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Tex Mex Cheese Enchiladas

Serves 4-6. Makes 12 enchiladas

Here in the Pacific Northwest, Tex Mex cuisine is hard to come by. Oh, those days when Portland's Esparza reigned as a fine purveyor of the real deal. But alas, we lost Esparza beck in 2014.

The good news is that much of what you need to make Tex Mex dishes is easily accessible at better grocery stores.

Ingredients

  • 2 dried ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded, and torn into ½ inch pieces.
  • 1 TBS cumin seeds
  • 1 TBS garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 5 TBS high heat cooking oil (Avocado, Extra Light Olive Oil or otherwise)
  • 3 TBS almond flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 oz dark chocolate
  • 2 tsp distilled white vinegar
  • 8 oz Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 6 oz sharp cheddar cheese
  • 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • 1 onion, chopped fine

Method

1. Toast the ancho chilies and cumin seeds in a medium-size skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant, 2 to 6 minutes. Let cool and transfer to a spice grinder. Add garlic powder and oregano and grind to a fine powder.

2. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in the warmed empty skillet over medium-high heat until it's shimmering (350⁰F). Whisk in the flour, ½ teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of pepper, the ground spice blend and cook until fragrant and slightly deepened in color, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the broth, add in the chocolate and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, whisking often, until the sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the vinegar, remove it from the heat and keep warm.

3. Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 450⁰F. Spread ½ cup of the sauce over the bottom of a 13" x 9" baking pan. Brush both sides of tortillas with the remaining cooking oil. Stack the tortillas, wrapping the stack with moistened paper towels, place them on a plate and microwave for 60-90 seconds, until warm and pliable.

4. Combine the two cheeses in a bowl. Working with one warm tortilla at a time, spread ¼ cup of the cheese mixture across the center of the tortilla and sprinkle with a tablespoon of the onion. Roll the tortilla tightly around the filling and place it seam-side down into the baking pan; arranging the enchiladas in two columns across the width of the dish.

5. Pour remaining sauce evenly over the tops of the enchiladas and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil. Bake until the enchiladas are heated through and the cheese is melted, about 5-20 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes and sprinkle with the remaining onion and serve.

Notes

  • It goes without saying, but we'll say it anyway - serve this with guacamole!
  • Can't find dried anchos? You can use ancho chile powder, but the flavor won't be as intense.
  • This recipe is nearly keto and would be if you subbed almond flour tortillas instead of corn, used 1 tablespoon of cacao powder instead of chocolate, and added a tablespoon of erythritol to sweeten the cacao powder.
  • For better health and flavor, use as many organic ingredients as you can get your hands on.
  • Use clean oils like those mentioned. Steer clear of unhealthy oils like canola, corn, safflower, and vegetable.
  • Serving less than 4. These work well as leftovers.

SD!/January 21


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