Red Chile Enchiladas


The Gonzalez family in Las Cruces, near El Paso, makes enchiladas similar to these using an old family recipe.


  • 20 dried new mexico chiles
  • 3 tbsp. canola oil, plus more for frying
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 14 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 2 cups grated mozzarella
  • 2 cups grated sharp cheddar
  • 34 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 14 cup finely crumbled cotija cheese
  • 3 tbsp. crema or sour cream


Step 1

Soften chiles (see How to Soak Chiles). Transfer chiles and 2 cups soaking water to a food processor; let cool.

Step 2

Heat oven to 450˚. Heat oil in a 12" skillet over medium heat. Add garlic; cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer garlic to the food processor with the reserved chiles, reserving oil in skillet. Purée chile–garlic mixture; add lime, cumin, sugar, and salt and pulse to combine. Strain through a sieve; discard solids. Transfer chile sauce to reserved skillet; heat sauce over medium heat.

Step 3

Pour oil into a 10" skillet over medium-high heat to a depth of 1⁄2". Using tongs and working with one tortilla at a time, dip tortilla in oil; cook until slightly crisp, about 15 seconds. Drain tortilla. Dip in chile sauce to coat, and transfer to a plate. Sprinkle some of the mozzarella, cheddar, and onions along center of tortilla. Roll up enchilada. Arrange rolled enchiladas on a baking sheet; bake until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Divide enchiladas between 4 plates; sprinkle with cotija cheese and drizzle with crema.

Pairing Note Michael Flynn, the wine director at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, in Dallas, recommends a dry rose for these enchiladas. The McPherson Cellars grenache-syrah Rose 2008 has a crisp acidity and a pronounced fruit flavor that complements the chile sauce's heat.

Continue to Next Story

Want more SAVEUR?

Get our favorite recipes, stories, and more delivered to your inbox.