One of my favorite winter dishes are enchiladas. They can be made in a variety of ways and served as a nice dinner or a side dish brought for a potluck meal to be shared and passed. My sister-in-law shreds fresh cabbage and cooks it in with cheese and chiles.
Once cooked, they freeze well and get spicier as they sit in the fridge -- so be prepared for an extra bite when you savor the leftovers later. It's really important to prepare all the ingredients before you start making the enchiladas. I find that once you get cooking, stopping to grate more cheese slows down the process.
Sour cream and minced onions are the favorite garnishes but my dad always likes it when we have shredded some lettuce, chopped ripe tomatoes, sliced up some olives and have a bowl of fresh made guacamole.
6 tablespoons oil
12 corn tortillas
Enchilada Sauce (green or red chile sauce can be used) warmed in saucepan (24 ounce can or 2 cups of sauce)
Grated cheddar and jack cheese (from 4 to 5 cups depending on how much cheese you like)
1/2 cup diced onions (optional)
4 ounces diced green chiles (optional)
small can sliced black olives (optional)
Pre-heat oven to 350. Pour 1/2 cup sauce in 9x13 inch baking dish and spread on bottom. Fry tortillas in hot oil one at a time around five seconds a side. Dip tortillas in sauce and lay in 9x13 dish. Fill the bottom of the baking dish with flat coated tortillas. You will not be able to fry and dip all 12 tortillas and fill them first time round. Turn off the oil and work slowly to start. Oil should NOT be smoking. I test using a wooden chop stick. When the oil bubbles lightly around the wood it is ready.
Put cheese and other ingredients in the middle of the tortillas and fold over one side, then the other, placing seam side down in baking dish. Tuck each filled enchilada next to each other until dish is full. I end up putting two or three on the side of the main line of enchiladas.
When finished filling and folding all the tortillas pour any remaining sauce over top (it should not float them, but make sure they don't get dry when baking -- if you have leftover sauce, serve with the enchiladas, or make Spanish rice with the sauce (add onions and bell peppers with sauce and cooked white rice and bake with enchiladas; serve with some diced tomatoes and green chiles on top) I sprinkle with remaining ingredients and bake for 25 to 35 minutes. Serve with sour cream and minced onions garnish.
PREPARING FRESH GREEN CHILE
First take your green chiles (better wear rubber gloves) and slit the pods lengthwise and remove seeds and veins. Place pods on a cookie sheet (I line the cookie sheet with foil) under a broiler. Or place on your outdoor grill. Allow pods to blister well on each side. Turn frequently so they don't burn (tongs are handy for this). Remove from the fire and cover with damp towels for 10 to 15 minutes (use dish towel and toss it in washing machine immediately to prevent the chiles from burning your hands later once your rubber gloves are removed). Then peel skin from stem downward. Chiles are then ready to use or to freeze for the future.
Fresh red chilies may be prepared the same way.
GREEN CHILE SAUCE
1/4 cup salad or olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup minced onion
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup water
1 cup diced green chile
Salt to taste
Sauté garlic and onion in heavy saucepan. Blend in flour with wooded spoon. Add water and green chile. Bring to a boil and simmer, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.
RED CHILE SAUCE
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup chile powder
2 cups water
Salt to taste
Sauté garlic in oil. Blend in flour with a wooden spoon. Add chile powder and blend in (Don't let pan get too hot -- chile will burn easily). Blend in water and cook to desired consistency. Add salt to taste.