This is a favorite dish in the sunny southwest and can be made mild to hot – know how to choose your chile! It’s possible to buy a quart or two of prepared red chile sauce at any number of New Mexican restaurants and Mexican grocers throughout New Mexico. If you are sadly unable to acquire your sauce RTE, I’ve included a basic recipe here. Don’t used canned enchilada sauce – it’s just wrong. This sauce does not have tomatoes in it – it is a very basic sauce made with a roux and the chile puree. New Mexican enchiladas are typically made flat, not rolled. Quite like a lasagna with ooomph.
This recipe is easily assembled once the sauce is ready. The baby spinach does not need to be pre-cooked, just layer it along with the other ingredients. This recipe makes 8-12 servings.
- 1 lb. fresh baby spinach
- 1 to 1.5 quarts red chile sauce
- corn tortillas
- olive oil
- Mexican shredded cheese blend, to taste
Red chile sauce:
- two cartons frozen raw red chile puree (Bueno)
- olive oil
The sauce: Cook the onions and garlic in olive oil until soft, set aside. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil, add flour and brown. Add the thawed red chile and whisk until you have a smooth, creamy texture, adding water as needed to adjust the consistency. Stir in the garlic, onion, oregano and cumin.
Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly grease a 9×12 baking dish. Dip corn tortillas one at a time in the warm red sauce then lay flat in the dish (two-two-two covers the bottom). Add a layer of uncooked spinach. Cover with red sauce, sprinkle cheese blend on top. Repeat: tortilla-spinach-red sauce-cheese until pan is full. Last layer will need to be compressed a bit and covered with the last of the red and a dash more cheese.
Bake, covered, for one hour. Uncover in last 15 minutes to give a little crisp to the top. Let rest a few minutes before serving.
Wish I had a picture. In the absence of one, I’ll fill in with a picture from Jemez Springs and will pop in a picture of the dish next time I make it. This is a healthy, sustaining meal, good for the mouth and not particularly difficult. The spinach is fabulous with the red sauce. A favorite at Chez Bosquechica.
Have una cerveza, some guacamole and chips while you’re cooking. Life is good, que no?