This versatile enchilada dish is loved by every member of our family. That’s quite a declaration, but it’s true. Even the kids can’t wait to dig in! Not to mention my best friend since jr. high and her family love these. We love popping the golden “runny-ness” of the yolk and watching it spread all over these pancake-style enchiladas, just like syrup does on pancakes.
I named these Enchiladas Monterrey because that’s our hometown in Mexico, and where my mother lived when she created this recipe.
These enchiladas are versatile. You can make them as spicy or mild as you want just by managing how many spicy chiles you use. Don’t forget the fried eggs! It’s like the frosting on the cake and eggs make everything better! Don’t limit yourself to only one egg–two eggs are twice as good! If you’re feeding a large crowd, try making them casserole style–like lasagne.
See sauce tutorial here
I’m getting hungry just looking at these pictures.
- 4-6 dried California chili pods
- 4-6 dried New Mexico chili pods (for a little heat)
- 1-1/2 -2 cups water
- 2 T. lard (or shortening, if you must)
- 2 T. flour
- 1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 3 cups grated cheddar cheese (I use Tillamook)
- 18-24 corn tortillas (2-3 tortillas per serving)
- Eggs for frying
- Remove stems and seeds from chili pods. Place whole pods in large saucepan and add water.
- Bring the chilies to a boil. Remove from heat and allow them to rest and rehydrate for at least 15 minutes. When cool, add the pods and 1 cup chili water to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Save remaining chili water, but remove any leftover seeds.
- In same saucepan, melt the lard or shortening. Add the flour and stir until well blended and bubbly, creating a roux. Through a sieve, pour the blended chilies into the saucepan. Whisk into the roux until smooth. Add more chili water to desired consistency, tomato sauce, salt and sugar and bring to a simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Discard the tough chili skins from the sieve.
- Fry the tortillas and drain on paper towels. If you prefer not to fry them, I sometimes warm them in the microwave for 30 seconds and skip the frying step. Continue with either Step 5 or 6:
- Casserole method: Dip each tortilla in the enchilada sauce and layer about 4 tortillas, lasagna style, in a 9”x13” casserole dish. Top with a layer of shredded cheese. Repeat these steps until you run out of tortillas, pouring remaining sauce over the top, finishing with a layer of cheese. Bake in a 350° oven for 30 minutes. Serve with a fried egg on top if desired. Onions are optional.
- Individual method: Dip each tortilla in the enchilada sauce and layer, pancake style, on an ovenproof plate, adding cheese in between each layer. Repeat 2-3 times, depending on how many enchiladas you desire for a single serving. Place enchiladas under the broiler until cheese is melted, about 4-6 minutes. Keep checking these to prevent burning. Top with a fried egg if desired and enjoy!
Et cetera: This recipe was created by my mother and the sisters at her church in Monterrey over 60 years ago. It has been a favorite in our family ever since. When I was a child, my mother would make each one of us the individual serving, asking us beforehand how many tortillas we wanted stacked on our plate, pancake style. When I became a grandmother and our family gatherings grew larger, I decided to make them in a casserole dish. I prefer the individual method since it allows me to “toast” the cheese on the top layer under the broiler. Yum! Here is a picture of the Casserole Style. Also Yum!