If you're going to make Tex-Mex cheese enchiladas, you might as well go all the way. And what better source to lead you to the cheesy promised land than Robb Walsh's The Tex-Mex Cookbook? The real story here is the chili gravy, which is made from scratch. After making a light brown roux, heaps of chili powder and other seasonings are added, along with chicken stock. It's then cooked down until it's thick and nearly black.
After that just fry the tortillas—preferably in lard—for a just a few seconds, and then roll them up with handful of cheddar cheese and chopped onion. Once placed on an oven proof plate, the chili gravy is poured over and more cheese sprinkled on top. Then it's baked in a hot oven for 10 minutes, until the sauce is literally bubbling on the plate. That's it. Just be careful; that plate will be mad hot.
- For the Chili Gravy
- 1/4 cup lard or vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons powdered garlic
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 cups chicken broth
- For the Cheese Enchiladas
- 1/2 cup lard or vegetable oil
- 8 corn tortillas
- 3 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onion (from about 1 large onion)
For the chili gravy: Add the lard or vegetable oil to a large skillet set over medium-high heat. When warm, whisk in the flour until there are no lumps. Continue stirring with the whisk until the roux is light brown, three to four minutes. Add all the dry ingredients, stir well, and let cook for one minute.
Pour in the chicken broth and stir until mixture is smooth. Once it comes to a boil, reduce heat to low to maintain a slow simmer. Cook until thick and rich, about 15 minutes.
For the cheese enchiladas: Adjust oven rack to bottom third position, and preheat the oven to 450°F. Add the lard or vegetable oil to a small skillet set over medium-high heat. When oil stars to shimmer, add one of the corn tortillas. Cook until puffed up and lightly browned, about 30 seconds total. Flip halfway through with a pair of tongs. When done, transfer the tortilla to some paper towels. Repeat process with remaining tortillas.
Take two of the tortillas, and add a 1/4 cup of cheese and 1 tablespoon of chopped onion to each. Roll them up, and place them, seam side down, on an oven proof plate. Top with 1/2 cup of the chili gravy, followed by 1/4 cup of cheese. Repeat process three more times.
Transfer the plates to the oven and bake until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese has completely melted, about 10 minutes. Carefully remove the plates and garnish with more of the chopped onion. Serve immediately.