This is another of my mother's terrific recipes, from when we lived near the CA/MX border. This is MY ultimate comfort food! I usually just use 1 pkg of Kraft's pre-grated 4-Cheese Mexican blend - which has asiago and queso fresco added to the usual cheddar and jack, then add some sharp cheddar. BEST if you make the sauce, the night before, and refrigerate. Makes 8-10 enchiladas, and 4 cups of sauce.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1⁄2 cup onion, minced
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper, ground
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cumin, ground
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1⁄2 cup salsa (I use Pace mild or med.)
- 12 ounces tomato paste
- 2 cups beef broth (= 1 can, can sub chicken or vegetable)
- 1 cup water
- good smoky ancho chili-based hot sauce, a couple splashes (I use Coyote Cocina Ancho Hot Sauce from Santa Fe, NM www.santafeseasons.com)
- 2 teaspoons fresh cilantro
- 8 -10 small corn tortillas (6 not 7 , and YELLOW CORN, not flour)
- 1 1⁄2 lbs grated cheese, grated (6 cups Kraft Mexican 4-cheese blend)
- 1⁄2 small onions or 1⁄2 medium onion, diced finely
- 3 7⁄8 ounces sliced black olives, ripe (1 large can, drained)
- 2 ounces green chilies, diced (1/2 of a small can)
- Place garlic in cold, non-reactive (non-aluminum – use non-stick or ceramic lined) large sauce pan with oil. Bring up to a medium heat, stirring so that garlic doesn't scorch. Sauté for 1 minute, then add onions. Add remaining dry spices (through parsley) and sauté for 3-4 minutes, to develop oil & spices' flavors. Add remaining ingredients, except cilantro. Simmer gently on low for 30 minutes. Add cilantro at the end. Cool, and then chill overnight in fridge to let flavors meld.
- Preheat oven to 350º. Spray a 9 x 13 lasagna pan thoroughly with Pam. Spread 1 cup of enchilada sauce in bottom of baking pan.
- Combine cheeses, chilies, onions, and olives in large mixing bowl, tossing gently to thoroughly mix.
- Stuff and roll enchiladas with 2/3 of the cheese mixture. Place them, seam-side down in pan – in two rows of 4-5; long the long side of the pan. When all are in pan, pour remaining enchilada sauce FIRST over the outside edges (as they will dry out if not covered), then once down the center. Spread remaining cheese mixture on the two “lanes” that remain uncovered by sauce. Bake, uncovered for 25-30 minutes, until bubbly and melted. Cool for 5 minutes to re-congeal before serving. Makes 8-10 enchiladas, serving 4-6 people.
- For Vegetarian option use Vegetable broth.