Enchilada Pie
Weelicious: Chicken Wild Rice Casserole
Dishing with Divya: Chicken Mushroom and Black Bean Tortilla Casserole
Taste With The Eyes: Paella Rice with Baby Octopus & Meyer Lemon
Blue Apron: 11 Super Casserole Recipes for a Super Bowl Feast
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Pork Chop Casserole with Crimini Mushrooms
Red or Green: Stacked Cheese Enchiladas with New Mexican Red Chile Sauce
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Chicken and Rice Casserole
The Sensitive Epicure: Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole (Gluten-Free)
Domesticate Me: Mushroom, White Bean and Brown Rice Casserole with Bacon and Gruyere
Daily*Dishin: Chicken Tetrazzini Casserole
FN Dish: The New Age of Casseroles

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  1. Hi, new follower here! Really excited to try this recipe. I'm from Austin, TX and love all things Tex-Mex and New Mexican related. YUM!! :)

  2. This looks delicious. Too spicy for my wimpy taste buds, but my husband would absolutely love it!

    1. Helen, you can find mild red chile powder to make this "wimpy taste buds" friendly!! :)

  3. We love spicy tex-mex and make our own chili sauce from dried chilies too, at least when I'm not too lazy. It is the best and really takes enchiladas up a notch.

  4. Love the stacked idea! Anything that cuts time is great in my book. Thanks for sharing:)

  5. Enchiladas are my favorite! I'll have to try making this sauce:)

  6. Oh this sounds good. Love enchiladas

  7. Enchiladas are definitely the best! The sauce gives a haunting cumin aroma while the heat from the chilies slowly tickle back your tongue. Anyway, I think it doesn’t matter whether you prefer red sauce or green sauce, since you’ll still end up with a tasty treat. I do hope you’ll be able to share more of your Mexican dishes in your future posts. Happy cooking!

    Diane Baker @ Alejandra's Restaurant

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