Friday, September 19, 2014

Sonoran Enchiladas Chatas(Flat Enchiladas)

San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico
Corn Tortillas are just corn, water, sea salt, and lime so one wonders why different brands are so different from each other. Freshness has to be a major factor. I find smelling the package is a good tell. If the aroma smells wonderful, it will taste wonderful. If making any dish where the tortilla figures prominently like enchiladas or tacos, getting a perfect result must start with a perfect tortilla. I bought masa and a metal press with the thought that I would make my own. Fortunately, I discovered a “Mercado” that makes them daily for sale.

Flat enchiladas are very popular in Sonoran Mexico, Arizona and New Mexico where they are also called enchiladas montadasor (mounted) and may be topped with one or more fried egg.  In this recipe, there is A great sauce will make a great enchiladas but it can be made a day, week, or months ahead of time and kept frozen until needed.
no frying, so these enchiladas are quicker and have fewer calories than the conventional rolled variety. Since these are cooked on their own plate, there are no pans to cleanup. This recipe works very well in the microwave but may be cooked in a 450 F oven until bubbly hot. (Use a potholder to grab the plate.)

4 Tablespoons Enchiladas Sauce II, warmed (see below)
3 White corn tortillas
2 tablespoons chopped Vidalia onions, sauted in butter until clear
4 Tablespoons white melting cheese such as Queso Fresco
Chopped iceberg lettuce with tomatoes slices, tossed in a vinaigrette
Chopped green onions
Chopped cilantro
Fried eggs if desired.

Assemble enchilada: Place 1 tablespoon of enchilada sauce on a microwave/oven safe plate and top with a tortilla. Spoon over tablespoon of enchilada sauce. Sprinkle with cheese, sauted onions and add next tortilla, add more sauce and cheese. Top with last tortilla, follow by another tablespoon of enchilada sauce then cheese. Microwave 3 minutes on high. (Alternately, prepare several servings and bake in 450 F oven until cheese well melted. ) Let rest 1 minute, then garnish plate with lettuce, tomatoes, and scallions, chopped cilantro, and optionally, fried eggs.

Garnish plate with lettuce, tomatoes, and scallions, chopped cilantro, and optionally, fried eggs.

Enchiladas Sauce II (Chile Colorado)
To control the amount of heat, use more mild New Mexico powder than other varieties. To make a hotter variety, mix both hot and mild New Mexico chilie powder. This recipe makes for a sweeter result than starting with whole dried peppers and is faster to prepare.
1 Teaspoon Ancho powder
1 Teaspoon Aji Amarillo powder
1 Teaspoon Guajillo powder
1 Teaspoon Mulato powder
1 Teaspoon Morita powder or use Chipotle
2 Tablespoons of mild New Mexico ground chile pow­der
2 Cups homemade rich chicken stock
2 Cloves minced garlic
4 Tablespoons rendered pork fat (Manteca rendered from good pork fat)
3 Tablespoons white all-purpose flour
Pinch Mexican oregano
¼ Cup creamor or more as needed
Pinch or two of sugar as required - see text

Make a roux by blending the pork fat and flour and cook it on low until it is a pale brown color. Remove from heat. Whisk in chili powders and oregano over very low heat, add chicken stock, and garlic. Simmer for 1 hours adding water or more chicken stock as needed. Taste the sauce for hotness, and if not spicy enough, add more ground HOT chili powder. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon. Correct salt and add sugar and cream as required. The amount of sugar should NOT be per­ceptible and is used to just take any bitter edge off. Salt will also help moderate the biter undertones. The cream or milk serves to mellow the sauce.

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