Another Friday, another community lunch to prepare for. My absolute “go to” meal when I need a dish that will please a crowd are enchiladas rojas! My inspiration for today’s cheesy enchiladas are the traditional enchiladas suizas. The more traditional enchiladas suizas are prepared with a creamy salsa verde, but I switched it out and prepared a red creamy salsa.
Are you a rolled enchilada person or layered enchilada person? I am most definitely a rolled! Lol! For today’s post you can serve up a twist on enchiladas Suizas or go classic with a deep red enchilada sauce and plenty of cheese!
The story behind how these delicious enchiladas got their name, is that the Swiss immigrants to Mexico influenced this dish. In particular, the crema and melted cheese. One of the most beautiful aspects of Mexican cooking is how the most traditional and popular dishes have influences from other countries. A big, giant, delicioso melting pot of flavors! Sharing my dishes, is one of the little ways I pass on and share my Hispanic heritage with people. I am very proud of my culture, both Mexican and American. For today’s post I downsized the recipe a bit and instructed you to roll instead of stack the tortillas. But you could certainly stack them in layers, it just requires more ingredients. You will read the tips along the way if you’d like to prepare them that way. I would have liked to have shown you a beautifully plated dish with the crema and cilantro garnish, but when it’s community lunch day, it get’ a little crazy! Lol! In the meantime, I did get some pretty good shots of the melted cheese, ha, ha, ha! Enjoy! #mexicanfood #shareyourfood #payitforward #hispanicheritagemonth
This is more of the style that the enchiladas would look like if rolled. This was before they were placed in the oven to melt the cheese with a little green onion added.
Tips~ If you cannot find the dried chiles where you live, you could just bump up the amount of chile ancho powder to double. It will yield a darker sauce.
Easy, classic enchiladas rojas. Chicken enchiladas with a popular red chile sauce that is always great for a crowd of hungry family and friends!
- 4 large tomatoes sliced in half
- 3 chile guajillo peppers stems and seeds removed
- 1/2 white onion
- 1-2 jalapenos stems removed
- 2 cloves garlic
- handful of cilantro plus more for garnish
- 2-3 teaspoons knorr bouillon
- 2 1/2-3 cups of water
- 1 cup Mexican crema or creme friache reserve 1/2 cup
- 2 teaspoons chile ancho powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
You will also need
- 12 corn tortillas
- Oil for frying
- 2 cups of shredded chicken previously cooked
- 2 cups shredded cheese Chihuahua, Oaxaca, Muenster or Manchego
- In a sauce pan, combine the tomatoes, guajillos, onion, jalapeños and garlic. Cover with water, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and continue cooking for 10-12 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the salsa ingredients to the blender. Add the cilantro, bouillon, water, crema, chile ancho powder, cumin, salt and pepper to taste. Blend on high until smooth. Taste for salt , strain through a wire strainer into a bowl.
- Preheat 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil to medium heat in a skillet with oil. Pour in the strained sauce and cook at a steady simmer for 10 minutes. Taste for salt.
- On a preheated comal(griddle) fry the tortillas that have been brushed with oil for 35 to 45 seconds per side. Stack onto plate until ready to use. Or you can deep fry them traditionally.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. To the bottom of a 9X13 baking dish, add 1 cup of enchilada sauce and spread it out evenly. Fill and roll the tortillas with chicken and place into baking dish with sauce. Top with remaining enchilada sauce. Add the cheese down the center of enchiladas. Bake just until cheese melts, about 25 to 30 minutes.
- Drizzle the remaining crema over the top of enchiladas while they are still warm. Garnish with fresh cilantro. Serve right away.
For the darker red enchilada sauce add 2 dried chile anchos when you prepare your sauce and delete the Mexican crema from the sauce.
Tips~If building the enchiladas stacked instead of rolled, you will more than likely need twice the amount of filling to cover evenly. Rolled ones require less filling.
Tips~ We use crema or creme fraiche because regular sour cream may curdle when heated
If you would like a more traditional red sauce for your chicken enchiladas, simply add a few (2) dried chile ancho peppers when you cook your prepare. Do not add any cream to the sauce! This will yield a darker yummy red enchilada sauce!!
Take the time to strain your sauces when you can. The results are delicious! If you are lucky enough to own a vitamix blender, no straining required.
The best results for shredded chicken are when I cook it in the pressure cooker! Thirty five minutes under pressure and done! These were boneless chicken thighs cooked in the pressure cooker.
No fuss frying for tortillas. Brush both sides with oil and cook on preheated comal or griddle for 35-45 seconds per side.
I prepared two pans, one veggie and one chicken. These were for the community lunch, so I chose to stack them instead of roll them. If you stack them you will need 24 tortillas instead of 12. I like to add 8 tortillas per layer, making 3 layers.
This happens, lol! Just add an extra tortilla!.
My favorite melting cheese for enchiladas is queso Chihuahua or Muenster cheese.
You could cover the whole surface with cheese, but I like the looks of the red sauce peaking out on the sides.
I let everyone garnish their own enchiladas as they served themselves. Not everyone loves crema and cilantro like I do.
Easy Cilantro Lime Crema. 2 cups crema, juice of 1 lime, 1/3 cup cilantro and salt to taste. Blend until smooth. For easier drizzling, add in a little cold water while blending.
If you want to give your enchiladas that red sizzling look, sprinkle on a little paprika to the cheese before you bake them in the oven!
On this day I used blue corn tortillas too! Dramatic!
A meatless option for your enchilada filling!