Sunday, August 24, 2008

Red Chile-Cheese Enchiladas

I had some New Mexico guajillo chiles that I thought I'd be all snazzy and chop up in the food processor, but it turns out that no, you really do need a spice/coffee grinder to do that effectively. So I tossed those and used a mixture of chili powder (made of ancho chiles) and crushed red pepper flakes to make the sauce. I don't think this affected the outcome.

The outcome was pretty boring, in my opinion. I think my mom's recipe for cheese enchiladas is way better. Although I might substitute cottage cheese for the sour cream in her recipe next time I make it. But I feel like hers is much creamer and the components are separated, whereas in this one everything kind of soaked together and was just a big mushy mess.

It didn't taste bad - it was actually pretty good, but I would have liked more cheese and more creaminess. I would not make this recipe again.

Sorry the picture sucks, it was ugly food.
enchiladas

Red Chile-Cheese Enchiladas
Cooking Light, 12/07

New Mexican enchiladas, especially those made simply with tortillas, chile sauce, and cheese, are often served layered like lasagna.

3/4 cup fat-free cottage cheese
2/3 cup (2 1/2 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups Red Chile Sauce (recipe follows)
Cooking spray
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded reduced-fat extrasharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400°.

Place cottage cheese in a food processor; process 1 minute or until smooth. Combine cottage cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, onion, and salt, stirring well.

Spread 1/4 cup Red Chile Sauce in bottom of an 8 x 8-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 4 tortillas over sauce, overlapping slightly. Spread 1/2 cup cottage cheese mixture evenly over tortillas; top with 1/2 cup Red Chile Sauce. Repeat the layers once with 4 tortillas, remaining cottage cheese mixture, and 1/2 cup Red Chile Sauce. Arrange remaining 4 tortillas over sauce, overlapping slightly; spoon remaining 3/4 cup Red Chile Sauce over tortillas. Sprinkle evenly with cheddar cheese. Cover and bake at 400° for 10 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes or until cheese melts. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut into 8 squares.

Red Chile Sauce:
New Mexico dried chiles have a moderately spicy heat. If you can't find them, you can try substituting ancho or dried California chiles. Make this sauce up to three days ahead, and refrigerate until you're ready to use it.

5 dried red New Mexico chiles (about 1 1/4 ounces)
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth, divided
2 cups water
1 teaspoon crumbled dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon masa harina

Remove stems and seeds from chiles; coarsely chop. Place chiles in a spice or coffee grinder; process until finely ground to measure 1/4 cup.

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic to pan; cook 3 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring frequently. Add ground chiles; stir well. Stir in 1 cup chicken broth. Add the remaining 1 cup chicken broth, 2 cups water, dried oregano, and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until reduced to 3 cups (about 20 minutes), stirring occasionally.

Sprinkle masa harina over chile mixture; stir well. Bring to a boil. Cook for 1 minute or until slightly thick; remove from heat. Let stand 10 minutes. Place half of the chile mixture in a blender. Remove the center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Process until smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with the remaining chile mixture.

Yield: 8 servings

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