Enchiladas Mexicanas

The baked enchilada with chili and melted cheese on top is a Texas invention. To us Mexicans, an enchilada is something much simpler: just a warm corn tortilla rolled around crumbly queso fresco cheese, topped with whatever salsa we have on hand, or just a little more cheese. It was created, like so many Mexican dishes, as a tasty way to dispose of leftovers. There were never any fixed ingredients, except for the corn tortillas we used to roll them. Typically they were made to be eaten immediately, with or without a salsa on the side. Over time they evolved to become center of the plate. Enchiladas Mexicanas are enchiladas in their most traditional form. To give the tortillas a nice color and deep, earthy flavor, I mix together equal parts vegetable oil and water with several big spoonfuls of paprika. Right before serving, I heat a little of this mixture in a saucepan with a tortilla, warming the tortilla and coating it on both sides while making it soft and pliable for rolling. In minutes you have a meal! 

Serve these hot, with Mexican Rice and Veggie Refried Beans if you like. They are also a great breakfast dish, with a fried egg on top.

May 26, 2018

Ingredients

Filling
  • 1 pound queso fresco, crumbled
  • a/2 cup finely diced red onion
Coating
  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup water
Enchiladas
  • 12 (5 1/2-inch) fresh Corn Tortillas or store-bought
For Serving
  • Salsa Verde
  • Salsa Frita

Instructions

1.  Heat the oven to 200 degrees.

2. To make the filling: Mix together the crumbled cheese and the onion in a medium bowl.

3. To make the coating: Mix together the paprika, oil, and water in another bowl.

4. To make the enchiladas: Heat a small skillet over medium heat until hot. Add 1 tablespoon of the coating mix, rotating the pan to coat. Before the water evaporates, quickly add a tortilla and coat by swirling the pan. Carefully flip the tortilla to coat on the other side, less than 30 seconds total. Remove to a plate. Repeat with another tortilla and remove to the plate. Spoon about ½ cup of the cheese mixture down the middle of each, then roll. Sprinkle the top with a little more cheese mixture. Keep warm in the oven while you assemble the remaining enchiladas. Repeat with the remaining tortillas, serving 2 enchiladas to a plate.

5. Serve hot, with Salsa Verde and Salsa Frita on the side.

About this recipe

ENCHILADAS MEXICANAS is excerpted from TURNIP GREENS AND TORTILLAS © 2018 by Eddie Hernandez and Susan Puckett. Photographs © 2018 by Angie Mosier. Reproduced by permission of Rux Martin Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

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Ingredients

Filling
  • 1 pound queso fresco, crumbled
  • a/2 cup finely diced red onion
Coating
  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup water
Enchiladas
  • 12 (5 1/2-inch) fresh Corn Tortillas or store-bought
For Serving
  • Salsa Verde
  • Salsa Frita
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