Enchilada Essentials

Rojas toasts the dried chiles to deepen their flavor; steeps them in boiling water, which not only softens the leathery chiles but also releases pectin that will give the sauce a silky texture; and then purees until smooth.
Straining the sauce after blending removes any remaining solids that would get in the way of its clinging to the tortillas.
The tortillas are dipped twice: first in hot oil, which makes them more pliable; then in the red chile sauce.
After double-dipping each tortilla, she lays it on a plate and scatters it with just a few tablespoons of filling, so that it will roll up snugly into a narrow cigar shape, with the sauce acting as an adhesive between layers to secure the enchilada.
Unlike many Americanized enchiladas, these are not baked after dipping and rolling; they're simply stacked on a serving plate after they're rolled, which leaves them lusciously moist.
A simple garnish of crumbled cheese looks striking against the vivid red sauce and provides an enticing hint at what's tucked away inside. Plated with sides of beans and rice, these enchiladas are a satisfying main course, but they also make wonderful finger food. See recipe.

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