We don't make Mexican food all that often though every time we do its so good I think we should do it more. We received Rick Bayless's Mexican Everyday for Christmas so maybe that will inspire us. It did inspire Matt to make these enchiladas Saturday night.
4 med dried guajillo chiles, stemmed, seeded & torn into flat pieces (we replaced most of the guajillos with anchos because I am a wimp about heat)
2 garlic cloves, peeled & quartered
1 28-oz can fired roasted diced tomatoes in juice
1/4 t cumin
1/4 t ground black pepper
1 T vegetable or olive oil, plus a little extra for the tortillas
2 c chicken broth, plus a little extra if necessary
12 corn tortillas (we could not find anything but tiny corn tortillas so we used flour)
salt 1/2 t sugar
2 c coarsely shredded cooked chicken
1 c shredded Mexican melting cheese
1 small white onion cut into rings
cilantro for garnish (yeah we skipped this)
Turn on oven to 350. Set a medium skillet over medium heat. When it is hot, toast the chile pieces a few at a time, pressing them against the hot surface with a spatula until aromatic & lightened in color underneath, about 10 seconds per side. Transfer the roasted to a blender jar. Add the garlic, tomatoes with their juice, cumin & black pepper. blend until as smooth a consistency as possible.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over med-high heat. Set a medium-mesh strainer over the pan & pour in the sauce. Press through the strainer to remove bits of chile skin. Then cook, stirring until the sauce is reduced to the consistency of tomato paste, 5 to 7 minutes. Pour in the broth, reduce the heat to med-low and let simmer 10 minutes while you prepare the tortilla, filling & toppings.
Lay out the tortillas on a baking sheet & spray or brush lightly on both sides with oil, then stack them in twos. Slide the tortillas into the oven & bake just long enough to make them soft & pliable, about 3 minutes. Remove from the oven & stack them in a single pile; cover with a kitchen towel to keep warm.
Taste the sauce & season with salt, usually about 1 1/2 t, and the sugar. Stir in additional broth is the sauce has thickened beyond the consistency of light cream soup.
Spread about 1/2 c sauce over the bottom of a 13x9 inch baking dish. Stir another 1/2 cup sauce into the chicken. Lay out a warm tortilla, top with a portion of chicken & roll up. Lay seam side down in the baking dish. Continue filling & rolling the rest of the tortillas, then ladle the remaining sauce over the enchiladas & sprinkle with cheese.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the cheese is starting to brown. Sprinkle with the onion rings & cilantro.
Matt said this went together very easily since the sauce is the thing that really takes the most work. This was really good & I liked the sauce a lot. I think if we had used all guajillos though I wouldn't have enjoyed it because of the heat. This mix of chiles gave just a hint of heat without burning. Also I liked the taste of the raw onion with the dish but would dice it to sprinkle on top next time rather than have to cut it as I ate.