Sylvia Casares, owner and chef of Sylvia’s Enchilada Kitchen in Houston, is famous for her outstanding enchiladas. Ms Casares also has a cooking school where she teaches public and private classes. She was born and raised in Brownsville, Texas, which is on the Texas Mexico border.
This particular enchilada is one of the most classic enchiladas in Mexico. It is a recipe that many people fondly remember their mothers or grandmothers preparing for them while growing up. It is so popular and delicious that it "traveled north" and is also served in several regions of the U.S. (the Texas border, New Mexico and Arizona). I also really enjoy the lightness (low fat) feature of the sauce and the queso fresco, which is so low in fat that it will burn before it will melt. (Note: It is the fat in cheese that causes it to melt!)
For Enchiladas Filling:
- 1 Pound queso fresco - grated (reserve 1/3 cup for garnish)
- 1 Medium onion - diced
For Salsa Roja:
- 12 Chiles Guajillo or Cascabel (stems & seeds removed)
- 3 Chiles de arbol (stems removed)
- 2 1/2 Cup Water
- 3 Cloves garlic - minced
- 1 1/2 Teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 Medium onion - diced
- 1 1/2 Cup water
For Tortilla Preparation:
- Chile Sauce to flavor tortillas
- 8 Chiles guajillo or cascabel (stems and seeds removed)
- 2 Chiles de Arbol (stems removed)
- 2 Cup water
Tortillas for Enchiladas:
- 12-14 Corn tortillas
- 1 Cup vegetable oil
Garnishes for Enchiladas Rojas
- 6-7 Radishes – sliced thin
- 1/2 Small red onion – sliced thin
- 1/4 Romaine lettuce (sliced thin)
Preparation of Chile Sauce to flavor corn tortillas:
In a medium sauce pan combine water and Chiles Guajillo or Cascabel.
Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Puree in a blender for about a minute.
Pass the chile mixture through a strainer. Discard the remaining chiles.
Set aside to cool completely before using to flavor tortillas.
Preparation of Salsa Roja (Enchilada Sauce) :
Combine chiles and water in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
Allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
Blend chiles in a blender on high for about one minute.
Using a strainer, pass the pureed chiles to remove the skins that did not liquefy.
Heat vegetable oil in a medium skillet and sauté onion and minded garlic.
Add chiles, spices and remaining water and simmer for about 5 minutes.
Set aside for later use.
Serve over enchiladas and garnish (if desired) with onions, lettuce and queso fresco.
Makes about 12 enchiladas.
To prepare Enchiladas:
Dip three tortillas at a time in the chile sauce. Using both hands, press the excess chile sauce from the tortillas. Set tortillas aside and repeat until all tortillas have been dipped in the sauce.
Heat oil in a medium skillet on medium high heat.
Place one tortilla at a time in the hot oil and using a Teflon spatula turn over quickly. Total time in the oil should be about 10 seconds.
Remove tortilla and place on a plate. Repeat until all tortillas are done. Allow the tortillas to cool for about 30 minutes before the enchilada preparation (filling and rolling).
Place about two tablespoons of grated queso fresco in the center of each tortilla. Roll the tortilla into an enchilada and place seam down on a baking sheet.
Repeat until all tortillas are filled.
Pour sauce over enchiladas and bake at 350 degrees for about 7-10 minutes. (Queso fresco will not melt due to the very low fat content.)
Garnish with lettuce, onion and queso fresco.