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Stacked Red Chile Enchiladas

Serves 2.

While enchiladas are popular all over the Southwest, there is an assertion in some quarters— particularly in New Mexico and some parts of West Texas — that they should be stacked, not rolled. New Mexico stacked enchiladas feature chile-sauced corn tortillas layered with fillings — sometimes just cheese, sometimes meat, poultry, or fish. This recipe comes from the Diaz family, formerly of Diaz Farms near Deming, N.M., where, among other things, they grew both red and green chiles. You'll finish this dish, the family says, with your "panza llena y corazon contento" (stomach full and heart content). Note: New Mexico chile powder and Hatch chile powder are often used interchangeably, and they both come in mild, medium and hot varieties. Use a type — or a combination of types — that suits your taste. From "Smithsonian American Table," by Lisa Kingsley in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution (Harvest, 2023).

For the sauce:

• 2 tsp. all-purpose flour

• 1/4 tsp. dried oregano (preferably Mexican)

• 1 tsp. ground cumin

• 1/2 c. New Mexico red chile powder (see Note)

• 2 tsp. vegetable oil

• 1 tbsp. minced white onion

• 1 clove garlic, minced

• Salt

For the enchiladas:

• Vegetable oil

• 6 corn tortillas

• 1 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese

• 1/4 c. finely diced yellow onion

• 2 large eggs

• 1 c. shredded lettuce

• 2/3 c. chopped tomato

• Cooked pinto beans and rice, for serving


To prepare the sauce: In a small bowl, stir together the flour, oregano and cumin. In a medium bowl, whisk together the chile powder and 2 1/2 cups water until smooth. Set both aside.

In a medium saucepan, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and sauté until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the flour mixture and cook, whisking constantly, until flour begins to turn a light golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes.

Remove from heat and slowly add the chile mixture, whisking constantly. Return to medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until bubbles form.

Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, whisking occasionally to catch any lumps that begin to form.

Remove from heat and cool completely. When cool, add salt to taste.

To prepare the enchiladas: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Quickly dip 1 tortilla in the hot oil to soften. Dip in the chile sauce and place in a baking dish. Top with a generous 2 tablespoons cheese and 1 tablespoon of the onion. Repeat with another tortilla, 2 tablespoons cheese, sauce, and 1 tablespoon onion, adding more oil to pan as needed.

Heat a third tortilla, dip in sauce, and place on the stack. Top with additional sauce and another generous 2 tablespoons cheese. Repeat process with remaining ingredients to create two enchilada stacks. Heat in the oven until cheese melts, 5 to 6 minutes.

Meanwhile, fry the eggs to desired doneness.

Top stacked enchiladas with fried eggs and additional sauce. Top with lettuce and tomato. Serve with pinto beans and rice.