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Making the Sauce

12 stemmed and seeded dried Anaheim Chiles
1 Quart Water
1 Garlic Clove, peeled
6 Tablespoons Lard or Canola Oil
2 Tablespoons Flour
3/4 Teaspoons Garlic Powder
½ Teaspoon Salt

Bring the chiles and water to a boil in a gallon-sized pot. Remove from the heat and let cool. Remove the chiles from the water and save the water for pureeing. Pureé the chiles and garlic in a food processor adding enough water to the food processor to give the puree a gravy-like consistency. Heat 2 tablespoons lard or canola oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat and add the flour while constantly stirring. Add chile pureé, garlic powder and salt. Simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Making the Enchiladas

12 Corn Tortillas
1 lb. shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
1/4 lb. Queso Cotija (aged Mexican cheese) or Romano or Parmesan Cheese
Shredded Iceberg Lettuce (optional)
Chopped Plum Tomatoes (optional)
Chopped Green Onions (optional)
Sour Cream(optional)
Chopped Ripe Olives(optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat the remaining lard or canola oil in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat. Using tongs, dip a tortilla quickly in the oil and place on a sheet pan. Sprinkle an ounce or two of the jack cheese in a line across the middle of the tortilla. YOu can add shredded chicken or sometimes I like to add black beans. Starting at the edge of the tortilla that is directly across from the line of cheese, roll the tortilla until it just folds over itself. Place the filled tortilla with the flap down in a glass casserole dish just large enough to accommodate 12 enchiladas in a single layer. Repeat this process until all tortillas and cheese are used. Pour enough chile sauce over the tortillas to just moisten the entire surface. Bake for 20 minutes uncovered. Remove from oven and sprinkle with the queso cotija. If desired, garnish the enchiladas with sour cream, salsa, olives,shredded iceberg lettuce, chopped plum tomatoes and chopped green onions.

Tip: For a quicker version, canned red enchilada sauce is a good substitute.

What follows is an alternate recipe for the enchilada sauce used in Lometa's recipe. Lometa's recipe details solid enchilada technique, however, I think it could be improved by dipping the tortillas in the enchilada sauce prior to filling and rolling them up.

There are as many variations on enchilada sauce as their are families in Texas and Mexico combined. The one thing that most of them have in common is the use of cumin, oregano and chiles. Other than that, it just depends on what your abuela told you.



  1. Add the stock and chiles to a medium pot, bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once it has reached a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for roughly 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it rest.
  2. Saute the onions in the 2 tbsp. corn oil until they begin to soften.
  3. Put 1 cup of the cooking liquid, all of the chiles, the sauteed onions and the garlic into a blender. As an aside, the quality of a mexican kitchen is often judged upon the quality and number of the blenders it contains.
  4. Puree them until they form a smooth paste, then set aside.
  5. Next phase is the making of the sofrito, a critical element of mexican cooking.
  6. Heat the remainder of the corn oil in a large skillet over medium heat, once it starts to shimmer, add the flour and cook for 2 minutes, make sure to stir the mixture constantly.
  7. Add to the pan, the chile paste from the blender, cumin, oregano, and some salt and pepper. Let this cook for no more than a minute, 30 seconds on the quick side. This allows the flavor of the spices to bloom and integrate with that of the chiles.
  8. Add the remaining chicken stock at this point and cook over medium-low heat for 30 minutes, until the sauce thickens.

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