Homemade Enchiladas Rojas: A Flavorful Mexican Classic
Bringing the Authentic Taste of Mexico to Your Table
If you’re in the mood for a taste of Mexico right in your own kitchen, Homemade Enchiladas Rojas are the perfect choice. These enchiladas are bathed in a rich and flavorful red sauce that’s both savory and slightly spicy, making them a true Mexican comfort food classic. Let’s dive into creating this mouthwatering dish that’s sure to become a family favorite.
For the Red Sauce:
- 4 dried guajillo chilies, stemmed and seeded
- 2 dried ancho chilies, stemmed and seeded
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 medium white onion, chopped
- 1 can (14 oz) crushed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
For the Filling:
- 2 cups cooked shredded chicken (you can use rotisserie chicken)
- 1/2 medium white onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack or queso fresco cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- Salt and black pepper to taste
For the Enchiladas:
- 12-14 corn tortillas
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 1 cup crumbled queso fresco or queso blanco (for topping)
- Chopped fresh cilantro and sliced red onion (for garnish)
1. Prepare the Red Sauce:
- Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and toast the dried guajillo and ancho chilies for a few seconds on each side until they become fragrant. Remove them from the skillet and place them in a bowl of hot water to soften for about 15 minutes.
- After the chilies have softened, place them in a blender along with the minced garlic, chopped onion, crushed tomatoes, ground cumin, dried oregano, salt, black pepper, and 1 cup of chicken or vegetable broth. Blend until you have a smooth sauce.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Pour the sauce into the saucepan and simmer for about 10-15 minutes, allowing it to thicken. Add more broth if needed to achieve your desired consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Set the sauce aside.
2. Prepare the Filling:
- In a mixing bowl, combine the cooked shredded chicken, finely chopped onion, shredded cheese, chopped cilantro, ground cumin, salt, and black pepper. Mix everything together until well combined.
3. Assemble the Enchiladas:
- In a separate skillet, heat a small amount of vegetable oil over medium heat. Briefly fry each corn tortilla for a few seconds on each side until pliable. Drain any excess oil on paper towels.
- Take a fried tortilla and spoon some of the chicken and cheese filling onto it. Roll it up tightly and place it seam-side down in a serving dish. Repeat this process with the remaining tortillas and filling.
4. Smother with Red Sauce:
- Once all the enchiladas are rolled, pour the prepared red sauce over them, ensuring they are fully covered.
5. Garnish and Serve:
- Sprinkle crumbled queso fresco or queso blanco over the top of the enchiladas.
- Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro and sliced red onion.
- Serve your Homemade Enchiladas Rojas while they’re still warm, and enjoy the rich and savory flavors of this classic Mexican dish!
Tips and Variations:
Perfecting Your Homemade Enchiladas Rojas
- When working with dried chilies, be cautious not to touch your face or eyes, as they can be spicy.
- If you prefer a smoother sauce, you can strain it through a fine-mesh sieve after blending to remove any chili skin or seeds.
- Customize the filling with ingredients like sautéed bell peppers, black beans, or diced tomatoes for added flavor and texture.
- Adjust the level of spiciness by using fewer dried chilies or adding a dash of hot sauce to the red sauce.
- Make these enchiladas vegetarian by using sautéed mushrooms or roasted vegetables as a filling instead of chicken.
- Any leftover enchiladas can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat them in the oven or microwave until heated through.
- These Homemade Enchiladas Rojas are not only delicious but also a wonderful way to explore the rich culinary heritage of Mexico. They are perfect for family dinners, gatherings with friends, or whenever you’re in the mood for some authentic Mexican comfort food. Enjoy the savory, slightly spicy, and utterly satisfying taste of these enchiladas!