Potluck Series: Red Chile Enchiladas


In July 2009 our lives were forever changed when the Texas issue of Saveur landed in our mailbox. While there were many delicious recipes featured, one caught our eye and we’ve made it at a half a dozen times since then. The Red Chile Enchiladas come from the Gonzalez family in Las Cruces, Texas and they serve them with potatoes, which was a switch for me since I’m accustomed to beans and rice, but the potatoes were a welcome surprise here.

When the Mexican theme was agreed upon for the Sac Foodies potluck, I knew we had to make these enchiladas for the group. I recommend making a double batch of the sauce and storing it in your freezer. Once the sauce is made, it’s relatively simple to assemble the rest, so it would be great to have extra on hand when you are searching to make dinner mid-week.

Red Chile Enchiladas

Recipe courtesy of Saveur magazine, July 2009

20 dried New Mexico chiles
3 tablespoons canola oil, plus more for frying
10 cloves garlic
¼ cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons sugar
Kosher salt, to taste
12 corn tortillas
2 cups grated mozzarella
2 cups grated sharp cheddar
¾ cup finely chopped red onion
¼ cup finely crumbled cotija cheese
3 tablespoons crema or sour cream

Put chiles in a large bowl and cover them with boiling water. Let them soak, nudging them occasionally with a spoon to make sure they are fully submerged, until chiles are soft and dark red, about 20 minutes. Remove them from the water and pull off the stems. Do not throw away the water. Slice the chiles lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Transfer the chiles and 2 cups of the soaking water to a food processor; let cool.

Heat oven to 450°F. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic; cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer garlic to the food processor with the reserved chiles, reserving oil in skillet. Puree chile-garlic mixture; add lime juice, cumin, sugar and salt and pulse to combine. Strain through a sieve; discard solids. Transfer chile sauce to reserved skillet; heat sauce over medium heat.

Pour oil into a second large skillet over medium-high heat to a depth of ½”. Using tongs and working with one tortilla at a time, dip tortilla in oil; cook until slightly crisp, about 15 seconds. Drain tortilla. Dip in chile sauce to coat, and transfer to a plate. Sprinkle some of the mozzarella, cheddar and onions along the center of the tortilla. Roll up enchilada. Arrange rolled enchiladas on a baking sheet or in a casserole dish; bake until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Divide enchiladas between four plates; sprinkle with cojita cheese and drizzle with crema.

Makes 6 servings

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1 Comment so far ↓

  • Kristin | Oct 16, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    Was excited to see my town of Las Cruces mentioned, but it is in New Mexico.