Saturday, August 20, 2011

Red Enchiladas: Morelia Style

Enchilar, is the act of smothering something in chile sauce, therefore, a tortilla that is dipped in chile sauce becomes a tortilla "enchilada". Morelia-style enchiladas are typically served with a side of steamed diced carrots and potatoes, shredded lettuce, slices of tomato, and sour cream.  It's a great vegetarian alternative. This is one of the few dishes that can be prepared by using the very versatile dry-chile enchilada sauce that I previously posted. 

Mom used to make these for us when there was a good amount of stale leftover tortillas that nobody wanted to eat anymore.  I will warn you that you will end up with a mess on your stove but it will be a delicious mess and it's well worth the effort. These enchiladas are filled with queso cotija.  You can also use queso fresco instead. Those two types of cheeses are fresh, soft, and creamy but are firm enough to grate. Cotija cheese has a saltier and tangier taste and the queso fresco is a bit softer, creamier, and less salty. 


1  1/2    cup of shredded queso cotija cheese
12-16    corn tortillas
    1/2    cup of finely diced onion
              dry-chile enchilada sauce  click here for the sauce recipe
              Sour cream 

Wrap tortillas in a cloth napkin and heat in the microwave for about 30 seconds to a minute or you can heat them on a hot griddle (no oil or butter) and turning them once or twice for a few seconds on each side.  You should be able to fold them without them breaking. Keep the warm tortillas wrapped in a kitchen towel.

Combine the diced onion and the shredded cheese and set aside.  This will be the filling for the enchiladas.  You can  adjust the cheese to onion ratio depending on your preference   
Prepare a little working station right next to your stove. Have your cheese mixture, warm tortillas, cookign oil, enchilada sauce in a wide bowl, and a large flat plate for rolling the enchiladas and a baking dish or container to place prepared enchiladas.  A baking dish with a lid works great because you can cover them to keep them warm while you prepare the rest. 

Preheat a skillet on medium to medium-high 

Dip one tortilla at a time into the sauce

Add a generous drizzle of oil to hot skillet. Immediately place the chile-dipped tortilla on the hot oil. Allow it to fry for about 10 seconds on each side just enough for the tortilla to be heated thoroughly. Adjust the timing on each side as necessary.  Do not let it crisp up too much or it will break when you roll the tortilla. 

When each tortilla has been fried on each side, pull it out of the skillet and place it on a plate, top with some of cheese mixture.
You may need to add a little drizzle of oil for each tortilla. If some of the sauce starts to dry in the hot skillet and smoke, simply scrape off dry sauce off with a spatula then wipe the skillet with some paper towels before you continue.

Finally, roll the stuffed tortilla into a taco and your first enchilada is ready!  (careful, the tortilla is very hot) Repeat the process until you have prepared all of the enchiladas.

To serve them, top with a dollop of sour cream and more shredded queso and a side of finely shredded lettuce and veggies of your choice. Typically, we steam diced carrots and potatoes with a little butter and salt and pepper as a side

You will have sauce left. Save it! You can stir it into scrambled eggs, then sprinkle them with grated queso fresco and top with a dollop of sour cream.

or stir it into chicken soup or Chicken Tortilla Soup for a smoky, spicy flavor


  1. These really look delicious and your photos are wonderful. This is my first visit to your blog, so I've taken some time to browse through your earlier posts. I am so glad I did that. I really like the food and recipes you share with your readers and I'll definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

    1. Mary, thank you for your lovely comment. I appreciate and welcome the feedback. I am pleased to know that you like my work and happy to meet others with similar interest. ;) -Camila

  2. Delicious! These are the only kind of enchiladas I truly love. The saltyness of the cheese with the smoky spicyness and hint of sweetness from the sauce is a delicious combination.

    1. Ale, these are my favorite too. I love to experiment with the dry chiles too!

  3. Thank you for this recipe. Just happened to run across your recipe for enchilada sauce. We made some adjustments in the recipe only to find out that the chiles we bought were too hot for my wife to enjoy. So, I have 8 pts. of medium hot sauce for myself. And, an afternoon of sauce making for the mild sauce when we get to town for chiles.

    Thanks J

    1. J,

      Thank you for visiting and taking the time to give me some feedback. I hope that you were able to prepare a much milder version of this sauce for your wife. I suggest taking out all of the membrane and all of the seeds of each chili pod to reduce the heat, but I do understand that knowing whether a batch of chiles will be very spicy is nearly impossible. There are also other varieties of dry chili pods that are less spicy than the ones that I've used in this recipe. Feel free to experiment depending on what you have available. I find that this sauce freezes well and I actually keep portions in my freezer and stir small amounts in to stews, soups, or scrambled eggs and potatoes for example.