For the guajillo chile salsa:
15 guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
For the enchiladas:
2 cups (about 8 ounces) crumbled queso fresco, ranchero or cotija, or farmer’s cheese, crumbled
4 tablespoons finely chopped white onion
1 pound red potatoes, peeled and cut into small dice
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into small dice
4 radishes, rinsed thoroughly and cut into small dice
4 romaine lettuce leaves, rinsed and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste, plus more to salt the water
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Pinch of sugar
Pickled blond peppers or pepperoncini, or pickled jalapeños
On an already hot comal or skillet set over medium-low heat, toast the chiles for about 15 seconds per side. The inner skin will turn opaque and the outer skin will crisp. Place them in a medium saucepan, cover with hot water and set over medium-high heat. Let them simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until they rehydrate, soften and plump up.
In the jar of a blender, place chiles along with 1 1/2 cups of their soaking liquid, the garlic, oregano and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Puree until completely smooth. In a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat, pour the oil. Once hot, but not smoking, add the guajillo chile sauce and cover with a lid ajar, as the sauce will be jumping. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, add the chicken broth and cook a couple minutes more. Turn off the heat and keep covered.
In a mixing bowl, combine the queso fresco with the chopped onion. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, bring salted water to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes and cook for 4 to 5 minutes until cooked through but not mushy. Scoop out with a spider or a slotted spoon and place in a bowl. In the same water, add the carrots and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until cooked but still firm. Scoop them out, place in the same bowl and set aside. Once the vegetables have cooled a little bit, add the radishes and lettuce. In a small bowl, mix the vinegar with the oils, 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper to taste, and a pinch of sugar. Whisk well and pour over the vegetables.
When ready to eat, have the guajillo salsa warmed up. Place a comal or skillet over medium-low heat and wait until it is very hot. One by one heat the corn tortillas, about 15 to 20 seconds per side, until they barely begin to toast. With a pair of tongs, dip each tortilla into the guajillo salsa on one side and then the other. The tortilla will barely get “wet” and soften in the sauce. You don’t want to pour this sauce on top, as it is rather bitter, it should just be a light coating.
On a plate, set the “wet” tortilla and place 2 to 3 tablespoons of the queso fresco in the middle. Fold the tortilla making a half moon shape. Prepare one by one, or all one after the other, and place on a platter.
Garnish with the dressed potatoes, carrots, radishes and lettuce. Place pickled peppers on the side.
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An intrinsically Mexican dish, enchiladas are not one but a multitude of possibilities that can dress up a corn tortilla. Simply the sound of the word enchilada makes any Mexican’s mouth water in less than a millisecond and is cause for celebration.
One of the dearest antojos or antojitos (translate to whims or little whims), enchiladas are corn tortillas that may be heated up or lightly fried, either folded or rolled, with or without a variety of fillings, always bathed in a salsa or sauce, and garnished with a a few from a long list of possible toppings. From crumbled queso fresco and a drizzle of crema, to raw or pickled onion, chiles or other vegetables, Mexican avocado, chorizo, shredded lettuces and cabbage, just to name some.
Considering the variations of fillings, salsas, and toppings, enchiladas not only embody different regional cuisine’s identities, but also the whims of different cooks…
Here is my latest one; I call it the Big Brunch Enchilada.
Continue reading Big Brunch Enchiladas
On my recent trip to Mexico, I visited the carnitas capital of the world – Quiroga, Michoacán! So, of course, this time on ABC‘s The Chew, I had to share my perfected recipe for carnitas. I made Carnitas Tacos with Daphne Oz, and we mixed up some Salsa Verde Cruda to top them.
If you missed the segment, you can watch here.
For the recipe, click here.