Monday, December 22, 2008

Red Chile Enchiladas

As a native New Mexican, Christmas Eve dinner has always been about New Mexican food: posole (a traditional hominy stew made with pork and red chile), tamales, and enchiladas. Red chile is the focal point of each of these recipes, and although it might seem exotic or intimidating at first glance, it is a very easy and versatile ingredient to work with! Here is a recipe using dried New Mexico red chile pods you can find in the Hispanic food section at your local market that I thought I would share. Try and and see what you think! The smoky flavor of red chile is something unlike anything else in the world!

Stacked New Mexico Red Chile Enchiladas

Prepare red chile sauce according to directions below. To assemble enchiladas, spray your plates with non-stick spray for easy cleanup. (Each stack of enchiladas is made on an individual plate.)Spread a bit of sauce directly onto the plate, and then layer one corn tortilla on the sauce, followed by a layer of chopped onions and then a layer of sharp cheddar cheese. Top with another ladle of sauce. Repeat layers as many times as desired (I usually make these in stacks of three) and then top all layers with a final layer of sauce, topped off generously with a final layer of cheese. Bake for 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven until bubbly. Serve with a dollop of sour cream alongside some Mexican rice and black beans.

Red Chile Sauce
1 5 oz. package dried New Mexico red chiles
Rinse chiles, removing stems and seeds. Place in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then lower temperature and simmer 15 minutes, or until tender. Remove chiles promptly, reserving boiling water. Place chiles in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Add 1/2 cup cooking liquid, and process chiles until smooth. Continue to add liquid, 1/4 cup at a time, and process until puree is the consistency of a rich tomato sauce. If desired, strain puree to remove any course membranes that remain. Set puree aside.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a medium sauce pan. Add 1 heaping tablespoon flour, and stir into a roux. Press in 2 cloves garlic, and cook until garlic is fragrant and flour smells toasty, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup chile boiling water, whisking constantly to prevent lumps from forming. Add 1 cup water and 2 teaspoons beef base, and whisk until smooth. Stir in chile puree along with 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano and 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste). Bring mixture to a boil, then lower heat and simmer until flavors blend, 10-15 minutes.


Stacey said...

That looks sooo yummy!!

Daisymeh said...

Wow! This looks awesome Amy...may be a candidate for New Year's Eve dinner. We are staying in!