Apr 16, 2010


This can be done the right way or the wrong way as far as I'm concerned. Most people do it the wrong way.

Enchiladas do not need to be rolled to be good. In fact, I really prefer them stacked.

This style really isn't found outside of New Mexico as far as I can tell, though we have at least one decent restaurant in Denver that stacks memorably.

Homemade is still better.

This is a variation that, as family legend recalls it, came in a supplement to an Albuquerque phone book[1] with a few variations from Huntley Dent[2] and experience. Without further introduction:

In a skillet -- preferably cast iron as that doesn't stain -- slowly heat some oil or shortening. I'm really digging butter these days but that's more of a personal choice. You'll be making a roux[3], so add more than you need just for base vegetables.

Dice some onions. White seems best. One, maybe two if they're small.

Dice some garlic. Maybe four or five cloves; this one doesn't need to be overkill.

Add all to the skillet. Onions should remain semi-firm and the garlic should be fully extracted for flavor.

In the meantime, mix a packet of red chile powder -- available at
decent grocery stores, and labeled for heat -- with water. It'll clump;
be persistent.

Chimayo and hot new mexico are my favorites for this one.

When onions are done, add flour to match the oil, cumin, and a touch
of oregano. Make a roux.

Take off heat, add powdered chile and water to roux. Back to heat,
bring to a simmer and cover for a bit. Don't let the sauce burn; it
seriously affect taste.

When the sauce is done, layer thusly in pyrex (for easy cleanup):

Corn tortilla
Onion/garlic mix
Shredded cheese (I happen to like cojack but cotija is great here too)

Keep stacking, usually about 3-4 tortillas high.

Bake at 375 until all the cheese is melty and the tortillas have slightly crispy edges.

Garnish with lettuce and tomatoes. Guacamole is a great side here as well.

[1] No, seriously.

[2] See my Manifesto.

[3] If you don't, well, I'll write that up someday. But you should. They're important.


  1. I found out that in Mexico proper, they are also stacked. But they're different there in that they're dipped in enchilada sauce and then fried. Give it a shot.

  2. proper order, according to dent, is hot oil, sauce, dish. i've tried it but i can't even really tell the difference, which means it's just one more pan. so meh.