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Guanajuato-style Enchiladas (Enchiladas del Portal)

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Francisco Javier Cárdenas

These enchiladas are served immediately after you stuff them, says chef Francisco Javier Cárdenas, who demonstrated how to make them during the Latin Flavors, American Kitchens symposium at the Culinary Institute of America, San Antonio.

When you devein the chiles, don’t throw away the seeds or membrane. “There are many dishes we can use them in,” he says.

Cárdenas is chef and owner of El Petit Four, a pastry shop and cafe in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Guanajuato-style Enchiladas feature a dark sauce made from guajillo chiles and a filling of Mexican ranchero cheese and finely chopped onion.

Guanajuato-style Enchiladas (Enchiladas del Portal)

Guajillo salsa:
20 guajillo chiles
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon sea salt
Pinch of cumin seeds
Pinch of dried oregano

3 tablespoons canola oil
2 cups crumbled ranchero cheese or queso fresco
1 cup finely chopped onion
18 day-old corn tortillas

3 cups romaine lettuce, finely shredded
6 whole romaine lettuce leaves
3 cups potatoes, cooked and cut into small cubes
3 cups carrots, cooked and cut into small cubes
2 cups crumbled ranchero cheese or queso fresco

For the guajillo salsa: Clean each chile with a damp kitchen towel. Open each and remove the seeds and ribs. Dry roast the chiles in a skillet over medium heat, taking care not to burn them. Transfer the chiles to a saucepan of hot water and soak for 20 minutes. transfer the chiles to a blender and reserve soaking water. Add the garlic, sea salt and cumin with some of the reserve water and blend to obtain a thick salsa. Set aside.

For the enchiladas: Mix the crumbled cheese with the chopped onion and set aside.

Heat the oil in a skillet. Take a tortilla, soak it in the guajillo salsa and place in the skillet, fry each side for 10 seconds. Transfer the tortilla enchilada to a plate. place 2 tablespoons of the onion and cheese mixture on the center of the tortilla, roll it and set aside in a warm tray. continue this process with the remaining tortillas.

To serve, place a large leaf of lettuce in the center of a plate. On the top of the lettuce, place diced potatoes and carrots alongside three enchiladas. Cover the enchiladas with shredded lettuce and crumbled ranchero cheese.

Makes 6 servings.

From Maria del Socorro Guerrero as presented by Francisco Javier Cárdenas, El Petit Four, San Miguel de Allende

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