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 enchilada. The sauce can be made a day, week, or months ahead of time and kept frozen until needed.

You may assemble these with no frying, then thae enchiladas would be quicker to prepare and have fewer calories than the conventional rolled variety. That being said, dipping the tortillas in the sauce and frying them briefly (20 seconds) on each side not only locks in a better flavor but makes them taste richer. This practice of coating the tortillas in sauce first before frying is most common in Mexico. Fry all tortillas keeping them handy until they are needed.
Once assembly is complete cook in a 450 F oven until bubbly hot. (Use a potholder to grab the plate.)

Ingredients for one serving:
            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
Slices of fanned avacodo
Chopped cilantro
Fried eggs (sunny side up) if desired.

Assemble enchilada: Place 1 tablespoon of enchilada sauce on a microwave/oven safe plate and top with a fried 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 follow with more cheese. 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 Rojo)
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 chile 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
Teaspoon sweet paprika
1 Teaspoon of mild New Mexico ground chile pow­der
2 Cups homemade rich chicken bone stock
2 Cloves minced garlic
5Tablespoons lard (rendered pork fat) (Manteca rendered from good pork fat)
5 Tablespoons white all-purpose flour
Pinch Mexican oregano(Lippia berlandieri)
¼ Cup cream, half and half or more, as needed
Pinch or two of sugar as required - see text
1~2 teaspoon powdered quality beef bouillon to taste

Melt lard then 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, garlic 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. Add beef bouillon to taste. Correct salt and add a smidge of 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.
Variation of Garnish using Mexican onions, Jalapenos, avocado

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