Mexican Cooking Questions Please????

Joined Feb 21, 2002
I'm looking for a recipe to make homemade enchilada shells. Also I need a good brand of enchilada sauce tha doesn't taste like out of a can but taste authentic. And what kind of Mexican cheese is good to use. I don't want to use American cheeses or any other. Please help me. Thank you
Joined Jul 31, 2000
Do you want to make them from scratch? or do you want the technique useing fresh corn tortillias?

My sauce recipe follows
about 4 cups
8 dried red new mexican chilies
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons oregano
I medium diced onion
2 minced gloves of garlic
3 tablespoons veggie oil
2 tablespoons ap flour
6 oz tomato paste
2 cups chicken stock

Wash the chilies,cover with boiling water and let stand for at least an hour,drain and reserve the water.remove the stems,seeds and viens.In a blender puree the chilies,spices,garlic and onion,blens in a bit of your strained liqued to reach a good consistency. In a skillet heat the oil and add the flour stirring until golden, add the pepper paste,tomato paste and remaining water. simmer for about 30 minutes season with S&P
Joined May 11, 2001
If you have to choose between the tortilla and the sauce, make the sauce from scratch and buy the best corn tortillas you can find. If you really want to make the tortillas, buy some masa harina and follow the directions on the bag. Using lard does make a difference, but I can't bring myself to buy a big tub of lard.

I think the cheese of choice for authentic enchiladas is anejo. It's hard, dry and crumbly.


Staff member
Joined Oct 7, 2001
I agree, stick with making the enchilada sauce. Tortillas are a pain to make, until you get the hand of it (and a tortilla press), also they are not the best, made from Masa Harina. To make really good tortillas (nice and flaky almost) you need fresh ground masa dough, which you can now find in most major cities, at tortilla factories (most cities now have at least a couple of tortilla factories, and they usually sell fresh ground masa to people). Many places now carry pretty good fresh tortillas.

The key to making good enchiladas is to soften the tortillas before rolling them. My mexican friends use to different techniques to do this. One technique is to dip a small stack of them into hot lard (yes lard). Though the lard should be almost frying temp. you dip them so quickly that they don't fry, but absorb the hot lard and soften. If the idea of consuming all that lard turns you off, then the second way works also. Heat some of your enchilada sauce and dip your tortillas into that. Then let them sit for 3-5 minutes before rolling them. This way you can roll them nice and tight without the tortillas cracking and breaking.
Joined Apr 19, 2001
I concur with everyone else re buying the corn tortillas, and making the sauce from scratch. Also, really fresh tortillas don't work as well as those that are just slightly stale; the fresh ones sometimes just disintegrate while you're rolling them! Then you make chilequelas!:D

Here's a couple of my enchilada sauce recipes:

3 dried ancho chiles
3 dried California chiles
2 pasilla chiles (if you can't get these, up the Anchos to 4)
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano (Mexican, if you can get it)
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
3T oil
2T flour
3 1/2 cups liquid (use liquid from soaking chiles plus enough chicken stock to make 3 1/2 cups)

Pour boiling water over all the chiles to cover; let steep for about 30 minutes; then remove the stems and seeds and drain; reserve the liquid. Place chiles in blender with garlic, salt, oregano, cumin, and close and blend to a smooth puree.

Heat the oil (or lard) in a skillet, add the flour and cook for about a minute; add the chile puree and fry for 3 minutes, stirring constantly - be careful, this will spatter! Measure the lqiuid reserved from the chiles and added chicken broth and slowly stir in the liquid; bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. ''

I use the 'dip it in the sauce' method to soften the tortillas. Use tongs, and dip each tortilla in the warm sauce, turning to coat both sides. Place the tortilla on a piece of parchment paper (it's messy), fill with your favorite filling, roll and place seam side down on a baking dish in which you've placed a little of the sauce on the bottom.

When all the enchiladas are filled and rolled, spoon some of the sauce over the length of each enchilada, being sure to coat the ends. Sprinkle grated anejo cheese (or monterey jack) over the top, cover the dish with foil and bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes.

I always serve the extra sauce on the side, for those who like it extra saucy.

This is a green enchilada sauce, that I love with chicken or fish/shrimp.

6 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled and chopped
2 cans tomatillos (12 oz. each) or about 16 fresh tomatillos, peeled and chopped
half an onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 leaves romain lettuce, torn
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
2T oil

Place chiles, onion, garlic, lettuce, cilantro, salt and 1/2 cup of chicken broth in a blender and blend til smooth.

Heat 2T oil in a skillet, add puree and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Slowly stir in remaining chicken broth and cook til sauce thickens - about 5-10 minutes. Remove and keep warm.

Coat and fill and bake as above. For enchiladas 'suiza', after the enchiladas are in the baking dish, pour 1 cup heavy cream over everything and bake as above.

Re canned enchilada sauces, I've never found a canned one I like; even in the latino specialty stores.
Joined Feb 21, 2002
Thank you allo for responding to my questions on Mexican Cooking I do greatly appreciate it. I have many more to come and I look forward in hearing your ideas.

Joined Apr 19, 2001
Hey, Marinecorp, you're welcome - and we'd love to hear feedback from you!!!!

Are you cooking for home - the corps - a restaurant?
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