I’d like to share our family enchilada recipe with you. My mom started making these when I was a young child, when we lived in an area of town with mostly Hispanic families. It is one of my favorite childhood meals. Funny About Money probably remembers the old Food City over on Buckeye Road. My grandparents lived over at 23rd Avenue and Mohave, but shopped Food City exclusively, as did my mother. Food City didn’t cater to the Hispanic community back in the 70s and 80s like they do now, which is interesting, considering the neighborhood in which we lived.
My mom used to buy canned red chile sauce which she’d thicken with flour and water, to make her enchilada sauce, but I learned a homemade one (cheaper and better tasting!) that I’ve used for the last couple of decades.
2 to 6 T. chili powder
1/2 c. whole wheat (or white) flour
4 c. water
2 t. vinegar
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. dried oregano, rubbed
1 t. salt
12 corn tortillas
1 pound shredded longhorn or mild cheddar cheese
1 6-ounce can black olives, drained and sliced
1 lb. cooked chicken breast, shredded, optional
1 lb. cooked spinach, drained, chopped, optional
Mix the sauce ingredients together, stir with a whisk and heat until the sauce boils and thickens. Stir often so the bottom doesn’t stick.
Shred the cheese and mix in the sliced black olives. Hold out a couple handfuls of cheese to spread over the top of the enchiladas before putting them in the oven to bake.
Take one corn tortilla and dip it into the hot enchilada sauce. Let it set in the steaming hot sauce for a few seconds to soften the tortilla and make it pliable for rolling. Lay the tortilla into a greased 9″x13″ glass cooking dish. Top with a small handful of shredded cheese, then chicken and/or spinach, if desired. Carefully roll the tortilla and slide to the side of the dish. Repeat until the tortillas are all rolled into the pan. Ladle some enchilada sauce over the enchiladas and sprinkle the leftover cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and place in a 350°F oven for 45 minutes.
After the enchiladas are done, serve with shredded lettuce on the side with some enchilada sauce ladled over the lettuce.
Serves 4 to 6, or two very hearty eaters