Mexican Enchiladas with Salsa Roja

Enchiladas are a Mexican cuisine of corn tortillas quickly fried in oil, dipped in salsa, and filled with chicken or meat stuffing. They can also be filled with vegetables, beans, potatoes, cheese or a combination of all of the above. They can be served rolled, topped with a tomato/tomatillo sauce, chili pepper sauce, or mole, and then topped with a little bit of cheese. They are one of the simplest Mexican dishes to make. This food can be found ‘en la calle’ (street food) in Mexico, along with some others dishes like tacos, sopes, quesadillas, tostadas, taquitos, tamales, or even gorditas. You can find enchiladas also in any markets, and prepare them for holidays or for a regular dinner.

Enchiladas can also be baked in the oven, however, I didn’t see it much in Mexico but I know it’s common here in the United States. After rolling the filling into the tortilla, set the enchiladas in a deep baking dish, lay them side by side, pour over the sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Then, bake them in the oven or finish under the broiler. You can cook the corn tortillas yourself, or buy ready-made ones in the store. Enchiladas can be made also from wheat tortillas if wanted. For the meat, we used an Insta-Pot but you can use a slow cooker or crock pot too. We cooked the meat by adding Mojo, which is a blend of orange and lemon juices accented with garlic and spices. It is great for marinating meat or chicken, and it gives extra flavor to the dish! You can buy it in Mexican stores or grocery stores in the foreign foods section. I served our enchiladas with sauce, cheese, avocado and crema (bought at Mexican store, and can be replaced with sour cream) on top, but other toppings can be used such as shredded lettuce or onion slices. Instead of red salsa, you can make and serve with tomatillo salsa (green sauce). I also like the enchiladas with a tricolor sauce of red (salsa roja), white with crema and queso (sour cream and cheese) in the middle, and green (tomatillo salsa), which are colors of the Mexican flag, a great idea for Mexican Independence day or Cinco de Mayo.

They are best freshly made and eaten immediately. Tender meat with corn tortillas under a flavorful salsa and slightly salty cheese, served with creamy avocado to create a very rich and subtle dish, a Mexican classic!

Mexican Enchiladas with Salsa Roja Recipe

By Olya Sandstrom Published: August 5, 2019

    Enchiladas are a Mexican cuisine of corn tortillas quickly fried in oil, dipped in salsa, and filled with chicken or meat stuffing. …



    1. In the Insta-Pot, place 2 chicken breasts, peeled onion cut into 4 parts, peeled garlic cloves, bay leaf, salt, and pepper.
    2. Heat the vegetable oil or lard in a thick-bottomed pan, fry coarsely (big) chopped pieces of pork on all sides for about 5 minutes, then add salt and pepper, and sprinkle with garlic powder. Put the pork in the Instant-Pot with the chicken. Pour in milk and Mojo, then close it and cook for 25 min.
    3. When the meat is ready, pour the liquid (broth) from it into a bowl, set it aside, take out the onion, bay leaf and garlic. Shred the meat and chicken using two forks, pour a little bit of broth from the bowl, and mix.
    4. In a frying pan, where the pork was cooked, fry the chorizo until fully cooked. Put it with the cooked meat and chicken and mix again.
    5. Prepare the sauce: put tomatoes, peeled onion, garlic and jalapeno in a dry frying pan, fry on all sides until you get a char on some sides of the vegetables in order to get a smokey flavor. Then, put everything in a blender (you can use a hand blender too), blend, then add cumin, oregano, and salt to your taste. You can pour a little bit of broth from the cooked meat and chicken from the Insta-Pot as well.
    6. Preheat the pan where you cooked the chorizo, and add 1 tbsp. vegetable oil in it. Next, pour the sauce, and cook on low heat until it thickens a little (10-15 minutes). Keep it hot.
    7. In the frying pan where you fried the vegetables for the sauce, pour in enough vegetable oil for deep-frying (you don't need a lot of oil, just enough to cover the tortilla when frying it). With some kitchen tongs, dip the tortilla in hot oil, and very quickly fry them (do not fry them for a long time, they should still be flexible). Then set it on a plate with a paper towel, and make the next one. Prepare all the tortillas that you will use.
    8. Now you can put together the enchiladas! Using the kitchen tongs, take a flash fried tortilla, dip it in the red sauce and coat both sides, then put the tortilla on a plate. Fill the center of the tortilla with the meat mixture, and roll to make a tube, almost like a cannelloni, and set it on a serving platter. Usually I serve 3 enchiladas for one portion.
    9. Pour the red sauce on top of your enchiladas, sprinkle with cheese, put a few slices of avocado and cilantro leaves, and a little sour cream. Serve hot.

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