Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Yield: Makes 4 servings of 2 enchiladas
- 1 dried red chile (Guajillo or Anaheim work well for this)
- Warm water for soaking the red chile
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil or lard
- 1 small white onion
- 3 lbs tomatoes
- 1 green bell pepper
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 cup vegetable broth (you can substitute chicken broth)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
- Approximately 1/2 cup cooking oil (for cooking the tortillas in)
- 8 corn tortillas (approximately 5 inches in diameter)
- 2 cups shredded or crumbled Queso Fresco (you can substitute Monterrey Jack cheese)
Heat the 2 tablespoons of cooking oil or lard in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Swirl the melted fat around the pan to coat it. Add in the chopped onion and green bell pepper and cook them until they begin to soften, about three minutes. Add in the tomatoes, red chile, garlic, cumin and oregano and cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring every minute or so and adding salt and pepper to taste. Then you will need to cover the pan, and keep it over low heat to continue to cook and keep warm while you prepare the tortillas.
Tortillas and Cheese:
Add enough of the remaining cooking oil to a medium frying pan to coat the bottom by about 1/8 inch or less. Heat the cooking oil over medium high heat. You can test when it is hot enough by pinching a tiny crumb of tortilla off and carefully dropping it in the oil. If it sizzles and floats to the top, the oil is too hot. You don't want to fry the tortillas crispy, you just want to lightly cook them. You want to keep the oil at a steady temperature, so try to avoid making large adjustments in the heat (such as turning it down to low in the middle of cooking.) Place a tortilla in the hot oil, and cook it for about 10-15 seconds. The oil should be barely sizzling. Flip it over, add 1/4 cup cheese down the center. The cheese will begin to melt. cook it for about another 10 seconds and remove the tortilla from the pan and place on paper towels to absorb some of the oil. Wrap one side over the cheese, and then the other side, so that the cheese is now rolled up inside of the tortilla. Quickly cook another tortilla and cheese, place it next to the other one on the paper towels to absorb some of the oil, then place both hot tortillas on a serving plate. The cheese will continue to melt in the hot tortillas. Continue until all tortillas have been cooked, adding more oil as necessary.
Finishing the Enchiladas Rancheras:
Spoon about 1/2 cup of the sauce over the two cheese-stuffed tortillas and serve immediately. If you need to make a large batch, keep the cooked cheese-stuffed tortillas in a baking dish in a warm oven (about 200 degrees) for up to 30 minutes.
These enchiladas are great when topped with one of these Guacamole Recipes and a sprinkle of chopped fresh onions and fresh cilantro leaves. A great side dish is Mexican (Spanish) Rice and home-made Refried Beans. Also, if you prefer a smooth version of the sauce, you can use a hand-held stick style blender to blend it until it is your desired consistency. If you want to use a jar-style blender, make sure to let the sauce cool to room-temperature before attempting to blend it. You can then re-heat the sauce over low heat.